“Scars are like tattoos but with better stories.” Unknown
Many of you have been holding my hand over the last couple of weeks, asking how you can help and keeping me in your prayers. Some are not aware of what is going on with my health and until this week I did not have the answers to give a definitive answer, but now I do. I have told you that this journey is one that I want to be very open about and I will continue to do so.
If you are human and went through the birth process, chances are you have a belly button. This is your first scar on your human body. As we live out our lives, we usually collect many more, some small and some not so small. Most of mine are in the second category. I recently went to a new doctor – new for me, that is. I am familiar with the routine of giving medical history, etc. and in the past have even gone prepared when I know I have to give a history. We get to the part where I am asked “have you ever had surgery?” and I realized I should have brought my list but I didn’t so I just laughed which always perplexes medical personnel (little do they know I am the bionic woman, LOL). I could tell you about all the scars and the stories behind them but that might take a book instead of a blog. Let’s just say I have had more than my fair share for one lifetime.
One day close to a month ago I felt some tenderness in my left breast. I have scars there from a biopsy and also a lumpectomy from approximately six years ago. However, that was not the area of tenderness. As I palpated the area to see why it hurt, I discovered a lump. As I am not a novice at this, I knew it had to be checked out. I kept telling myself that it was nothing, probably a cyst or fibroid, and that I would have a mammogram and everything would be okay. In the back of my mind there was a thought that kept popping up that it was more than that. I shushed the thought and went on to find a doctor to go to. In the office, the doctor confirmed that it did feel abnormal, thus tests were ordered, blood taken, and a referral to a breast surgeon was made. Again, the thought kept creeping in telling me this was not going to be a pleasant journey and with each mammogram, ultrasound, and eventually biopsies, I started listening to the voice yet still held out hope. Friends were amazingly supportive, holding my hand through the waiting process. The waiting and not knowing is without a doubt the most agonizing of the whole experience. A friend told me today “knowledge is power” because now I know what I’m dealing with, so to be without that knowledge is to feel powerless, out of control, and that is exactly what it felt like.
As I sat in the exam room, I envisioned the doctor coming in and saying that everything was okay, no cause for alarm and to get on with my life; so when the words came out of his mouth that it was indeed cancer, you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was already an emotional wreck having lost my little Tazzie just the day prior. This could not be happening! I had to really focus to hear the rest of what he was saying. He gave me the good news that it is early stage and it is slow growing. As far as we know at this point, it is all contained in the mass and has not spread anywhere else. I do have to go through one more test just to be sure that nothing was missed with all the other tests and I will do that tomorrow. After that, I have some tough decisions to make about how to proceed from here. Will it be another lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment or a mastectomy? I’ll be discussing my choices with him next week and surgery will happen in the near future. I ask that you continue to lift me up, especially now. I know I will be okay. I know I am supported and loved by the angelic realm as well as all you earth angels. That helps make this trial by fire a little easier to tolerate. I know without a doubt that there is something wonderful waiting for me at the end of this experience. I know I will not come out the same as I am going in and when it is done, I will have yet another tattoo story to tell. Thank you for being in my life. I love you.