Something I failed to mention in my profile is that I am a breast cancer survivor. Last September, I discovered a lump on my left breast. I was not entirely worried at the time since I have been called back for second mammographies and biopsies several times over the past eight years - each time it turned out to be just my dense, lumpy breasts! I did, however, hear a voice that told me it was something more this time. So, I called the breast care center that I had been going to and made myself an appointment. On September 28, the doctor called me and confirmed by fears. There were three areas of cancerous cells in my left breast and another suspicious spot on my right breast that they had not biopsied. She recommended a bi-lateral mastectomy. World. Crashing. Down. Around. Me. How was I going to tell my girls, my parents, my co-workers, my best friend? My husband had been making every step with me and knew what the voice was saying to me so he was as mentally prepared for the news as he could have been.
My surgery was on a Thursday - October 14, 2010. I was completely surrounded by my family and friends before and after. I felt truly loved and very much at peace as I went into the operating room and even during the two-day stay in the hospital. The minute I was released, however, was a completely different story. I am not quite sure how to explain it, but I know now that I was not at all emotionally prepared to handle this. I was not prepared for what the operation was going to do to my body and to my mind. Now, let me be clear, that in no way did I have a love affair with my breasts. When the doctor told me she had found cancer, I wanted them gone! No questions asked. None-the-less, when they were gone, I felt empty and hollow. On the way home from the hospital, my husband and I stopped at the pharmacy and he ran in to get my prescriptions. I decided to call my mom and let her know I was on my way home. The minute I heard her voice, I broke down. I remember saying, "I don't know what is wrong with me" and through her tears, she said, "I do. You feel violated." That was it. I felt violated. I felt wronged. This was not fair.
Fortunately, I had a supportive family, caring friends and faith in God. During those weeks after surgery, I bathed myself in His Word and it nourished me back to emotional health. I was amazed each day by the comforting words He would lead me too. Today, three months later, He still guides me to the words I need to hear. Here is a passage He led me to this morning. It is from Proverbs 8 and it is from The Message translation:
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely,
don't squander your precious life.
Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me,
awake and ready for me each morning,
alert and responsive as I start my day's work.
When you find me, you find life, real life
to say nothing of God's good pleasure.
Precious life - oh, how I know. I never want to squander it!