Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Living with Cancer Day 3

I've debated to myself about writing about my experiences these last three weeks...would it seem like whining? Would it help someone else who's going through it too? I'm hopeful that it will be of help to someone else someday who googles those words.

I woke up this morning and it hit me again....I have cancer. For almost three weeks, I woke up with the thought that I might have it and in my heart I knew I did those weeks of waiting.But now I know for sure.

Lent began wonderfully. I was inspired to do a better fast than I ever have; my prayerlife was flowing; I started doing my reconsecration to our dear Blessed Mother and it was having so much more meaning to me than ever. The consolations were flowing. Life was very good. Around week 3 of Lent, I started realizing that our dear Lord was getting me ready for something, but I didn't know what.

The first week in April, I scheduled my yearly mammogram and had it done on Friday, April 8th. I walked out of there not even thinking that there would be a problem but that it was just one of those things checked off on my list of things to do. My mom's 87th birthday was that weekend and I spent the next two days getting ready for her birthday party that I was hosting at our house. I was busy and the mammogram went to the back of mind. On Tuesday morning, I had a dental appointment. I had a tooth that needed a crown and I was dreading the procedure. My new dentist is a very nice man but slow. It took two hours of dental torture before he was finished.

When I got home, a message was on the answering machine. I needed to call the hospital where I had the mammogram done. And that's when it hit me; in my heart I knew.

I called and the woman told me quickly that I needed to have a diagnostic mammogram done on my left side and that scheduling would call me. Several hours later, a pleasant young man who seemed all flustered called me. I unfortunately would have to wait a week for it to be done. The waiting began...

The boys knew; they had heard the message on the machine. I called Mark and Beth. I told two of my brothers that I saw in the week ahead and I told a few close friends that I knew would pray for me.

My prayer life continued to go well but part of me knew what was coming. This would be something I could offer up.

I woke up with nervous anticipation on that Tuesday morning, April 19th. I went and had the same tech that I had done my first one. We talked of the terrible storm that we had had the night before. I sat in a waiting room, clutching my hospital gown around me while she went to show it to the radiologist. I sat and prayed for the strength to bear the words I knew were coming. She came back in and said that the radiologist wanted me to have an ultrasound. I sat and waited for ten minutes more until the ultrasound technician came.The radiologist came in and told me that it wasn't clear on the X-rays and that ultrasound would help them know if it was a cyst or solid.

She was a sweet young lady, young enough to be my daughter. I laid down on the table watching the screen while she searched for it and quickly it appeared. As soon as I saw it, I knew it wasn't a cyst. She told me it was small, less than a centimeter. It looked huge on that screen....

The radiologist came in, took one look, and said "It's definitely not a cyst. I don't know what it is."

I did.

It must have shown on my face. The technician grew quiet. The radiologist started explaining about having a biopsy done in a matter of fact way. I needed to see a surgeon first. My gp would call me and recommend someone. I quietly went back to the dressing room, quickly changed my clothes and walked out into the rainy day to my car, praying constantly. I sat in the car, called Mark and burst into tears. I calmed down...poor Mark...he has endured the times of my tears.

I called Beth; I called my friend Denise. I knew that she would call a few friends and start the prayers. Everyone kept telling me stories of how they had had a biopsy but it was benign. 80 percent of biopsies come back benign.....but someone has to be in those 20% that don't and I knew I would be one of them.

I had to wait another week to see the surgeon. Finally, last Thursday, April 28th, I had the biopsy. Not as painfree as I had been told to expect, but I got through it, praying constantly. I was laying on the table with the radiologist to my left, the ultrasound screen and tech to my right. There were only three places my eyes could go....up to the ceiling, on the doctor and the actual procedure or on the ultrasound screen. I alternated between the screen, the ceiling, and closing my eyes.....

I will write more later....a blessed day to all...

Jesus, I trust in You. heart


jordin said...

I am praying for you, Barb. May you shine God's love ot everyone around you during this time.

Beth said...

What an amazing attitude. Leo's godfather had stage 4 non Hodgkin's lymphoma last year and he's in complete remission after treatment. Ill ask him to pray for you and you can be assured of our prayers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I have been praying for you EVERYTIME I nurse Jack - that's when I get a lot of my prayer time in. Let me assure you, it's often!

You edify me. :-)

Natalee Z.