Thursday, August 26, 2010

Facing the Truth

As I sit here and think about times in my past where I have been on the verge of receiving critical information, I am first taken back to each of my pregnancies... Is it a boy or a girl? Are they growing the way they should be? Or, when Talmage was opening up his test results from his Oral Boards... Pass or Fail? Or, waiting for test results of a loved one who is sick... Will he be okay or is this more serious than we expected? Each of these times and many more times I have thought about that small window of the "unknown" right before you get that critical information. How will I react if it's not favorable? What will I do? What will be the next course of action? Will I still have faith? On all of these occasions, thankfully, the results WERE favorable and I could breath deeply and peacefully knowing that all was well.
Today is a different kind of day, a different way of thinking. A realization that not all information comes back the way you hope. And in that moment of the unknown you have to prepare yourself for the possibility that it is not the information you want to receive. This is my personal account of that situation.
I actually don't know where this began exactly. I'll try to do my best. When I was towards the end of my pregnancy with Caleb, I felt a small lump in my left breast. We had it looked at with an ultra sound and it appeared to be nothing of significance. (that was another time of waiting for critical information) so we forgot about it. Now, 3 years later, I am pregnant with our 5th baby. At the very beginning of the pregnancy - even before we knew I was pregnant, I felt that same lump. I wasn't worried, but I noticed it. After discovering that infact I WAS pregnant - which is a beautiful miracle - we thought maybe the lump was a result of hormones and changing breast tissue. I went in for another ultra sound in January of 2010 and the images were really vague. Nobody seemed concerned, but thought we better follow up "just to be safe". Two days ago, I went in for a biopsy just so we could know that it was nothing serious and not have to think about it again. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Today the results came back. I had called Talmage a few times at work to see if he had gotten the results and he wouldn't answer his phone. I was anxious, but figured he had a busy schedule and would call me back with the negative results any minute. I went to lay down and a minute later, Talmage walked through the door with a serious look on his face. I instantly knew that this was serious enough for him to leave work and come home to tell me the test results in person. What a terrible thing for a husband to have to do. He was so brave and I love him so much for that. Before he said anything, I wanted that moment of the unknown to end the same as all of the other times. It didn't and now I have to face the "known". I have breast cancer. Wow! I said it. I acknowledge it. Technically I have "Invasive ductal cell carcinoma". Doesn't that just sound ugly? I loath it! So now that I have that information, what am I going to do about it? Pray, love and FIGHT.
On Monday, I go in for a consultation with the surgeon on what the best way is to go about getting rid of this. It is a very small tumor (8mm) however it is a level 3 which means it has gone through the wall. Our big prayer is that it has NOT spread to the lymphatic system. If that is the case, then they will remove the tumor and surrounding tissue, radiate it and be done! Hopefully this can all occur before the birth of our next baby which is due in 4 weeks. I can't wait to meet her. She must be so valiant to be coming to earth under these circumstances.
So here is what I know and believe. God loves me. He loves that I am a mother. He wants me to see and meet my potential. He loves me enough to test me and to help me become a better person. He loves my family. I know He sent His Only Begotten Son to the earth to set the example for us, to suffer the pains of the world for us, to give us a way to return to Him. I know I am not alone in this process and that gives me all the courage I need. I am grateful for these truths and for a family who loves me. As Talmage put it earlier, "we are in battle mode".

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