Today I find out if I have breast cancer.
In the bathroom my husband and I had the conversation you never want to have… I don’t want to mess around with chemo and radiation and wonder if they got it all. Wondering and waiting.
He said if I wanted to he would support me having a double mastectomy.
I am a blessed woman.
Whether or not the biopsy results are positive or negative, I thought it would be important to prepare myself for the reality that someday it is nearly certain I will have cancer. I have a family line of beautiful people who just all seemed to get variations of the disease. My mother is a colon cancer and skin cancer survivor. Over the years I have overheard too much. I have seen my mother waiting by the phone wondering when her sister would call with results from the latest test. I have heard my mother try to give advice to a family member who was too worn out to take cancer-friendly diet advice. So this letter is to a future me, before my mind is mush and all I can think is the big-C.
I can’t imagine what you must be going through right now. You have many decisions to make and your mind is swirling. Take just a moment to read this and re-focus. You need to breathe and remember Truth. I am outside of the chaos and I am here to remind you what matters. Listen.
You have nothing to prove. It’s okay to be weak and needy. Don’t worry about keeping it all together right now. Reach out to your church and small group. His Radio loves you and they want to support you. Your kids love you. Your husband is a hard worker and he is strong. He has proven time and again he is fully capable around the house. Let him be.
God isn’t to blame. Don’t waste your emotional energy here. God is with you to help you walk through circumstances. Sometimes He allows you to escape pain and sometimes the pain has character-building purpose. Assume that’s what’s going on. Are you going to grow? Are you? That’s where to put your emotional energy- Fight to grow in Christ!
Don’t let worry control you! You and I both know this has been a life-long battle for you. Check out these words from Pastor Perry Noble:
“One of the few things we do have control over is what we choose to think about. The enemy doesn’t want us to be focused on Christ or his Word. He wants us to focus on our circumstances. If he can get us focused on our circumstances, he can keep us in bondage to worry, fear and anxiety.”
Action Point: Re-read Perry Noble’s book: Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry.
Man up! Quit whining. You know what I’m talking about. You are going to come to a point when you have to decide whether or not to try something new. You have to decide to get out of bed, to go to work, to go to church, to go on vacation… Do it. I know you want to baby yourself. Use wisdom, but take risks and get back into life. When you look back you don’t want to have regrets because you let babying yourself keep you from living. You may be tempted to use Cancer as a badge to make people baby you. Deal with the fact that other people have a life and the world doesn’t not revolve around you. Put on your big girl panties and cook supper!
God has things for you left to do. Every day you have breath is a day He has purpose for you. Your serving may look different now. Remember you are not defined by your career. God isn’t just happy with you when you produce what you may consider “big ministry stuff.” Look around and see what you can do right where you are.
Brittney, I hope you take these words to heart and understand the love from which they were written. Clear your mind and focus on Christ. He will get you through.
Brittney, October 5, 2014
This afternoon I received a phone call about 30 minutes before I was supposed to go to my appointment…”We are sorry but we haven’t received your pathology report yet.” UGH! I took the advice of my friend Gail from the office and decided to camp out in the doctor’s waiting room. They had told me they would call me as soon as pathology had returned their call. Once the doctor learned I was in the waiting room she quickly reached pathology and was able to get me a preliminary answer. I will need to have surgery, but the spot is pre-cancerous- not full-blown cancer. I will need to have 3D imaging for all future mammograms because I am a high risk patient. (Also kudos to the doctor who was kind enough to do an upon request ultrasound of my other breast prior to scheduling this upcoming surgery.) Thank you so much for all your prayers. I would appreciate your prayers for my upcoming surgery. I will keep you up to date!