Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fear or Peace - a choice?

Finding a lump in my breast and other unsettling symptoms brings me to my gynecologist's office.

Confirming my fears as reality, she sends me for my first mammogram.

Nervous is an understatement.

Techno-genius Doug, the love of my life and my strength outside of Jesus, accompanies me to the appointment.

Assuming he could join me in the examination room, he stands up as they call my name.  "No sir, you can't come back."  WHAT?  I WANT him with me, HE wants to be with me. Why not? Turns out the other ladies sitting around wearing only a pink paper shirt that opens to the front, wouldn't appreciate his presence quite as much as I would.

Sitting back down, he kisses me; gives me a reassuring smile.

Off I go.  I get my own "locker" to hold my belongings and am handed a pink paper shirt of my own to put on.  Then I sit.

It's not long and I'm taken back for my mammogram.  The technician is kind and gentle. The overall experience nothing like I had imagined.

She and I agree - women make too much of this procedure - causing fear to keep many from getting needed exams done in a timely manner.

I'm released back to the waiting room where I chat with another woman awaiting her turn to be seen.  A bonus of this particular center is they give you the results prior to leaving the building.

Due to my other symptoms, an ultrasound is also in order.  Hence, I sit in my little paper shirt longer.

In anticipating a bit of anxiety, I had searched my Bible for a verse to carry with me.  John 16:27  "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" became my strength.  Especially as I sit here alone while my earthly strength sits in the other waiting room, also alone.

Sitting here - my imaginations running wild - I keep repeating this verse to myself.  Each time I recite it, my heart calms a bit more.

Witnessing other women getting their results brings both joy and sorrow.  Some receive happy news of a negative result.  Others are not as fortunate and their lives are forever changed in this small waiting room dotted w/pink paper shirts.

I believe it is sitting here watching others - who came in after me - get their exams AND results before I am called back for the ultrasound, that convinces me I do in fact have breast cancer.  Trembling wells up within me.

John 16:27 flashes once again through my memory. I purposefully claim the words.  Praying while repeating the words in my head.  I need to believe this verse before I begin to weep in despair.

Finally, I'm called back again.  The ultrasound is easy - having birthed 6 kids, this is not new territory.  {Ah yes, my 6 precious bundles:  it's their little faces, their smiles, their voices that make this whole ordeal NOT easy.  How could I be absent from the rest of their lives?}

What seems like moments later, I return again, to the waiting area.

Fears creep in many times as I sit, wait, and ponder.

More women receive their results - some good, some heartbreaking.  I have to add here, the center does a good job of keeping confidences, but a woman's face can speak volumes without a word ever being heard.

This may have been the hardest part of the whole experience.  Watching others get their results.  Not only does your heart rejoice or break for them, but it also opens the door for your mind to decide it's own results.  Usually leaning toward a death sentence in your near future.

Becoming increasingly anxious, I text both my husband in the other waiting room as well as a friend who had promised to pray.  My friend responds and assures me she is praying and gives me additional verses containing God's promises.

Calming the tears that threaten to spring forth from my eyes, the nurse finally appears and beckons ME to the locker area.  Heart beating, face flush, I stand up and follow her to the cubicle. Mind racing, I envision how I'll react to the news.

The results of my tests in her hand, she says, "Everything is fine.  Your results are negative.  Be sure to follow up in a year for your annual mammogram."

Grasping what she is saying, a few tears of joy and release make their way to the surface. I dress, now smiling, walk to the waiting room; this time it is me who gives Techno-genius a reassuring smile.  All is well.

We embrace; with a bit more spring in our step then when we arrived, arm and arm we float back to our car - relieved knowing we dodged this bullet.  Yet knowing if we hadn't, God would have walked us through because we have his peace if we'll only accept it.


  1. Would enjoy having you join us for 4H meeting this Thursday - we are meeting at our house (1421 St Clair).

    1. Thanks for the invite, Dwight. We have a pretty full day/evening on thur. What time do you meet? Maybe we could try to swing by for a bit after dinner. No promises. Would be fun to see everyone.


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