Monday, August 22, 2011

The Lump

How do I say this? I've contemplated that question a ridiculous amount of time over the past few weeks. It's amazing how someone who adores words, such as myself, can find them completely vanished just when they are most desired. Since I am at a complete loss, I will just tell it like it is and hope you all can understand my presence of mind at this moment.

One morning, a few weeks ago, I stood in the shower. You know how that goes. Shampoo the hair. Shave the pits. Stand there to feel the warm water streaming over your shoulders and down you back. But for some reason, this particular morning, I reckoned I should administer a breast exam on myself. Why did that pop into my brain on that morning when I've only given myself one, possibly two, breast exams in my entire life? I can't explain where this thought came from. Why, on that morning, did I feel the need to check myself? I had just been to the "female" kind of doctor for the first time in 6 years just a couple of weeks earlier and everything checked out normal. (Yes, I am ashamed to admit that I have a slight aversion to doctors and have not been to that kind since Chloe was born.)

Maybe I turned over a new leaf in regards to my health. Maybe seeing the doctor stirred up the need to take better care of myself. I don't know. But I determined to examine myself that very moment.

As my fingers traveled around my "you know what", I felt something like a large, cushy rock inside. I immediately rationalized that James needed to inspect the find before I made any rash judgements.

He arrived home and confirmed my suspicions.

I tried not to allow fear to enter my heart. I really did try. My attempts failed miserably, but I want you all to know I tried. I am still trying. But it is there, mocking me, chiding me, gloating over me when I fail to evict it.

I am scared.

We made an appointment with my "lady" doctor and she immediately confirmed. Yes, there is a good sized lump in my breast. Oh, but not to worry. It doesn't "feel scary". Most likely a cyst.

Fear sent its barbed hooks further into my soul.

Last week I suffered my first mammogram and an ultrasound. I laid there thinking, "Ultrasounds are supposed to be used to view babies. Not lumps in breasts. This is all backwards." I longed to be in a different room, seeing a baby through that monitor. Not a rock in my breast.

A silent tear stole down my cheek.

The technician walked in with a clipboard and calmly stated that it, "doesn't look scary." Again with that word. I am scared out of my wits. Doesn't anyone understand that? So what if the lump doesn't "look scary"! I just had some stranger groping my breast! I AM SCARED!


She said that word. The word alone can freeze a heart. It froze mine.

So what if the lump doesn't "look scary." Oh, for joy! I get a giant needle stuck down into my breast! And they say I don't need to be scared. Ha! Anyone who says that should have a giant needle stuck in their breast. Just because.

So, the biopsy occurs in a couple of hours. This very morning. My throat has constricted so much so that I can hardly swallow my coffee. Tears perch on the brink, ready to spill over.

And still I try to keep fear at bay. Fear has sent his icy fingers deep down into my soul. I cannot live by fear. I must eradicate it. I must turn my eyes to Jesus. He had reason for fear! He sweat blood before his crucifixion. You cannot tell me he wasn't feeling some sort of emotion there. And you know what? He will walk me through this. He will stay by my side. He alone has what I need to get through this morning.

So, if you know me in person and you happen to see me around and you ask how I am doing and I respond, "I'm fine." please understand that those are probably the only words I can speak at the moment. Please don't ask further. Please talk about sewing projects or your favorite flavor of coffee or what you cooked for dinner last night. And please know that I am fine. I am. I am fine. I could be worse. I could be better.

So there. I said it. I probably didn't use the right words and you might not understand everything I am going through. But I said it.

I have a tumor in my breast. I am fine.


Lea said...

Yes, I have walked there my friend... I know the fear, God knows the fear.... Just do the next thing.... Now, lets talk about my garden while I silently send prayers heavenward...

Love you

Susan Harrison said...

My prayers are with you Anna.

P. C. Martin said...

Fight fight fight!!! We're with you, Anna.

"Who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."

kopfmom said...

Dear heart, know that I care and the fear is normal. Some day you will look back on this time and see how our loving Savior took care of you tenderly, and loved you with an everlasting love through this whole scarey phase of your life. He loved you enough to die for you and He loves you enough to be with you every step that you take. You know we pray and you know that we love you too. Take courage and continue to put your hope in HIM. Love, Mom

Jean said...

Anna, I will be praying for you.

Lindsay said...

Anna, you have been on my mind all day after reading this. I am so thankful that you know Jesus and lean to Him to carry you, comfort you, and heal you. I am also so thankful that He's allowed James to be home with you as you begin to deal with all of this. I know that having health problems is not just a physical battle; your mind is a constant battlefield too. If you ever find the words to talk and would like a friend to share with in your stormy days, I am here to support you in any way needed. If you don't want to talk and would rather sew or scrapbook, we still need to reschedule a fun day together. Praying...

Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

I wish I had something brilliant I could write to you and make you feel all better. Sadly, there is nothing I can say to do that. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you travel through this valley. May God's peace and presence be very real to you right now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna--do your best to stay strong. We are all thinking of you and praying for you. You can get through this.
love Marian xxx

Anonymous said...

Anna - I am sending prayers your way. I honestly know exactly what you are going thru. In 2009 after returning from China with Kaegan we had a whirlwind of medical events. Marty survived 12+ pulmonary embolisms, Kaegan had 3 surgeries,one being heart surgery and in October of that year I discovered a large tumor in my breast. I know what you are emotionally going thru. My biopsy came back questionable meaning that after taking the biopsy there was still a 50% chance of it being cancer. After all we had been thru I told the doctor to perform surgery to remove it. Thankfully it was not cancer. That month was a rollercoaster ride.

The nurse at the doctors office wrote to me an a sticky before leaving my first appointment
Jer. 29:11. I am passing this on to you. I will keep you in my prayers. - Tiffany

Sarah said...

You are in my prayers Anna.

Ally said...

I hope it turns out to be nothing. I know how scary it is. I don't do breast exams either and hate going to the "lady" doctor. I have lumpy breasts (Fibrocystic) and freak out everytime. I'm sure it's nothing. You create beautiful things, keep on creating!

Bluebell Woods said...

I too have been there. Yes it is scary. I am sure you will get a lot of well meant advice just listen and know that it is love that makes people want to help. You have your own road to travel and not much that anyone else says can help but you are on the right track. Jesus can give you strength and comfort. Hold on to His hand and He will lead you through.

Songbird25 said...

My prayers are with you, Anna, and I have put your link on my crochet website, I will be sending you something dear that I know you will like.
Take care and Go bless you,
P.S. Please let me know your address so I can mail you this gorgeous item.

(((((HUGS))))) sandi said...

Thank you for sharing this! I found something this week, but I've also been suffering from mastitis and plugged ducts, but I've never felt something this large before. Waiting for everything to clear and then examine again... No insurance! LOL! But really am thinking it's nothing scary. "Biopsy" scares me to death! How was that part of it?