A few posts ago called April Showers – Month In Review, I mentioned something scary that was going on in my life. At the end of April, I found a spot on my breast. It wasn’t one of the typical lumps that would cause a person to be thinking cancer, but with both my paternal and maternal grandmothers having face breast cancer I wasn’t taking any chances. I went to see my primary care physician who prescribes a weeks worth of skin lesion antibiotics. The spot improved some but what was still there. Two weeks after that and nothing had changed, so back to the doctor I went. I had a full breast examination and wad referred to a dermatologist to see if it could be a skin issue. At this point, I just wanted an answer. I was starting to let my brain get inside of itself and would assume the worst of the situation. What if I had cancer?
This question circulated my thoughts several times. Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers had breast cancer, so it isn’t unlikely that I’ll have my own issues with the disease. Even so, my mind started racing with thoughts at the idea that I may have it, “I’m too young to get cancer, I’ll be strong enough to fight it, I’ve never been to a hospital or had surgery how am I supposed to go through chemo, what if they can’t get a diagnosis soon enough, what if I need a mastectomy.” These were all some of the thoughts that floated around in my skull in the darkness as I’d try to fall asleep. During the day, I was fine! I went to work, laughed with friends, and lived my life. It’s the quiet darkness where your mind begins to wander and slip into the bad, paranoid thoughts that are usually suppressed during the day. Some might say *cough* my mom *cough* that I’m an over-worrier when it comes to health-related issues and should never be allowed on WebMD. I think in this case I had somewhat of a right to be worried.
After two months of having this undiagnosable spot, I was referred to a dermatologist. The word “cancer” had been thrown around by my primary care a few times, but she wanted to see if it was a skin issue before sending me to have a breast ultrasound. The day before my birthday I went to the dermatologist. In under a minute of meeting the doctor, she said: “Alright, let’s get you numbed up and we’ll cut into this to get to the bottom of it.”…. yeah, not what I wanted to hear. Regardless, I laid back, had three needle pokes and waited for the numbness to kick in. The doctor came back in and sliced into me. Happy last day of 19 to me. Some happiness did kick in during this slightly traumatic experience because she said it was just a cyst. I never thought that having a cyst would make me feel relieved, but in this situation it did.
I can still feel the heavy sigh of relief I let out on that day. In the same sense, I honestly wasn’t sure how I should feel. I felt bad for everyone who didn’t get the same turn of events that I had received, which made me feel selfish for being happy for my own good news. I felt bad for everyone who has battled cancer or had someone close to them who has. Knowing how scared I was living with the slight possibility of having it made my heart break for everyone who actually does or did have to deal with it. I am praying for each and every person who is afflicted by cancer. I pray for strength for those afflicted, wisdom for those who are working to treat it, and compassion for those who can help. My worry was able to become relief, but that doesn’t happen as much as it should for everyone else. I thank God for each and every day I get to live a healthy, happy life. I just hope I’m using the time I have to make people smile, spread the good news, and be a positive force in this seemigly chaotic world.