I guess it's only appropriate. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Well, technically, it wasn't quite October, I first discovered the lump on Tuesday, September 26 while sitting in the car waiting for Mike to finish a job. I was nearly finished reading Louise Penny's newest book, "Glass Houses." I stoped for a few minutes, leaned back in the car seat and rested my right hand on my left breast. Oh. What was that? A lump. One I had never felt before. Let's try again - yes, it's still there. When Mike returned to the car, I didn't reveal my discovery - no need to worry him about something not yet known, but I was happy for a previously scheduled appointment with my PCP on Thursday. Another bullet point to add to the list to discuss with her.
On Thursday, September 28, the Seinfeld actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, announced she had breast cancer. Not really a believer in omens, this one did make an impression.
After discussing all the insignificant aches and pains I had been accumulating during, what my PCP would sarcastically describe as what was scheduled as a "well" check up, I told her about my discovery. My last mammogram had been two years ago (so I was due for another one) and she had performed a thorough breast palpation exam last year, so she expressed great concern with this new development. After my appointment, my PCP faxed orders for a diagnostic mammogram to be done ASAP.
While still in my PCP's office parking lot, I called the imaging establishment and was able to make an appointment for the time it would take to drive to their location. A good friend from church works at this company - it was reassuring to visit with her between the 3-D mammogram and ultra sound. Once the procedures were complete, compete with looks of worry and concern from the technicians and the on-site radiologist (who shared her thought that I would be having a biopsy in the near future), I was sent to wait in the office to receive a CD of the imaging. As I waited, I sent a text message to a group of friends I have leaned on since grade school - some I have known since I was three years old.
That evening, I shared my news with Mike, Sarah, and Sam.
My PCP called me bring and early Friday morning and explained the next steps. She had reviewed my scans was was concerned. She would be forwarding my scans and preliminary report to the breast radiologist specialists at University of Kansas Medical Center's Breast Cancer Center for their review and recommendations regarding further evaluation. She also explained I should expect a call from a Nurse Navigator from the Breast Cancer Center. Her role would be to guide me through upcoming maze of appointments and tests, to serve as a resource for questions I might have (about my diagnoses or services provided by the Breast Cancer Center), and to listen when I just needed to talk. A truly great program with even better caring and compassionate people.
The Nurse Navigator called later that morning. If the breast radiologist recommended further testing, she would be the one helping me set up biopsy and ultra sound appointments. Although she was open to answering more questions about all the possibilities, we jointly decided it was best to concentration on one step at a time and not to get entangled with what may happen.
So here, on the cusp of October i am wondering what Breast Cancer Awareness Month holds for me.
Throughout this ordeal, my trust and faith and confidence have been and will continue to be in the sovereignty and power and lovingkindness and mercy of my Savior, Jesus Christ. My Sunday School class has been going book by book overviewing the themes and events of the Old Testament. Recently the Lord reminded me of a beloved passage from the book of Habakkuk I have claimed this message as my heart song. From Eugene Peterson's, The Message:
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the cherry trees don't blossom and the strawberries don't ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God's Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I'm king of the mountain!
As a child, I was not much of a gymnast, however I could turn a mean cartwheel. When contemplating a name fore my Caring Brigde site, Cartwheels of Joy was a early logical choice.
As you can see, currently (November 15) there are many gaps in my journal. Throughout the next few weeks, I will fill you in on the myriad of details for our first six weeks of this journey and you will begin to realize why it has taken so long to get functional, I'm doing this primarily for my own benefit and memory. but also for any who might want to follow my story from the beginning. May God be glorified as He holds my hand and carries me close to His heart on this journey,
Singing joyful praise to God while turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. dls