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Today, October 30, 2017, I've decided to tell my story.
On Sunday, May 21, 2017, I was at home by myself in my tshirt and warmups---no bra. I was performing my normal homemaker duties when one of my sons put his key in the lock on the front door to enter our home and instead of running to my room to put on a bra, I modestly covered my chest with my arm. As I did so, I realized that the right breast that my hand was resting on felt something HARD. I couldn't believe what I was feeling. I raised my hand above my head and began to perform a breast exam...just as I'd done the month before. It was obviously a lump. I could not believe what I was feeling. As a nurse, I immediately went into manage this mode. I jumped online, registered with Ochsner Hospital's radiology department for a mammogram for the following Wednesday. I got in my car and traveled to my mother's home to tell her what I've found.
Fast forward to Wednesday. My mammogram was painful for the right breast. The technician asked me to remain in the screening room until she spoke with the radiologist. I knew that something was wrong if she asked me to stay for an ultrasound. She returns and tells me that the radiologist feels that I will benefit from an ultrasound as my lump was a little abnormal. Well, a little abnormal registered as HUGELY ABNORMAL in this case. There was no such thing as a little abnormal when it comes to a mammogram. I left my appointment feeling disheartened, but I have the strongest faith that GOD would keep me regardless of the outcome. Thursday morning, I went to work as normal. It is 8:00am. I'd arrived to work a few minutes before and was getting ready to take on the day. I was guessing that I'd hear something about my mammogram on Friday. Well, my cell phone rings and I recognize the Ochsner phone number. It's the Nurse Practitioner telling me that she will need me to come in to see her. I remember saying, 'Sure. When would you like to schedule me? I work right down the street from you' Her answer...'If you can make it in the next few minutes it would be great. I need you to come in as soon as possible'. Needless to say, I
leave work to face my fear. I'm shaking. I call my sisters to tell them what is going on. My older sister stated that she will meet me there.
I'm in the lobby...waiting. The butterflies are making me nauseous. They call my name to see the Nurse Practitioner.
I'm strong and I CAN DO THIS!
I'm a few minutes into my appointment and both of my sisters arrived. The Nurse Practitioner is telling me that my mammogram and ultrasound yields results consistent with breast cancer. She wants to do a biopsy. All of sudden she sounds like the teacher character from the Peanuts cartoon. I hear whomp, whomp, whomp and my heart beating in my ears. I search my sister's face and one looks grim and concerned and the other has the "matter-of-fact" look. My heartbeat slows down and I can hear again. I hear the words '... biopsy to determine what type of cancer it is'. The sister with the "matter-of-fact" look reminds me that God has me.
My mind is racing as I hug my sisters goodbye. I'm trying to figure out how I will tell my children and my mother. This will devastate them. I drive home. As I'm on the interstate I say out loud that GOD, YOU HAVE THE LAST REPORT! HOW WILL THIS END?