Spirituality

Comfort in God

"...He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be dismayed." Deuteronomy 31:8

It was the 5th of November, just an ordinary day. I had an appointment at Kaiser and then a scheduled lunch meeting with friends. As a matter of fact, it had been two weeks since my yearly mammogram. I received a letter requesting that I return to Kaiser for an ultrasound guided mammogram and biopsy.  I knew then that they had finally found something.

The reason I said finally found something is because the very first time I had a mammogram and returned to my doctor’s office to get the results; I was told that I had very fibrous breasts (lumpy). The doctor said he was going to make sure that my breasts were checked every year (around my birthday) for the rest of my life.  That was probably about twenty years ago. This very proactive doctor left Kaiser to follow his wife’s career.  I made sure all of my doctors were aware of my fibrous breast and his recommendation.

However, for several years I had been plagued with painful nodules in my breast.  Every time I visited the doctor, he would aspirate the nodule, send it to Pathology and then call me to tell me that there was nothing there.  In my heart of hearts, I felt like there was something wrong.  I continued to check my breast every month - two weeks after my monthly. Because around our period our breasts become very tender and it is normal to find painful fibrous nodules.

The Ultrasound-guided mammogram and biopsy were very interesting.  While the technician moved the wand over my breast, I was looking at the screen.  He gently said, “do you see it?”  I said yes!  He said he was going to place a needle inside the nodule and remove some tissue.  He stated that my doctor would contact me with the results.  The doctor came in and said she needed a few days to send the specimen to Pathology. She then asked me how I would like to be contacted with the results.  I said a simple phone call would suffice. 

 

My tone may seem a little cavalier, but I had already prayed to God to let His will be done.  Whatever, I had to face, I knew He would be there right by my side.

Two days later, I received the call that the nodule was, in fact, a cancerous tumor.  I do not remember being afraid, I just thanked the doctor for calling me.  My husband was out of town and would not be returning for a couple of days.  When he called me that evening I was very calm, not wanting to give him that kind of news over the phone.  I waited until he returned to give him the news.  However, all the while I was completely alone, the perfect opportunity to have that heart to heart talk with God.  God’s Word says, He will never leave us nor forsake, and He will be with us to the end.  I felt a calmness knowing that God would see me through this very difficult and stressful time... he did.  It has been ten years since I was diagnosed with first-stage breast cancer and underwent seven weeks of radiation.  Some say I am lucky I prefer to say, “I am blessed and highly favored”. 

God placed so many wonderful women in my life during my breast cancer journey.  These women were virtually strangers to me, they had been recommended by family and friends.  They made my breast cancer journey easier to bear.  Women of all ages called and offered me advice and comfort.  Because of them, I have always made myself available to speak with and share my cancer experience with others.  I have never refused to speak with any woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, even though I had never met her before.  Being a breast cancer survivor brings great responsibility.  We are required to share and comfort women who have been diagnosed with cancer. Even now, I never turn down an opportunity to share God’s blessings and my experience with breast cancer.  If I am able to help another woman facing cancer for the first time, then I see this as my Christian duty.  I always remind the women that God will be with them throughout the entire journey, if they let Him!

Mary Fletcher