Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Dark Cloud with a Silver Lining

This is the beautiful handmade and handwritten card my surgeon gave me.

I had finally gone and gotten my annual mammogram, after neglecting setting the appointment for several months.  It wasn’t purposefully, though that is never looked forward to, life is just busy.  Then they called me back for a diagnostic mamo.  This was not a surprise, as in my case with dense breast tissue, visibility is worse and they have done that before.  So there was nothing to be alarmed about.  After the close up shot, the radiologist recommended a needle biopsy.  Of course that is not what you want to hear, but after speaking to some friends I was not too concerned about the procedure.  They use a machine with a screen, locate the spot and the machine knows right where to go get it.  Gotta love technology!  I got it on May 8th and it wasn’t that bad.  The biggest pain was in my neck and shoulder due to the awkward position.  I wasn’t really worried but began to think “What If”.  Being that I am 51 and my Mom was 51 when she got breast cancer it seemed more possible.  Then the May 9th Daily Bread reminded me not to worry, “If God is for us, who can be against us. - Rom 8:31”.  Finally I gave a ride to a friend from work and he told me about a lady at work that had been through breast cancer, in case I ended up needing to talk to anyone.  All of this and some prayer had me prepared to hear the news.  I had peace and was not worried.
I got the confirmation on Monday.  They told me that it was small and low grade, which was good to hear but still a little vague.  Robin, at work, told me all about her experience.  She has been a great help and support and very sweet.  I called her highly recommended surgeon, Dr. Ingrid Sharon, on Tuesday and got in on a cancellation the very next day.  She was happy to give me the news that my cancer was Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) which means it is contained and not spread at all.  It is slow growing and so small that it cannot have even gotten to the lymph nodes.  All that means it is Stage 0 and no need for chemo!  Honestly, I didn’t even know there was a Stage 0.  Dr. Sharon was so informative providing me a whole notebook of information.  She was also very compassionate.  She has a nurse assistant that sets up all my appointments and is always available for questions.  Dr. Sharon even turned out to be a Christian.  She told me that the radiologist did a good job reading the mamo as it was not real obvious.  Thankfully the new digital mamos give better pictures.  Also, that they caught it because I had classifications which made it visible and look suspect.  Not everyone forms the classifications and they do not mean it is cancer, but they are more concerned when many are close together.  I only had 3 specs but they were close together. 
I am just so overwhelmingly thankful.  So many things have worked out for me.  I know the Lord is looking out for me.  Even in my mistake of neglecting to do the mamo on time, God was so merciful to me.  It may well have been that it might not have been seen for another year, had I gone on time.  God has also helped my family to trust him and not worry.  All my family, church family and friends have been so supportive and kind.  The surgery will be a challenge, but I cannot be anything but thankful.  As my dear Aunt Suellen said “There is always someone that has it a lot worse off than I”.  I know of many that are in my prayers daily.  I appreciate any prayers for me, but hope you also pray for so many others who also need help and healing more desperately than I.  So, go get your digital mamos ladies, thank God for technology and praise God for his goodness, kindness and mercy!