This go-round had me feeling more anxious.
This go-round had me feeling more uncertain.
This go-round had me contemplating too many ‘what-ifs.’
This go-round just seemed too familiar.
In the midst of this time, I had been reading and meditating upon these words:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. New International Version, Colossians 3: 1-2
As I anticipated my next mammogram and ultrasound, I kept asking my God to help me lift my gaze above the anxiety, above the uncertainty, and over the waves of ‘what-ifs’ to help me see my Savior and to help steady me.
If you have followed my story, in the past two years, my last two mammograms and ultrasounds had both identified something. The first of the two screenings led to a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and radiation treatments in 2012. Last year’s screening led to another biopsy with the results coming up benign. This year, as I waited for the next mammogram screening, I was surprised by the intensity of my worry and concern.
The past two times I entered the examination room, I believed I was just fine. I envisioned myself leaving the room with a clean bill of health like every other time. In both situations, I was wrong.
This go-round,though, I didn’t have that feeling of assurance. If anything, I wondered, what will be found this time? And if something is found, what does that mean for me next in this journey with cancer?
As I lay on the examination table this morning, Dr. Ritz relayed her concern to me once again, “Heather, I’m troubled by what I see here.”
I didn’t cry. Worry and fear didn’t overcome me. I’d been here before. I had heard similar concerns the past two years. Instead of being afraid and worried over the ‘what-ifs’, like I had been earlier in the week, I was now listening to reality. What I didn’t know was what we were going to do about it.
Dr. Ritz explained that there was more suspicious, indeterminent tissue in the same region where surgery had been performed and radiation treatments had been administered in 2012. It was the same area where the biopsy had been performed last year, too.
She said, “I need to keep an even closer eye on you, Heather. I don’t like that we keep finding something. I want to see you again in six months and perhaps that will provide us with more direction on what to do next.”
I left her office feeling relieved that we don’t have to take action now; at least this is her opinion. However, I will see my oncologist on Monday and we’ll discuss this latest turn of events and get his opinion too.
For now, I wait.
For now, I …set my heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. I choose to set my mind on things above, not on earthly things, not indeterminent tissue, not suspicious matter, not cancer, not anxiety, not worry, and certainly not any more ‘what-ifs.’
Because if I do set my heart and mind upon the uncertainty, the fears, and the many ‘what-ifs,’ my heart and mind are filled with discouragement and despair.
That’s not who I am.
I am a child of Hope.
I am a child of Strength.
I am a child of Joy.
I am a child of Faith.
And like a child, I lift up my eyes to my Savior who takes my hand on this cancer journey, and we keep walking….
Photo by Cris Rose of Flickr