May 25, 2014
The good news is I’ve been wondering what book I’ll write next. This might be it. I’m toying with “Cancer is a Bitch!” for the title. I’m quoting my daughter, who’s also fighting the disease. The bad news is I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. It’s been 30 years since my last mammogram. I should have had one 16 years ago. I waited until two weeks ago. I have become an object lesson!
This is my story of overcoming the next Goliath. I know it’s a story of survival, because I am a survivor. I have survived my own and others’ battles with mental illness, divorce, addiction, health issues, death and just last year stared down a pulmonary embolism and won. Really it’s not me that’s the strong one. It’s Heavenly Father. I’ve just learned what to hand over, and what is up to me. I’ve learned the power of love, prayer and priesthood blessings, and inspired medical teams with cutting edge technology at their fingertips.
I’m grateful for it all. The friends who encourage me with words like “fight like a girl” and “you’ve got this” and “whatever you need”. The family members who are at the other end of the journey I am just beginning, who’ve already kicked this disease’s backside to the curb. The doctors and nurses, the radiologists and lab techs ready to take this cancer (I refuse to call it “mine”) and toss it out with tomorrow’s trash. Like Audrey, whose firm “I’ll handle it from here”, put me at ease while she performed the mammogram that likely saved my life. The son and daughters who are here at my door within minutes of hearing my news. I’m deeply grateful for them all!
I’ve been in a lot of hard places, carried heavy loads and had mine carried. I’ve had my name whispered in prayers in many temples, and even more homes. And I’m constantly in prayer for others. I believe in prayer, and I’m planning to spend a lot more time on my knees. Right now I’m praying it was caught early enough. I’m praying that I can handle the nausea, and that I’ll get to keep most of my hair. And I’m praying every woman I know will learn a lesson from my experience.
Have a mammogram. Have them regularly. And be grateful for even the worst results…for therein lies God. I can’t wait to see what blessings come next.
Remind me I wrote this when I’m cursing chemo, will you?