Friday, April 24, 2009

a word I never thought I would speak with such joy

Benign.

I have been waiting for a while to post about this because I wanted to have news first. The news is: The lump on my left breast is benign.

The ordeal started roughly a month ago when I noticed a small lump. A few weeks later I noticed it had gotten bigger, so I scheduled a visit with my nurse practitioner. She felt the lump and thought it was okay, but wanted to be sure, so she sent me to a specialist.

I went to the specialist this past Tuesday. I was scheduled for an ultrasound, and I ended up having an ultrasound and 3 mammograms. Then they had me come back on Wednesday for a biopsy.

After 2 long days of waiting, I got a call at about 7:20 this evening, letting me know that I do not have breast cancer.

The relief is incredible. But the really incredible thing is what has happened over the last week and what I have seen God do in my life.

Of course my human nature has had me nervous throughout the ordeal, but I really have had a peace that passes all human understanding through it all. God has been with me in a very real, very comforting way.

Today I realized that, no matter what the diagnosis, I was ready to trust in God and His plan. None of this has been a surprise to Him, and if He decided that I should have breast cancer at age 25 and pregnant, I actually would have completely trusted that.

I realized it today and I was having a very honest discussion with my mom. I told her that no matter what the news, I didn't think I would be shocked or even really surprised at all. I was prepared for anything the Lord had in store, truly. She confessed that she understood and actually felt the same way. We talked about what would happen if I were to leave my earthly body behind, and although I felt melancholy about the prospect of leaving my child(ren) without a mother, I felt comfort and peace that he/they would be cared for, and that they would be okay.

With that, over the last 24 hours I have truly realized what my family means to me. My WHOLE family, and of course specifically my husband and my son. I ADORE THEM. I adore them so much. And I think I just felt the depth of it for the first time today. Literally. For the first time.

Within minutes of realizing that fact, the doctor called to let me know that I do not have cancer and that the only "treatment" required would be a follow-up ultrasound in 1 year.

So I am spared, at least for now, and I am so thankful. I am so thankful for the peace God has given me through this whole thing and I am so thankful for the new insight I have because of it. I have truly grown through this trial, and I am so, so joyful because of that.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. [James 1:2-3]

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see [Him], yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of [your] souls. [1 Peter 1:6-9]

I realized that, compared to actually fighting cancer, my "trial" was pretty weak. But it did the trick. It made me focus on the Prize--it made me focus on Jesus.

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