It’s funny how we can look at something our entire life and only see it one way. Like the familiar abbreviations of B.C. and A.D.
These have been used for centuries to differentiate how history is recorded in different eras. I am using them a little differently here, as a way to define a huge life-changing event of my own. The idea for this came to me right after I was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 6th. Suddenly my life was defined by, B.C. before cancer and A.D. after diagnosis.*
No one ever wants to hear these words, “there were cancer cells found in your breast biopsy”. So when the surgeon delicately shared these dreaded words with me, all I remember doing is nodding my head and saying, “okay”.
I know that I also instantly started to sweat, then my mouth went dry and I’m pretty sure my eyes were as big as saucers. It all seems surreal now, almost like I was on the outside looking in. Because no matter how you try to prepare yourself for something like this, you just can’t.
My daughter, Elecia had kindly offered to meet me at this appointment to get my biopsy results from the lumpectomy I had on February 28th.
But, due to traffic and road construction, her arrival to the appointment was delayed by a few minutes.
The nurse had escorted me to the examining room earlier than I had anticipated. So I was by myself when the surgeon came in with his assistant to talk to me. I didn’t even think to ask, “can you wait until my daughter gets here?” as I was anxiously awaiting an answer.
The surgeon had literally just walked into the room and shared the results with me when Elecia’s soft knock on the door sounded her arrival.
As soon as I saw her sweet face peek around the door and her shining blue eyes look into mine, I could not contain my tears any longer.
I was honestly surprised I had kept it together that long! Thankfully with her support, I composed myself quickly so that we could listen together to the diagnosis and recommendations.
Not only am I forever grateful that my Elecia went to support me I have the added benefit of her being a nurse.
Her ability to understand the terminology was extremely helpful. She also knew which questions to ask and she listened intently to the answers for me. She even brought my two granddogs with her so they could cheer me up after the appointment!
My surgeon is a very compassionate and skilled doctor and was exceptionally reassuring that we caught this cancer early and that it is treatable.
My pathology report showed that a 5mm ER/PR+ invasive ductal cancer was removed from my left breast with only a narrow negative margin.
That said, I will need another surgery soon. At which time they will remove more breast tissue and some sentinel lymph nodes to make sure it hasn’t spread. I may have to undergo radiation as well, but I won’t know this until I meet with the oncologist after the surgery.
I am very blessed to have such a wonderful support system with my family and friends. Plus I have a very strong faith in God that keeps me positive.
I was thinking before I began writing this post that I will not look at this diagnosis with a “why me?” attitude, but instead with an attitude of “why not me, what is your purpose for me, God?”
Maybe I am going through this so that I can help other people. I don’t know for sure, but I will do my best to use this as an opportunity to grow personally.
I will make the most of this situation as best as I can. My current perceptions of this are that I am cancer free due to the lumpectomy AND that no more cancer cells will be found in the biopsy following the next surgery.
I have to admit there are times as I am going about my daily life that this still hits me like a ton of bricks.
I’m sure as time goes on that feeling will lessen. I know that this could have been so much worse than it is. I truly am thankful that I was told it is treatable. My heart breaks for those who get a much more serious diagnosis. I pray they have the support they desperately need.
My sister, Donni is a breast cancer survivor. She is one of the most courageous women I know and a true inspiration to me! She has been a wealth of knowledge and her incredible love and support know no bounds.
There are no words great enough to express my gratitude for ALL the kindness I’ve received. My family, my co-workers and my friends have been so supportive. The words THANK YOU just don’t seem to be enough!
If you are going through breast cancer or any condition, there are many people out there who love and support you! You are not going through this alone, reach out to them.
Please don’t forget to get your mammograms as recommended by your physician!
I appreciate you following along and I look forward to what this life brings!
*Please Note: There is no intent to disrespect the original meaning of these abbreviations.
I’ve had a few people ask if I painted the pictures in this post, I did not. I sure wish I did though! I did, however, take the photos that I used to create these watercolors with. Apple has an app By Tinrocket, LLC that you can purchase called, Waterlogue that allows you to turn your photos into watercolors!
I have not received any compensation from them for this info. This is just my personal opinion.