In Part I I told about the day I found a lump in my breast. Here’s what happened after:
Nothing looked brighter the next morning. Wayne was a mess, and at first this freaked me out more. I needed him to pull it together. I needed him to be strong to carry me through. Or so I thought.
When I called the doctor that morning, she got me right in. Wayne could not get off work to come with me so I had to go alone. The doctor also freaked at the size of the lump and scheduled an emergency mammogram and ultrasound. I went directly to that facility and had to wait alone to be seen, and then afterwards alone while that doctor interpreted the results.
As I waited to hear my fate, I called Wayne to give him an update on what was happening. He immediately started crying the moment he heard my voice. I felt so bad. But it made me realized I had two options.
Option A: I could let this thing get the better of me.
Option B: I could embrace this challenge and resolve to believe unfailingly in a favorite saying: “All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of thing shall be well.”
I chose Option B.
I Will Survive
I was the one who was facing sickness, but Wayne was the one who was going to need the most nurturing. In a weird way that empowered me.
I had something besides my lump to focus on. I had my marriage. I had our memories, both the ones past and the ones we still had yet to make. I had a lot of life worth living and something like a potentially cancerous lump wasn’t going to stop me from doing that.
When the doctor finally came to see me, I took a deep breath and held it until he was finished explaining my condition.
It was not a tumor. It was a massive cyst. It happened to be rubbing up against the nerve by nipple, which is why it was causing me such excruciating pain.
I could have it drained, or I could leave it, depending on what I wanted. I would not need chemo, or a mastectomy, or anything else to treat it. I was going to be fine.
I chose not to drain it. A friend who’s a nurse practitioner said draining cysts does not make them go away, and often when you drain them they come back even larger.
I decided to leave mine be and had faith in time it would go away.
It did. Not entirely, I know. That’s not how it works. But it’s shrunk back to an undetectable level.
But one thing that did grow was my faith in Wayne and our marriage and my commitment to both. I now like to think of the lump as a blessing in disguise –a scary one, but a blessing nonetheless. It reminded me of how many I have to count.