Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The six words that strike fear into every woman's heart

The six words are not "I'm leaving you for another woman." (Although I have heard the words "I'm leaving you for a man," but I got through that with God's help.) The six words that strike fear into every woman's heart are "We saw something on your mammogram."

I heard those six fearful words myself on December 23. (Two days before Christmas - what crummy timing!) My 13 year old son and I were out Christmas shopping that day and when we returned home, there was a message on the answering machine from a nurse at the hospital, requesting that I return her call. I knew that the news would not be good, because they only call if the news is bad. The nurse told me that the mammogram revealed an asymmetrical patch of dense tissue on my left breast above the nipple. I am scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound of my left breast on January 15. My GYN told me that these are benign more likely than not. Some comfort.

I cried for the next half hour after I hung up the phone. My son (a/k/a Mr. Insensitive) said, "Are you done being sad now?" :rolleyes My mother died of metastatic breast cancer in 1997, which means I have a 50% risk of getting breast cancer. Because of my family history, I had a baseline mammogram at age 35 and have had a mammogram every year I turned 40 (I am now 48).

I started prayer threads for myself on 2 Christian message boards, and I have other friends praying for me as well. I am trying not to let fear get the best of me. Whatever happens, I pray the Lord uses it for His glory. If I do have cancer and it is caught early enough, I have a very good chance of survival. I feel the power of prayer as my fear seems to be easing.

I'm not writing this blog post for you to feel sorry for me. I would like to urge you, however, if you are a woman over the age of 40 (or know someone who is), make sure that you get an annual mammogram. There is a widget below that you can click on to help contribute to the American Cancer Society.

Thanks for reading! See you again soon!