Monday, July 27, 2009

Diagnosis - Benign

This entry was written on July 27, 2009 but not posted at the time. I'm sharing it now because the message is still relevant.

Almost 3 weeks ago, I had a breast biopsy. I've had lots of cysts for years, and lots of repeat mammograms and ultrasounds and on two previous occasions I've had breast biopsies. The results of those previous biopsies were negative. So one might think that I'd look at this as a case of "ssdd" (same stick; different day). However, this time, I had more of a nagging feeling that perhaps my luck was running out, and this was going to be the biopsy to come back with a diagnosis - cancer.

I didn't tell anyone, other than my partner who went with me for the test, about this. I wasn't trying to hide anything, but I made a decision that I didn't want to give energy to the worry. I knew that people would naturally be concerned and caring and compassionate and "worry" that I might get bad news. I was concerned that their worry might rub off on me, and make it harder for me to remain optimistic and confident that no matter what the test result, I would be ok. I know that I don't want cancer, but I also know that if I get it (or have it), I will get through it.

Perhaps that sounds conflicted, and perhaps in a way I was. On one hand, I had my own "what if this time I don't get such good news" thoughts in my head, but most of the time I was able to respond, "if I do, I do and we will deal with it." I believe that God would be with me and that He'd provide loving care and comfort through the hands of my medical providers, friends and family and that healing takes many, many forms. By making the decision not to say anything until I knew the results, I didn't admit to anyone that I was battling the fear of the unknown. I didn't ask for prayers.

But I also didn't dwell on it. I was able to move on. No one brought it up because no one knew they should. This freed me to "put it away". There wasn't anything I was going to change by thinking, wondering, imagining, "what-if"ing and none of those would bring me any peace or joy.

So, I consciously decided not to decide I might be getting bad news. It's the opposite of what we seem conditioned to do; to imagine the worst, so we can be prepared for the worst. Where did we get that notion? Why wouldn't we be preparing for the best? Why spend 3 weeks stressing for nothing? What does it gain?
I don't want to imply that I didn't have moments of weakness and worry; I'm not a machine. I'm human, and it's natural to want to survive. However, when fear tried to creep in, I countered with faith, I reminded myself to be positive and believe that no matter what the outcome of the test, I am sure of the outcome that matters - I am in God's hands and He will be by my side ALWAYS!
I got my results today - and again, the cyst was benign. Needless to say, I'm relieved. I'm very happy with the news and very happy to be able to share that I understand the "temptation" to worry, but urge you to resist and rely on faith, have hope and be patient. Prepare for the best! It will make you feel better, I promise!

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