A couple of weeks ago, I felt a large mass in my breast. I had just checked my breasts in the shower on Sunday. On Tuesday, I had a throbbing sensation near the lower part of my breast that I knew was not there before. I immediately called my doctor. All of this happened during a time when everything, of course, was going my way. I have an interest in contracts and had begun shadowing at a wonderful engineering firm here in the city with a group of people who have become like family. I’m learning so many new things and being challenged everyday. I’m meeting awesome people and making connections. My kids and family are doing well, and life is great. Then, there was the lump. As you can imagine, I had all sorts of things going through my mind. The first was that it was benign and that I would live to raise my children. I would be here to attend SJ’s ballet recitals and teach Nyla her alphabets, colors, and shapes. I would grow old with my husband and we would enjoy our golden years together. I kept repeating the scripture, “With long life, He will satisfy me!” I stood on the promises of God, meditated, prayed and kept an attitude of gratitude and faith. On the other hand, there was that nagging voice in my head, “What if it’s not benign? What if someone else has to raise my children? What if…?” I knew that I had to be proactive and I had to overcome the negative voices in my head.
I went to the doctor, and she could see the lump when I laid on my back. Yes, it was that big, and it was sore. Many people say that breast cancer doesn’t hurt, but that’s not true. My mother had pain in her breast and so did my neighbor. Please, make sure you don’t let your doctor tell you that. My doctor felt the growth and stated it felt like a cyst, but she wanted confirmation. This was on a Thursday, so I knew I wanted to see a radiologist before the end of the following week. I scheduled an appointment with the radiologist on Monday, and off I went. It seemed as if the weekend would never end. Monday could not come soon enough. My mother-in-law and sister were praying, and by Monday morning, the growth was noticeably smaller. It was decreasing in size, but I still wanted to have it examined by a specialist.
Monday was gloomy and rainy, but I was determined to stay upbeat. The 20-minute drive felt like 2 hours.
I went into the radiologist’s office and was whisked away into this little room with plush pink and green robes and a locker for my belongings. I kept fighting the negative thoughts and reaffirming myself with scriptures and positive thoughts. I was called into the back, and the tech took pictures for what seemed like an eternity. The tech walked out and brought the doctor back in with her. I sat up and prepared to hear her findings, but she told me to lie down again. I tried not to think about it, but I don’t ever recall the doctor coming in and taking over the ultrasound when I had my breasts examined before.
I looked to my left and saw a box of Kleenex. I wondered how many women received news that they did not want to hear and shed tears in that office. How many women’s lives were forever changed because of a mammogram or ultrasound that was not favorable? “God, I trust you,” I thought to myself. At that moment, the doctor pulled out an even smaller magnifying tool and stated, “We have never had to use this.” At this point, I’m thinking, “Oh my God. They ‘never’ have to use this — until now? Why do they have to use it on me? Is this a bad thing? Is she trying to confirm something?!?!” Don’t act like your mind has never gotten the best of you before. I calmed myself and remember vividly thinking, “God, I trust you.” Then, I heard those words, “The good news is that you don’t have anything to worry about. It was only a cyst, and what I’m feeling now are just blood vessels that are apparently decreasing in size due to the cyst shrinking.”
Praise God! It was only a cyst, but my outlook on life would never be the same. I know that might sound weird, but I had found lumps in my breast before, and the majority of women find benign lumps all the time. This time, it was just different. Maybe it was because I now have two little girls and a husband to think about. This ordeal just made me more aware of the blessings and the little things in life — SJ twirling, flipping and showing me her “ballerina toes”, Nyla clapping and acting out “Wheels on the Bus”, or my husband kissing me when he is leaving for work in the morning and returning in the evening. The daylight coming through my window even took on a new meaning. This morning, my YouTube attempt at a “twist out” turned into a “pull back”. I put on a scarf and did not think twice. Why worry about it? The sky is blue, a nice breeze is blowing, and God is good. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade and wear a cute scarf (and cute shoes)! Never mind the fact that the guys at work called me Erykah Badu all day. LOL!
On any other day, I know that I would have blown the bad hair day out of proportion — way out of proportion — but those things don’t matter anymore. It sometimes takes devastating news, a near death experience, or something out of the ordinary to make you sit back and realize that you are in a great place and God has you in His hands. So, my charge to you today is that you live life to the fullest, enjoy the little things, and keep an attitude of gratitude. Choose to make today a great day, even if your hair didn’t turn out quite right or you have a pimple on your cheek. Every morning we wake up is a gift from God. Never, ever take that for granted. Enjoy the sunshine, and don’t forget to check those boobies! XOXOXO