6 years ago this morning I grabbed my buddy/boss, Andrea, and dragged her into the restroom at work.
Me: I think I found a lump
Me: To make sure I am not nuts, will you see if you can feel it?
I show her the area – left side of my left breast – about 1 o’clock…she puts her two fingers there. She moves them around…we are both silent. I am beginning to think I am crazy. After all, I just found it the day before. Even though I felt for it 9 million times since I first found it…I am hoping and praying I am nuts. Yes, that’s it…. just another bit of “Laura crazy”…that’s what my mind is saying until I hear her say “I do feel something, its right there, isn’t it?”
My heart sinks. She and I agree it’s just a little bump of nothing. It’s got to be nothing, right? I call my OB/GYN and he tells me to come in right away. I go to his office and I tell him which breast but I don’t point out the area. He does his exam and yup – he found it too.
I go back to work feeling as if my world has been tilted sideways. A lump. Me. My Mom’s 3 battles with breast cancer start ruminating through my mind. It’s nothing – it has to be nothing. I found it on Valentine’s Day and I JUST had my mammogram last week (more to come on this part later). They would have seen something, right? It was only last Thursday. I would have been able to tell if they thought they saw something…their mood, their body language…something.
So my story began to unfold 6 years ago yesterday. The story that was already written for my future – I just didn’t know it. As my tests began 6 years ago, my mind was reeling and I was not doing what I should have been doing; leaning on my faith. I know I was praying for a clear test, a cyst, a mistake, a little bump of infection, a clogged duct, something – anything…but I wasn’t praying for help to accept God’s will or help to face what was coming. I was praying for a free pass – a way out – an innocent lump.
I look back now – six years later and have such a different view of my story – and how I would handle it if it ever came again. I know it’s hard to deal with looking “up” in the middle of a crap storm. I know it’s easier to cover your eyes, crouch down, cover your head and pray for relief. I just wish I had spent those weeks of tests and uncertainty praying that I would be able to accept what was coming, instead of asking for a free pass and a harmless lump. But now I know. It’s taken my story a long time to unfold, and it’s been an amazing story, but the best part of my story is how God used my situation to help other women and how my own faith has been stretched and deepened.
Six years ago today, Andrea and I we were on the tip of the ledge and had no idea what was coming – but knowing what I know now – I am humbled by how God lead me so I could, in turn, comfort others.
Valentine’s Day will always be a bittersweet day for me. I am first saddened to remember how my world tipped over that day and for many many months to follow. Then I become so deeply grateful l that not only did my life change in so many ways ……6 years ago my life changed into a life that truly mattered.