I spent the morning inhaling a microwave breakfast burrito and a large Diet Coke with watermelon flavoring from Sonic.
Maybe I should be eating something a little healthier.
The truth was that I was pretty nervous. You see, I had spent the weekend having discharge come out of my left breast. I had talked with a friend, who suggested that it may be a tumor on my pituitary gland. Non-cancerous but still scary.
When I was in high school, my stepdad was diagnosed with two forms of cancer, kidney and testicular. I still remember that time in my family’s life. We were moving upward. The family was bustling with busyness. My stepdad in particular had been working two jobs and going to school full-time. He was stressed but managing.
I had made this big decision to be a foster parent. My life had reached a stabilized point. I was comfortable and honestly, I felt a little bored. I was in school but it was only one class at a time. I had a good job, solid relationships. Everything was going well.
And slowly, I started adding more to my plate. I started volunteering for a ministry. I joined the prayer team at my church. I took on a second job. I got promoted. I took foster care classes.
It all became too much. I had friends who told me to slow down. Friends who told me I had taken on too much.
But I didn’t listen. I could do it all. I was the girl who had survived losing her family. I was the girl who had been through church excommunication and broken friendships. I had held my own through a diagnosis of schizophrenia. I could handle a busy schedule.
Cancer does something to a person. My stepdad had always been this tough, self-reliant person. But cancer made him rethink his life. He spent his days talking about his life. He and I had a fractured relationship but it was during this time that I got to know him. I heard his stories. He stopped fighting so much. He was gentle.
And it made him slow down.
The doctor scrunched her face. “It could be hormonal. But I’ll be honest – stress doesn’t cause discharge. It could also be your medication but you’ve been on your meds for so long. It shouldn’t be happening.”
I sat there, calm as a cucumber.
She was quiet for a moment. “I’m going to schedule a mammogram for you. It could be breast cancer, particularly because there’s a family history.”
The words breast cancer hung in the air.
Had I not just told God a week ago I was tired? I was done. Come down and show me your glory! Had I not just screamed this through tears a week ago?
And now, days later, I am sitting in the doctor’s office and she is telling me I could have cancer.
Am I scared?
No. I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I do not have time for cancer.
I don’t understand. Maybe she is wrong. Maybe the doctor is mistaken. Maybe I am so stressed out that this is why I have breast discharge. Maybe my meds are causing the problem.
And maybe, this is God’s way of trying to get my attention. I will know in about two weeks if I have cancer. Literally the longest two weeks of my life.
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