Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Save a Woman's Life

"Looks like a ridge of tissue and perhaps an accumulation of more tissue around the duct, but I am no doctor."

The technician was gracious. Her reassuring words gave me some measure of sweet relief, although I didn't have any sense of impending doom before I went in for my ultrasound yesterday.

The mammogram a week and a half ago did not show anything untoward so there was no need to step up the battle stations, however the two palpable lumps were a bit of a concern that had to be investigated.

As I tucked the front of my non-glamorous gown in after the ultrasound, the technician said the doctor would read the report, make out his response and then they would get back to me. I am not worried.

When I think back to Miss Casey who did my ultrasound and found the tumours in my ovaries, she did know (she told me that later.) But of course she was not at liberty to say anything. She was the sweetest, kindest first person on my journey of 'discovery' and every time I went back to see her for more 'lump investigations,' we chatted and laughed. As I think back, Casey did not say anything about 'things looking okay' or 'nothing to worry about,' like this gal yesterday. Which was a good thing at the time.  Must be hard for technicians when they really do see something.

 I guess I am a little more attuned now - sometimes a little too much! I tend to be a bit of a lumpy person [benign lipomas here, there and everywhere] but I cannot help being concerned with every lump now, until it is investigated. I think it has something to do with me missing the 'big, real, nasty' ones before. I will be forever on guard.

The news wasn't so good for my friend, however. Her routine mammogram showed something untoward and she was also called back for an ultrasound (she had no palpable lumps or pain) and at 50 years of age, she just thought she would follow the doctor's advice and get things checked out following her physical.

I guess the moral to the story is to never assume. My friend experienced no signs or symptoms. No warning indicators that something may be amiss. No niggling feeling that something isn't quite right. Cancer is like the creeping lion looking for someone to devour  [Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 NIV]
This lovely gal who is now dealing with the diagnosis of breast cancer is also dealing with the good news that things look hopeful for her because she has been caught early. She has a bit of a road to travel, yet all seems manageable at this point. She has to go through the rigours of radiation and they are doing some further testing to see if she might have to undergo chemotherapy. I sure hope not. That is not an easy thing to endure. Been there. But she will endure...her faith will get her through.

Each day I light a candle for my friend. I love candles. I love what the light symbolizes. When I see that candle burning quietly on my counter, I think of my friend and I am reminded to pray for her. I am reminded of the Light of the World. [When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."John 8:12

I will keep this candle burning for my friend for as long as needed. Some may call it silly, but to me it is symbolic. Far too many women have died from breast or other gynaecological cancers. It's my reminder. We need to help make sure women are aware and alerted to the importance of an annual physical. No woman should have to die an early death because of this hideous, creeping, devouring disease - cancer. 

I rejoice that my friend was caught early. 

I pray that mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughters, nieces...everywhere will be alerted to the importance of early detection.

This little light of mine; I'm gonna' let it shine...

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