It's already been a month since we did this, ladies! Lots of cities are hosting Race for the Cure - are any of you involved? I haven't signed us up yet, since I was trying to decide on a weekend trip to stalk a friend's booksigning.
It's the 17th, and that means that we all do those beloved self breast exams and then come back here and leave a comment saying yes! did it! yea me!
For more information on how or why we do this, click here.
And because y'all ask occasionally, I'm including this (previously posted) explanation of why this matters so much to me personally:
Q: Why do I do these monthly reminder/nag sessions? I mean, why is it SUCH a big deal? Well. I'll tell you.
A: When Caden-3yr was a tiny little 3 month old, I found a lump. I never did self breast exams, and so i had no idea how long it had been there. That one thought nagged at me in the night for weeks afterwards. It was about pea sized, hard, and the edges of it were rough. None of those things were good. There are a lot of lumps and bumps and cysts and things that can be quite harmless - especially for a nursing mom. But rough edges were notably bad.
I had so many doctor's appts over the next weeks. It just dragged on and on. The surgeon I saw knew immediately it wasn't good. After a long conversation, we decided the next step would be an 'ultrasound guided biopsy.' There was already one ultrasound of it, but it had been lost somehow between doctor's offices.
I was a wreck. I remember trying to live minute to minute. Constant prayer over the next minute. And I was too scared to really ask God to just fix it. I couldn't even pray that. I focused on what would happen, and the things i should do in case i died and left my daughter and two sons without a mother. I had no peace whatsoever that everything would work out. None. I was numb.
Mike did pray, though. He prayed a lot. And one day he said something that really, really made me angry. He said that he'd prayed and God had answered him that 'it would be good.' GOOD? Excuse me? HOW? That really ticked me off, and anytime I worried and Mike tried to reassure me with that particular answered prayer, I got even more mad and worried.
Life was so hard those 6 or 8 weeks. Then we went in for that ultrasound guided biopsy.
And it was gone. Magically, completely, utterly... gone.
They had all said it wasn't the sort of lump that would disappear. Certainly not like it did.It hadn't changed at all in any way since it was first detected. And that wasn't good either.
But it did disappear. The doctors were in shock. My surgeon, when she heard about it, was in total disbelief and had her office call me so that she could look for it herself. After all, it just wasn't the sort that would go away. And she would know.
Mike and I cried in the waiting room, hugged, and walked out into the parking lot of the hospital, stunned. And then Mike, with tears streaming down his face, said "Kels, what did God say?"
"That it would be good?"
And I agreed. It was good. But I was missing something.
Mike laughed and said, "But what is today?"
"Friday." I wasn't getting whatever it was he wanted me to see.
"No. It's Good Friday."
And it was. The Friday before Easter, Good Friday, of 2004 was especially good.
(Thank You, God for that answer to Mike's prayer - I didn't understand or appreciate it at all then, but it's pretty special to me now.)
After that I resolved to do those monthly self breast exams. If I ever had to go through that again, i wanted to KNOW how long it had been there. That piece of information would have set my mind at ease. It would have been so much better to be able to think, 'huh. there's a lump. scary, but it's at least i know it is new. let's call a doctor.' i hope none of you ever find a lump. But more than that, i hope that if you do, you can say, 'at least I know it is very new. I caught this - whatever it is - as early as I possibly could.'
I know what some of you are thinking. It's the reason I haven't written this before now, to be honest. Compared to so many other stories that end tragically, or involve an actual drawn out fight with cancer, my story might not sound like much. And maybe it isn't. But my point is that it was pretty horrific anyway, and if I can be more proactive, and bug you to be - then i will.
Thanks for letting me. I know I can be obnoxious about it.