Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wake Up Call

Recently, I went for my annual mammogram. The morning after the mammogram, the doctor called and asked me to come in again. They wanted to do a sonogram, so I called for an appointment which they made for the following week.

When I went in. I sat alone in a cold, strange room, waiting on the doctor. Thoughts kept running through my mind. All the thoughts I had tried not to think of during the previous week came rushing through like a windstorm. What about my girls and my husband? How will they react if we find out I have some sort of cancer? What will my hereafter be like without them? Who will pray daily for my grandchildren and other family members? What will their lives be like without me? I have to get rid of some stuff, so nobody will have to do that. I have to much stuff collected over the years. How blessed I am for that. Things are a mess. I want chocolate cake! I want a grape snow cone. I haven't had a snow cone in years, and I want one. If the doctor comes in and tells me I have cancer, what kind of future do I have ahead of me? And for how long? These thoughts and others swam through my mind like a surfer drowning in a huge wave.

As the sonogram technician was scanning my breast, I wastrying to hold back tears, but one slowly fell down my cheek as I lay there staring at the ceiling. I told her that it was the not knowing that was making me nervous. She assured me that I would know the results before I left. I wasn't sure if that was good or bad.

She left the room to show the doctor the scan results, and while she was out of the room, I tried to stop the tears from flowing down my face. I didn't want her to come back in and know that I was scared - scared for my life, and for the lives of my family. Because, as I lay there, I realized then and there that cancer doesn't just affect the patient, it affects a family. A short time later, she came back in and told me that the doctor didn't need to see me, that everything was fine, and I was free to go home.

As I quickly and bravely walked to my car, I let the tears flow, and I thanked God that I was okay. I was free and I was blessed.

When I got home, I called my daughters and told them. One of them said she was glad for me and that was all that she said. It was then that I realiezed that she was just like I had been a couple of weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I hadn't even thought about cancer. Cancer happens to other people, not me, not my family. But what my daughter didn't realize is that she was glad for us, for our family, because if I had been diagnosed with cancer, it wouldn't have affected just me, it would have affected the whole family.

I hung up the telephone and cried again. This time, because I was happy for us - our family. Because we are a wonderful family made up of wonderful people. I'm lucky I belong to them, and that I can belong with them a bit longer. They mean the world to me!

The next time I see a commercial concerning breast cancer, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, or a promotion to support research, I will look at it differently. But, for now, there is stuff to get rid of, a house to clean, things to do, family and friends to be with and prayers that need praying. And there is chocolate cake and grape snow cones to eat, and I, for one, plan to indulge.

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