Test of Faith

I haven’t had any reliable Internet the last couple of days. Seymour and I took off, and drove to the beach. We saw the ocean, but it was raining, so we didn’t get to enjoy it as we had planned. The trip wasn’t about walking on the beach. It was about all the time spent together in the car, sharing a room, and talking and listening to one another’s life stories.

As I was driving to my Mammogram appointment Thursday morning, all these recollections of my Breast Cancer journey came to mind. Driving down a country road, toward the city, I saw a slide show before me. Moments where my faith was tested, and I was ready to call it quits. Seymour mentioned that I suffered in silence, so why did I feel so exposed?

I arrived at my appointment, was escorted to a screening room, and stood before that massive machine for the first time in a year. The last time I was there, I could only hug it, and sob. This time was different. The technician had to keep moving the machine upwards to accommodate my height. I was stronger now, so maybe I was standing a little bit taller.

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The technician used the machine to take pictures of both breasts in 3D. When she was done, I went to sit in a private lounge, just for women waiting for the test, or the results.

I sat down across from a woman, I guessed to be retirement age. She had been crying, and was clutching the front of her gown, trying to keep it from falling open. I had been right where she was sitting, so I asked her, “Are you okay?” She started to cry some more.

She told me that she had been so faithful with her Mammograms. She had received one every year for as far back as she could remember. She was late in getting this one, and when she did, they saw something concerning. They had just done a more in depth one, and she was waiting to hear the next steps. She was at her beginning, and I was at my end.

The first thing I assured her of was, there is no such thing as ‘late’. You are here now, and that is all that matters. I shared the names of all my doctors with her, and she frantically took notes. The technician came back to get me, and as I left, I looked at her and said, “God bless you.” She whispered the same to me, and I told her, “He does everyday love.”

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My journey created a profound intimacy with God. It’s still there, even though my journey was coming to a close. God was getting ready to test my faith, as see what I had learned.

The technician escorted me to a different room, which I recognized immediately. There was the table I had laid on during my biopsy. She asked me to lay on the table, and open the right side of my gown. I laid down, and asked her, “You realize the lump was in my left?”

She said, “Oh I know Mrs. Holmes, but we saw something in the right that we need to take a closer look at.” My world stopped. I realized I had been so concerned about the left one, that I hadn’t paid much attention to the right. I felt the warm gel hit my breast, and the wand of the sonogram machine started sliding around. At that point, I lost all control.

I broke down, and started sobbing on the table. The female technician patted my arm, reassuring me that it was all okay. I told her, “I cannot do this again! I cannot go through it all again!!!” But you know what? If I needed to go through it again, God would be there. My next thought was, I would have both breasts removed, so at least I could come back as a 36C!

She completed the sonogram, and left the room to review the results with the Oncologist. When she returned, she exclaimed, “You are all good Mrs. Holmes! It’s only a cyst!” There was more than one test given here, and thanks be to God that I was able to pass ’em both.

Barbara is a Writer, a Mom to her 17-year-old daughter, a recent Breast Cancer survivor, and she loves God. When she started this Blog in 2014 Letitgocoach was the name that stuck. She enjoys helping people Let Go of what is holding them back from having a beautiful life. Her life is beautiful, and an example of Letting Go and Letting God. You may connect with her via email. Letitgocoach@gmail.com

 

 

 

Face Your Fear

I have to get ready soon, for an appointment with my Oncologist. Today will be the first time I’ve seen him since finishing Chemo last September. I get to tell him ‘thank you’, and ‘goodbye.’

They say he won’t tell me, ‘Congratulations! You are Cancer free!’ Thanks to my Breast Cancer Journey, I feel more free today in many ways. My current hair color is a good example.

I don’t need proof today, or all the reasons the Cancer is gone. I know it was God.

My daughter dyed my hair this weekend, and it didn’t turn out quite as we planned. My hair is naturally a dark color, so she bleached it, but that got it to a pale orange stage. When she added the purple it literally looked orange, and purple, so yesterday we tried it again.

I was okay with the pale orange and lavender mass, but felt we could do better. She sat me down, and we went through the entire bleaching, toning, and conditioning process once again. In our minds, we were trying to achieve the look in the picture of Repeat If Desired.

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After all of that, she dried my hair, and I just sat with it for a minute. She pulled out half a dozen jars of hair color for me to choose from, and asked if I still wanted purple. I didn’t realize I had so many other choices! My daughter has played with the color of her hair a lot, and she showed me a picture of what she looked like with each one. I couldn’t decide.

Which one was best for me? The one that interested me most was a dark green. It was so dark it looked black in the jar. She said that would take my hair back to a very dark color, with just a tinge of emerald, but we had been through so much! Did I want to go back?

I have not been a bleached blonde in my life, that I can remember, so this is new to me. I told her I was going to sit with it for a few days with it just being bleached, and see if I wanted a color. It’s already a color to me, and drastically different than what I had two days ago.

When I was going through Chemo, a lot of people there wore wigs. I never wore one, and just walked around bald. I told her when I walk into the Cancer Center on Monday, people will probably think it’s a wig! It doesn’t matter what people think, I know it’s real.

Maybe that would scare some people, knowing they can’t take it off their head at the end of the day. To be honest, it scared me a little bit too, but which is scarier? Having hair this color, or no hair at all, because I was hairless for a while. It’s not about the hair darling.

It was all about the journey that got me here. Sitting in a small bathroom, with my daughter for two days. Listening to some of our favorite songs, and talking about life. Giving her the freedom to be creative, and trusting my hair in her hands, are just some of the memories captured by this color. I can always shave my hair, but it’s those moments that remain.