Early on in my marriage God tried to teach me an important lesson that I feel like I’m still in the process of grasping. I mentioned earlier that I had a lumpectomy, here’s that story.
In December, five months after we were married I found a mass in my breast. Since I’m a proud card carrying member of the itty bitty titty committee the size of the mass made it impossible to miss. When I first went into the doctor she was very dismissive and told me that I just didn’t know what a breast was supposed to feel like and there wasn’t anything wrong with me; her story changed very quickly once she actually did the exam. It ended up being a hard mass (not just filled with liquid like the 2nd specialist tried to tell me before he bent the needle while trying to do a biopsy) and had pre-cancerous cells. It needed to be removed right away. In March I went in to have a lumpectomy with reconstructive surgery. Surgery didn’t go as planned, the doctor had to cut the mass in four pieces to try to get it out because it was bigger than anticipated and back filling the hole it left was a challenge. Due to this the recovery didn’t go nearly as smoothly or quickly as was we had hoped. My mom was busy with my younger siblings and Daniel had to work so that left my new mother-in-law to come over and help bandage my breast (not awkward at all) and take care of me as I was not able to do hardly anything immediately after surgery. They hade taken tissue from my arm pit area to try to refill the whole so that whole upper side of my body was black and blue and really sore. Compact that with not being able to tolerate pain killers, the stitch not holding and the incision opening, it wasn’t a fun recovery. The surgeon made me feel horribly uncomfortable around him. When he said that things looked good but I needed to see him a few more times I told him I wasn’t coming back. He panicked and said I couldn’t leave because it still needed to be monitored. I informed him my gynecologist could monitor it. I went to her later that week and she was horrified that I wasn’t on nor had ever been on any antibiotics after the surgery. Come to find out I had a raging infection going and that is what caused the incision to tear open. Needless to say it wasn’t one of the most fun experiences in my life.
Fast forward 22 months, and I now have a 10 month old (story for another time) and find another mass in my other breast. Same exact feel and just as big. I had changed gynecologists and now had one that was competent so I called and made an appointment. Honestly at this point I’m scared because I really don’t want to go through all that all over again. And if I have another one already is this going to be on ongoing problem? He did the examine and confirmed my fears, it was a solid hard mass that was large. He ordered an ultra sound so he could get a better look at it. I don’t know how many of you have had breast ultra sounds but it’s a little awkward as you lay on the table with your boob hanging out, or in my case laying flat against my chest. The tech tried to get a good image but in her own words, “because your so little I need to add a pad so I can get a better image.” She had an oval little blob that was gel filled, a fake boob basically, that she placed on top of my chest so she could actually see the mass. I got a call from my doctor later that day stating it was most definitely solid and we need to do a needle biopsy to see if it was cancerous before we scheduled surgery. Not the news I was hoping for. He told me I’d get a call from the tech to get the biopsy scheduled. I remember very clearly later that weekend taking a shower and praying that God would please take it away. Then I thought of my sister, the one that was asked to move out when she was 16. She had got pregnant and then married the guy but he ended up being a drug addict and not good to her at all. She was looking at divorce and being a single mom to a little boy. I realized that my issue was manageable and that God had walked me through it once He could do it again. So I spent time praying for her instead. I walked away with a strange peace. I don’t remember if it was later that night or the next I went to feel the mass and couldn’t find it. I thought it might have shifted and I just couldn’t find it. I looked a few more times and then realized that it was gone. I need to admit that I probably wasn’t as grateful as I should have been. It was such a surreal feeling, almost like none of it had ever happened since all the fear and the mass were just gone. I called the tech to cancel the appointment for the biopsy because the mass was gone. They asked me if I was sure and I told them I was sure but I’d follow up with my Dr. I so wish I had shared what had happened with that person, because knowing God they needed to hear it and I missed an opportunity. I went in to see my Dr for a follow up and told him that it disappeared (another missed opportunity) and he said, “Well, you must be doing something right in your life because those things don’t just disappear.”
Years later as we were walking through a very dark time in our life God brought this event to my mind. There’s a song with the lyrics “Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered peace be still He can settle any sea but it doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes He holds us close and lets the wind and waves go wild, sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His Child.” As we walked through this darkness and I begged for it to be taken away these words resinated in my heart. “Sometimes I calm the storm, and other times I calm My child. Will you trust me?” If I hadn’t had the first mass removed I wouldn’t have feared the second one. Had He healed me the first time I wouldn’t had known what I was saved from. Sometimes He calms the storm so we can feel His power. Sometimes He allows the storm to rage so that we can feel our own weakness, and His love as He holds us tight through it.