We always say, “It will never happen to me,” and then it happens. I had this slight pain in my right breast near the areola, and my primary care physician thought it necessary for a 39-year-old to have her first mammogram. The results were benign.
Now a year later, in 2008, it is time for another mammogram. Since last year was benign, why should this be any different? I am having lunch with two co-workers and my cell phone rings. “Hello Donna, this is Dr. So-and-So. Do you have a minute to talk?” (At least that is what I think he said). I said yes, excused myself from the table, and walked outside.
The doctor continued to talk as I was walking out the door, and then I heard, “…it is cancer…” According to my phone, I spoke with the doctor for nearly five minutes but all I remember is “it is cancer!”
In my lifetime, I have watched several family members battle cancer, including my maternal grandmother who died of ovarian cancer and her father who succumbed to breast and lung cancers. “Now I have breast cancer? What?!? This doesn’t make any sense to me! It can’t happen to me! I’m too young to die!”
Consequently, after the initial diagnosis, the initial shock, the initial denial, and the initial panic attack, I took another look at reality. In the face of reality, there stood a man I called my fiancée, a mother who had her own health issues but was an encouraging person full of life, employment that I enjoyed and was fulfilling, and a church that brought insight and spirituality. Yet, there I stood alone with no biological siblings and no children to call my own…fighting cancer. So when my fiancé asked to marry me sooner than later so he could go through this with me as my husband, I said yes.
After the biopsy, genetic testing, lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, I found myself trying to figure out what’s next. I’ve always said, what’s next? I never fully was accepting of the fact that I had cancer. Never fully believed it could happen to me. Nearly seven years later, still in disbelief, I am a healthy, happy, thriving, young woman who was hit with cancer and now cancer bows down to my faith, my belief, and my hope in Jesus Christ! Is there anything too hard for God? “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)