"Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. ...whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting - that is, of hopefully doing without - will never experience the full blessings of fulfillment." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Abnormal...the words hit me like a ton of bricks...how could something that was designed (and used) to provide nurture be abnormal?
For a month I tried my best not to worry, between various mammograms, ultra sounds (of course they couldn't do a biopsy the 'normal way'), and finally the big day - the stereotypic imaging truck came to town (you really don't want to know).
A biopsy is not something to blow off. It is a big deal. A big hairy deal. Especially when your mind has time to think of the 'what ifs.'
Fortunately, for me, the results were another interesting word: benign.
'What a relief' my son texted when I finally, after a days delay, had the results. 'THANK Heavens' and 'YAY' and 'that is spectacular news' from my other children.
Not all women are as fortunate.
And yes, I kept it silent. And I probably could have shared with others...but ABNORMAL sounds so broken and plain messed up.
After living with the relief of my diagnosis for a week, I realized that my silence continues to add to the stigma of: pastors as 'other' and breast cancer as something we talk about in hushed voices, because you can't really say the word 'breast' out loud in polite company.
My right breast now has a little piece of titanium in it, as a marker for the radiologist. Next fall, when I have my mammogram I will see it on the screen.
Get your mammograms, gals. Know your family history. And if you get called in for more pictures, don't go on-line and try to look up the what ifs...but DO tell a friend. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is invite others for the journey. I am grateful for my children for being a non-anxious presence during this season.
It is fitting that this journey happened during Advent, a season of anxious anticipation. I continue to wait with hope.
peace, love in Christ,