Thursday, December 18, 2014 advent journey of sorts

"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 could something that was designed (and used) to provide nurture be abnormal?

  1. deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way that is undesirable or worrying.

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.  

  1. 2
    (of a disease) not harmful in effect: in particular, (of a tumor) not malignant.
    synonyms:harmless, nonmalignant, noncancerous; 
    "a benign tumor"

'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.  

  1. 1
    beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way.

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.

  1. 1
    either of the two soft, protruding organs on the upper front of a woman's body that secrete milk after pregnancy.

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,

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