It was the middle of December when I received an unexpected call from my doctor. He was calling to ask how I was doing after my diagnosis. This seems very thoughtful and all, but I hadn’t gotten a diagnosis yet, that news was meant to be delivered by a surgeon at an appointment to come the following week. I had been called back for a second mammogram and then a biopsy, but had been assured over and over there was nothing to be concerned about, they were just being overly cautious. There have been only a few instances in my life where I could feel myself try to actively deny what is obviously taking place. Each time before it had been some kind of death – a tragic accident or my parents’ divorce or the lost innocence of a young person. This time it was happening only to me.
The call from our doctor gave me a few days to process before all the appointments started and I spent the first 24 hours asking God why questions. I carefully laid out my argument; we had just moved into our dream house, we were smack dab in the middle of a pandemic and our oldest daughter and her family had just moved to Nebraska weeks earlier. The timing could not be worse. Why now? I didn’t receive an answer that weekend. But the following week I learned more information about breast cancer and treatment than I could have imagined. After many tests and conversations, we had a plan of attack but I still didn’t understand why now. I never really thought to question why me, I have a friend who when going through a very tough season commented, ‘I guess it’s our turn in the tub!’ and that has stayed with me, we all go through something from time to time. But why this time?
In a matter of weeks I went from diagnosis, through surgery, into a relationship with not one, but two oncologists and a plastic surgeon. The process of Radiation begins in a few days, and then medication for at least five years. I still don’t fully understand all the details of my cancer or my treatment, but I do feel like I have gotten some of the why now questions answered.
We moved into a beautiful home that is on some acreage, where it is quiet and calm with room to garden and play with grandchildren. Recovering here and making plans for the Spring has been so helpful for me. Yes, this has come at an inconvenient time while we have to be so careful due to Covid, but there are two women in our church family who have been going through the same diagnosis a few months ahead of me and they have offered me information, encouragement and inclusivity into their club because they get it. Also, my guy normally travels 50 to 75% of the time, often out of the country. For the first time in our whole marriage, the man is home. With me. He has attended every appointment I have had, and been available to help me as much as necessary. Also, our daughter and her family recently became Nebraskans, they are 10 minutes away from us. The gift of seeing her regularly and getting hugs and visits from our grandson has been such good medicine.
I don’t mean to sound like this is easy and I sure didn’t get here overnight, but I have been reminded that God knows what I need when I need it and how it is to be delivered. I am more grateful for songs that come up to the surface and into our home, for memories of past trips with my guy, for the birds that visit the feeder out the kitchen window and for phone calls and well wishes from my closest family to friends I haven’t seen in years. I guess what I’m saying is I’d take breast cancer and it’s timing over most anything.