If you are just stopping in, this is the fourth post in my 31 Day Series: I Wear Pink. Join me as I share my breast cancer journey. You can find the other posts here.
A few weeks before my mammograms, on January 12, Pat and I had celebrated our 29 wedding anniversary. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband. And absolutely, yes, I would marry that man all over again.
I remember our wedding like it was yesterday. The day was sunny, but cold and windy. The church was filled with poinsettias and candles. We were both wobbly-kneed and, looking back, so very young. I stood face blurred beneath my veil, breathless with wonder and anticipation and pledged to love Pat forever. Pat, no less nervous, promised me forever in return. We had no idea what life would bring us. We just knew that we wanted to live it together.
Since saying, “I do,” Pat and I have been blessed with quite a lot - 5 sons, 1 daughter, a daughter-in-law, a dog and ten chickens, a house, a bunch of furniture, and a garage filled with everything but a car. It takes an effort to build a life together, and while most of these things are just things, they stand as evidence of time and energy lovingly invested. Of two individuals becoming one, cemented together with happiness, loss, and murmured prayers.
Pat and I have seen each other in traffic, sick, angry, in mourning, and in prayer. I know how Pat will react to a stuffed up toilet and a kayak trip down Wappingers Creek at flood stage. He has seen me cry over a kitchen covered in red sugar Kool-aide powder, dumped cereal, and trails of food items from an early morning breakfast run by a child old enough to know better. Pat has planned camping vacations, built fires, and put chemicals in a pool that he does not swim in. He starts my car on cold mornings so that it will be warm. Pat loves our children.
When I left the health center, I was pretty shaken. The words biopsy, carcinoma, chemo, radiation, and surgery swirled through my head. I wanted to run to my husband for comfort. I wanted to protect him from the hurt. I looked for a way out of what I had been told. I did not feel like I had cancer. I felt healthy. My mother had a biopsy many years before and it turned out to be nothing. Plus the doctor hadn't said he was certain. He used words like "appears" and "know exactly what it is." Perhaps, just perhaps, it wasn't anything much at all.
I told Pat exactly what had happened, what the doctor had said, about the scheduled biopsy, and the possibility that it was cancer and the hope that it wasn't.
In my distress, I had managed to schedule the biopsy for when Pat was away for three days on business. We agreed that he should make his trip. Our oldest son would chauffeur me. I wouldn't actually learn the results until a week after the biopsy anyway. We did not tell anyone else. There was no use getting anyone upset or worried unless it became necessary.
How has God been good to you?But I trust in your unfailing love;my heart rejoices in your salvation.I will sing the Lord’s praise,for He has been good to me. ~ Psalm 13:5-6