People are Drawn to the Light.
Know your strengths and place yourself in situations where you shine brightest.
Pass on and brighten a friend’s day. Click to share. Love, Leslie
Pass on and brighten a friend’s day. Click to share. Love, Leslie
Sitting…sitting…sitting. Writing, backspace/delete. More writing, more backspace/delete. 20 minutes later…still sitting. I know exactly what I want to write, but for once, I have no idea how to start. Okay, dive in.
A little over two weeks ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I found no lump. I was simply going in for my first mammogram. That’s right: no lump, first mammogram.
I decided to start today’s article with the facts, urging those of you who have put off having a mammogram because you haven’t felt anything through your monthly self examination, to please reconsider. As I stated, I felt no lump because there was no lump. There are different types of breast cancer, and the type I have been diagnosed with is located within the ducts, therefore cannot be felt. It’s most commonly referred to as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), of which there are different grades and subtypes. Without getting into too much detail, my subtype is called Micropapillary DCIS, which is referred to as the “bad acting DCIS” and therefore treated aggressively.
One of the many pieces of good news is that it was caught early! And how fortunate, in this day and age, that within these two+ weeks, I have been able to meet with a multitude of surgeons, complete more tests and evaluations than I’d care to recap, and still manage to take an abbreviated family vacation and another short girl’s weekend getaway.
Life goes on, as it should, and must. This is merely a blip, as my friend so eloquently put it, “Your natural state is perfection and this is a small blip on your way back to perfection.” Thank you, Anne.
This, I can assure you: I am not worried. Apprehensive yes, as this is a new experience for me. But worried? No. I am precisely where I’m supposed to be and I’ve categorically chosen the exact surgeons to form my team of healing. This team came together in a unique and organic way to support me and ensure my physical and emotional health. But the blessings began well before the medical team was in place.
A few years ago I became part of a group of women with a common desire to study FAITH (Finding Authenticity, Integrity, Truth, and Harmony), hence, the name of the group. Through their collective love and spirit, as well as the love and support from my family and other dear friends, I felt I was already ahead of the curve when my radiologist delivered the news to me. All of the studying I’ve done throughout the years on Trust, on Spirituality, on Understanding What Is — it has all prepared me for today, a place where I stand strong and confident in spirit, yet (finally) wise enough to know that it’s okay to be vulnerable and cry, too.
So it was only fitting when I ran into my radiologist’s office to pick up my mammogram films, that the doctor took me aside, and as we embraced, she placed “‘Faith the Lamb” in my arms.
Faith is also an acronym, although not spelled in all caps. Her name stands for Friends Always In The Heart. She came about by one of my radiologist’s patients years ago. To this day, my doctor lovingly hands out Faith the Lamb to all of her newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, along with a little piece of her heart as she speaks candidly with you.
Attached to Faith’s ear was this tag (which I now keep in my wallet):
It’s as if the events of my life have sandwiched me between FAITH and Faith. What an incredibly blessed and fortunate woman I am.
In an effort to honor that blessing, I have chosen to share as many lessons as are appropriate with you all here, through my writing. I will not be accepting phone calls or responding to emails or texts about this subject, as I commit to only breathe positivity into this healing experience. And although answering questions may appear to be a neutral act, my experience thus far has been that it’s extremely draining for me.
I want each one of you to know how grateful I am, knowing many of you will be sending me prayers, love, light, and healing energy. For that, I Thank You.
During these next months, as I live and breathe true Trust, I ask one thing of you, and one thing only:
See Me as Whole, as Healed.
See me as whole and healed, in the present tense. I ask that you see me as whole and healed now. As if it is already done.
Mammograms are essential for early detection. Please post this message on your Facebook wall or forward the email if you receive it in that format; women should be made aware that self exams are not enough. This 41 year old felt no lump. There was no lump.
If you’re in the Dallas area (Richardson, TX), here is a direct link to my radiologist. Dr. Elizabeth Jekot is a bright, caring, and very thorough doctor. She and her staff will take excellent care of you, no matter if this is your first mammogram or your 50th.
Trust Life Today story, as told by my friend Sally:
Preterm labor shouldn’t have been a total surprise, as I had already had one child. But I can honestly say that I didn’t realize I was in labor until about 15 minutes before I gave birth. How in the world did I not recognize labor? My only explanation is that I was induced with my firstborn. It is my experience that childbirth induced, resembles NOTHING like natural childbirth. Add to that? I was only 34 weeks pregnant. Add to THAT? I had just left my obstetrician’s office a few hours prior.
I did, however, know that something was ‘wrong.’ My very first pregnancy, I was 14 weeks along before we lost it. After we had our first child, we lost another; this time it was at six weeks. I was accustomed to heartache and loss. My first thought was that I was going to lose yet another child. I feared that something was going terribly wrong.
When we got to the hospital we weren’t taken very seriously. I’m sure maternity wards are filled with women who think they’re in labor. That wasn’t me, I just wanted someone to stop the pain.
I was admitted and put in a room. I will never forget the ONE nurse who checked on me. She was walking out of the room, stopped, and looked back at me. It felt like she looked through me…..she had a look of concern. She came to physically check me and said, “Hon, you are about to have a baby in a matter of minutes. Whatever you do, do NOT push!” I am so grateful for that woman.
I ended up delivering fully clothed. I was moved from a gurney to the delivery bed when our teeny son arrived. There was JUST enough time for a doctor to assist. We had only been on the hospital property for 35 minutes.
But all was not quite well. My records couldn’t be found (as they were still on my doctor’s desk awaiting charting). I was being treated for a lack of platelets, which is a clotting factor. This was news to the staff; I just sorta dropped that information on them. What had just moments before been a relatively calm and lighthearted room, quickly became a lively, tension filled room. Blood was ordered, neonatologists were called. Our son was whisked away for tests to be run (in case my blood disease had transmitted to him).
And here is where the greatest peace I have ever known took over. Nurses kept trying to assure me not to worry about where my son was. I didn’t need assurance. Updates on his and my blood work were delivered with great relief. But I was unmoved, both before and after the news was delivered. We quickly called friends and family to share our news. I was so excited, but the grandparents were tentative. I couldn’t figure out why. I had such faith that everything was fine. We stayed in the hospital for 10 days while our 3 lb. 8 oz. baby slowly added a pound plus, in order to have enough fat to maintain body temperature. Friends would come to visit and cry and pray over his little incubated body. Not me! I just smiled. Prayers were offered, but truly? – – I felt the need to comfort our visitors as they were so concerned about our baby boy.
It’s unexplainable really. I look back at pictures and think: he appeared so small and helpless, defenseless and tiny. I really question how I could have possibly not worried about his health or well being. But I knew he would be fine. I was able to trust that the toil I had endured already was all in preparation for that moment in life.
It’s been 12 years since then. That boy is thriving. He is, not surprisingly, a fighter. He is confident and loved by many.
I like to think that I am a woman of tremendous faith. But the tricky thing about faith? You can’t really prepare for a battle right in the middle of a war….and you can’t GET faith in the middle of a crisis. Any efforts I had ever made to build my faith strength paid off in that series of events.
~ ~ ~ ~
“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know, and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” ~ Patrick Overton