I went to my first OB appointment this afternoon. Baby sounds fabulous! Heart rate of 170. Girl? With a fast heart rate, that is what they say. Of course, I won’t find out until the baby’s birthday. I love a surprise!! I wait until Christmas to open my gifts – I don’t even shake. I wait until my birthday to open my cards, even if they feel like they may contain a little something extra. *wink* With babies, I wait until their birthday. How exciting to hear, “It’s a …..!”
While having my exam, I mentioned to my OB a few small lumps I have noticed in my right breast. I told her that I had assumed that they were from nursing, but they didn’t go away when I quit nursing. I, then, assumed that they were from being pregnant after nursing. She told me that no, they were not from nursing or pregnancy. She said that they don’t feel like cancer – they are flat. (I didn’t know cancer had a “feel”.) She said that they felt fibrous. She said that she can’t be sure, though, because you can get breast cancer even when you are pregnant or nursing. She gave me a slip to schedule an ultrasound on my breast, just to be sure….to set both of our minds at ease. I will be scheduling the ultrasound on Monday when the Breast Clinic calls.
Though I feel good about my doctor’s reassurance, I can’t help but feel a little apprehensive. The ultrasound doesn’t scare me… The prospect of more invasive testing scares me. A biopsy would scare me. I am afraid of needles. You may wonder…. How does she have seven babies, and one on the way? I can handle having babies because I get a baby. I refuse to get the flu shot because I would rather get the flu. It is the needle. If I go through the pain of the flu shot I don’t get anything…I just lessen my chance of getting the flu. (I don’t even guarantee that I won’t get the flu because there are so many strains.) No, thanks. I will take my chances.
Thinking about going to the Breast Clinic brings me back to a day 16 months ago. I was pregnant with Ayden and waiting to get my ultrasound. A woman walked out of the ultrasound with her head down. I barely noticed her. I was just excited to see my baby. When I walked into the ultrasound room, I noticed that the technician was very solemn. Lesley, the technician, and I had built a bond — she had been my ultrasound technician for several of my babies and had shared in the loss of one of my babies. I asked Lesley if everything was okay. She looked at me, silent for a moment, then shared the story of a woman who was pregnant and dying of breast cancer. My heart broke. The woman was not only pregnant, but the mother of a couple of young children. Her future looked short, maybe not even long enough to carry the baby she was carrying to term. At an ultrasound a couple of months later Lesley told me that the young mother was gone. I never found out if she carried her new baby to term or if the cancer claimed the child, as well. I mourned the loss of that woman. Not because I knew her, but because I knew of her….because I was blessed with good health, my children, and a pregnancy that would make it to term….because her life was cut short when her loved ones needed her most. My heart still breaks for her family. She was a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister….all of those people lost her.
Six weeks ago I went in for an ultrasound. Expecting to see Lesley, I was surprised to see a new technician sitting in the chair. The technician was abrupt, telling me to go into the bathroom and get in my gown. When I walked out of the bathroom I looked at my husband. He was sitting in the chair, a look of shock on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that Lesley had died. I didn’t understand. Lesley couldn’t have died. She was always there, sharing in the joy of my pregnancy. I looked at the technician and she nodded, then proceeded to share the story of Lesley’s short battle with cancer and quick death. Without an ounce of empathy, she just stated the facts. I listened silently, unable to comprehend what she was saying. Lesley hadn’t been sick. I saw her 18 months ago as she and I watched baby Ayden wiggling inside of my belly. I asked her to take a picture of Ayden’s bottom, without letting Adrian or me look, and write down if he was a boy or a girl. This was how we did it with all of our babies. She would take a picture of our baby’s bottom, write “boy” or “girl”, then mail the picture to my mom. My mom would bring the envelope to the hospital, after the baby was born, and we would add the picture to our baby book. It was a tradition. I still have the note from Ayden. It says, “You were right, Dad! It’s a boy!” (Adrian always guesses, without seeing the bottom, what the sex of our baby is. He has been right every time.) Who will mail the picture of our new baby? Who will laugh with me when the baby kicks me on the monitor and my belly moves? Who will understand my joy at making it to twenty weeks, knowing I have lost three babies? Who will understand my excitement, the same as a new mother, seeing my eighth baby? Lesley….. She was someone I could count on. She is gone…..a victim, just as that young mother was a victim.
I do believe that I will only hear good news at the Breast Clinic. God is my healer, He is my physician. Jeremiah 33:6 says, “Behold, I will bring health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” I believe that God has made me whole.
I will not be afraid. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I claim that!
In Him always,
“Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.”