I've been reading about breast cancer. I had stage 2 cancer. No lymph node involvement. 17 were removed, a pretty substantial number, so I can feel pretty good about that, right? I assumed, anyway. Fast forward. Less than 10 months after the original diagnosis, 5 months after the end of chemo, 3 months after radiation, I have a lump in my armpit. It's a pretty large lump. I can hold my arm up and actually see it. I've clung to the idea that it shouldn't be cancer, because I have not had any cancer in my lymph nodes. I'm waiting for a PET scan at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the pain in my shoulder has sort of spread into my back and my arm. I am trying very hard to be practical and sensible, but I'm really having a hard time right now.
Today, I read that there's something called locally advanced breast cancer. Symptoms include a large lump (typically 5 cm or more) in the armpit, a fixed lump that is attached to the muscle or chest wall and does not move. It says that most women with locally advanced breast cancer do have lymph node involvement, however there is a subset in that group who do not have any lymph node involvement at all. It made me a little sick to read it, and in my heart, I just had this certainty that I am about to learn that I have locally advanced breast cancer.
I've been thinking about faith. Do I have it? I thought so. Is faith what keeps you going through the motions of your day to day life when life is falling apart? Is faith what makes you smile when you feel at a loss inside? I don't know. I really don't know. I try very hard to remember that God is in this. I try to remember that He has plans to 'prosper not harm'. I try very hard to keep the faith, but this is one loooooooooooong month.
Sorry for the bummer of a post, but it is what it is.