Kindness. Always the Best Medicine.

A couple of weeks ago I was told that I have breast cancer. I’ve had some time now to process that diagnosis, to learn more about the type of cancer I have and the course of treatment I’ll pursue, and that’s helpful. Having at least an idea of what to expect is always better than drifting in the abyss of the unknown. Well, unless it’s really bad, I guess. If that’s the case, just knock me out and do what you need to do.

It’s still fresh on my mind, the matter-of-fact way the nurse practitioner gave me the news. She was unbelievably kind – not in a voice that sounded like she was talking to a toddler – and she wasn’t in a hurry, but she didn’t dilly-dally around in telling me what I came there to hear.

“So we have the results of the biopsy and it does show cancer.”

That was the last thing I expected to hear that afternoon. The breast surgeon I’d been referred to by my gynecologist and the radiologist who did the ultrasound both said they didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about. After all, I’d had cysts aspirated before. Nothing to worry about. I so believed that, that when they took my blood pressure upon arrival, it was a mere 100/60. Unbelievable. Funny, no one offered to take it after I heard the news.

The nurse practitioner explained everything thoroughly – as thoroughly as she could because there were still some unknowns that would be determined by the surgeon and oncologist, depending on the results of more tests. I was surprisingly calm and able to ask questions. Things have to be really bad before I don’t have questions.

The medical professional who shared this news struck the perfect balance of information and compassion to enable me to hear what I needed to hear at that point. Sitting down in a chair right in front of me, she wasn’t in a hurry as she went over the results of the biopsy and what they knew thus far. She answered what she could of my questions and told me honestly when she didn’t know. I appreciated that. And when I stood up to leave, she looked me in the eye and asked if she could give me a hug. Of course.

I don’t know if my nurse practitioner learned empathy and compassion in her academic training, or if that’s just part of who she is. Either way, I’m very thankful to have heard this from someone who told me bad news in the most positive way she could – not treating it lightly, but also not in a way that made it sound like I’m dying tomorrow.

I’m probably not dying tomorrow. I could, but probably not. Not from this, anyway.

I won’t talk about having breast cancer lightly, because two dear friends have died in the last two years from the disease. They will be with me on this journey, no doubt. But I have far too many friends who are breast cancer survivors to not have tremendous hope. I will be a good patient and do what I’m told.

And I know I’m not alone.

So if you’d like to come along for my journey through breast cancer, keep reading. I can’t promise that I’ll write a lot, but I might. I promise to be honest. And I’d love to hear from you, too.

pink ribbon

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. David Black says:

    I am Praying for you Sally. You are very special lady and I am looking forward to celebrating a full recovery with you. God Bless you! You will remain in my prayers!

  2. Leah Snyder says:

    I’m holding you in my heart and in my prayers, dear sister. ‘So glad to have finally connected! I’m inspired by your love for the Lord and His children!

  3. Sally,
    My thoughts and prayers are always with you and the beautiful healing work you do. I will be specific in praying about your journey of healing and the medical professionals working with you!

    I love you and I’m thankful you are a part of my life!

  4. Kent Bogle says:

    I love you more now than I did 12 years ago and am pretty sure that will only continue to grow. I will be by your side any time you need me and will allow that. Love you Sis.

  5. Monika Garner-Smith says:

    I was 46 when I was diagnosed- I’m 52 now! It was scary. If you need someone to talk to I’m very open. It helped me to talk to other survivors, especially those around my age. I was triple negative, had a bilateral Mastectomy and chemotherapy. Yes I lost my hair. Email me if you want my phone number. God bless you on your journey.

  6. daniel/cathie orozco says:

    you better know daniel and i are walking with you, prayer will be our strong weapon and trusting our Heaven Father. He is a tender Father. You are never alone!! peace.

  7. Jill Mitten says:

    For the dearest teacher I was ever blessed to have….You are truly one of the strongest women I know and I have no doubt that God is holding you in His healing hands. My mother is a 10-year breast cancer survivor, due mostly to her incredible faith in God, prayers of friends and family, and an unwaivering positive attitude! You are not alone in this. Much love…

  8. Raye Lakey says:

    We’re on the journey walking alongside you with prayer support and hope.

  9. Scott Cullins says:

    Sally, you will conquer this setback. Odds are actually in your favor statistically. Personally, my Mother-in-Law and a dear friend’s wife (at age ~40) both were diagnosed with breast cancer and came thru with flying colors. So will you!
    Nevertheless, you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you go thru the course of therapy

  10. Ginger Johnson says:

    I am so, so sorry to hear this. You will be in our prayers. Love you sweet girl.

  11. Candra Turpin says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with this disease…may God guide, comfort and protect you through your treatments. You will be in my prayers.

  12. Marie Agee says:

    I have been there…done that, Sally! Many prayers for you as you walk this path. I have never felt God’s presence in my life more deeply than I did during this time. That was in 1989. Love and prayers for you!

  13. Carol Hilbert says:

    Sally, I’m so sorry to hear this. God and all who love you will hold you right through this tough time. I’m praying for quick resolution and healing. I love you, sister.

  14. Linda Hodges says:

    Sending prayers.

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