Late spring, 2016, Lucia felt a lump under her left breast. She monitored it throughout the summer, thinking it was a physical anomaly, not cancer. We all just finished a mud run, so she thought something popped up because of the run.
It did not go away, so on November 01 she went for a mammogram. The doctors believed it was cancer. They also found seven lumps, not one. We went back a few days later for a biopsy. The doctor said it was cancer, thus, the information they were looking for was not if it was cancer but what stage. How bad is it?
We set up our third appointment a few days later. This time it was across the street at the Pelham Medical Center. The first two appointments were in Spartanburg, SC, a few miles away.
Tristen was in school during these appointments. For this third one, we left Haydn and Ansa home. We were unsure of the report, which is why we sat outside the cancer center, struggling in a surreal way as to whether we were going in. We knew it was futile: we had to go in, but we struggled with potentially hearing the worst kind of news.
The same doctor from Spartanburg was there. She said it was stage one and Lucia had an 80+% rate of recovery with no side effects. That was a relief. It appears she will more than likely lose one breast. We’re waiting for one more report to see if it’s a simple, double mastectomy, as opposed to radical.
In the meantime, there is genetic testing to see the effect on the kids. Then there are all the grants we need to apply for. There is a team of doctors and other specialists part of this process. As our surgeon said, “You will be well-doctored through this process.” He is right. So many people. So many questions.
We have since met with the radiologist. There will be a future meeting with a plastic surgeon. All the folks we’ve met thus far have been wonderfully patient, caring, and thorough. Ironically, they reflect our relational model of ministry.
Historically, I meet with folks for two hours rather than 55-minutes. This is intentional because people are people, not cattle to be herded. It’s kinda cool to be on the other end of this kind of relational model for care. Our cancer team is fabulous. They are super-busy but we feel as though we’re the only folks they are caring for. Lucia’s nurse navigator called the other day asking how she was doing. They talked for an hour. It’s amazing kindness from the LORD.
We are not struggling with any kind of negative “God thoughts” regarding this cancer. If anything, our faith in the LORD is strengthened, if I can say it that way. We’re not special or the exception to fallenness. Though I always figured the most traumatic health problems would be me, it’s not a surprise this one is Lucia.
We’re all uniquely fallen. You can do everything right and still have cancer. That is not an excuse to be foolish or careless, which we are not, but it’s an affirmation that “fallenness” does not respect anyone. Nevertheless, God is still good, still strong, still kind, and madly in love with us, and we are in love with Him. Why not? He’s the only one that can buoy us during this difficult season.
And He has.