Gifts of Breast Cancer - I get what really matters.

If you know me well or have read my blogs, then you know that I am a Breast Cancer Survivor (I prefer Thriver.)  You may also know that I consider it to be one of the best things to ever happen to me.  There are so many gifts that I received from having Breast Cancer, I want to share the first one with you today.

I found a lump in my breast six weeks after the miscarriage of my second child at the age of 27.  It was July, and I remember I was on vacation and felt it while putting on sunscreen.  I happened to have the six week check up from my miscarriage the following Monday and my OB/GYN immediately sent me to a specialist to have it checked out.  My Doctor thought it was very unlikely that it would be anything serious based on my age, but wanted me to check it out, just to be sure.  I was scared, mostly because I had just seen the movie Terms of Endearment while on vacation, and it all seemed too possible!

So off I went for the appointment with the surgeon.  Scared, but optimistic.  After all, there was no history of cancer in my family that I knew of, so what were the odds, especially at my age?  The surgeon felt that we needed to do a biopsy and she made plans for me to check into the hospital for the procedure the following Monday.

Later that week I got a call from the surgeon.  I will never forget that moment or that day as long as I live.  The surgeon said that she thought my ultrasound looked very suspicious of cancer and that she wanted me to prepare myself as I came to the hospital for the biopsy next week for the worst.   She said she would have the lab test the lump while I was under the anesthesia, and if it was, indeed what she suspected, she would then do the mastectomy.

I remember that I was at my office and I was immediately transported.  Everything shifted! I felt totally different in my body. My entire being shifted!  In a split second I completely knew what was important to me in life.  All of the ever so important problems and challenges at work that I was so dedicated to solving and excelling at were suddenly (instantly) meaningless to me.  I knew how precious life was.  All I cared about were the people that I loved.  Most particularly, my three year old son, Mike.   I began to cry and I began to pray.  All I kept thinking was God please let me live long enough to see him grow up and find someone to love him as much as I do.  Let me see him fall in love and get married.

That clarity that knowing of what is really precious in life has stayed with me since.  Don’t get me wrong, I can and do still get caught up in the “stuff” of life.  However, when I get really caught up in seemingly significant problems and challenges, I can bring my awareness to that moment and it brings that clarity back instantly.  I am forever grateful to Breast Cancer for teaching me that lesson at such a young age – what a gift! It has made a significant impact on my life and how I approach it. 

And, I have to say that I am profoundly grateful that I got to see Mike grow up, fall in love and marry Rachel.  Oh, and give me the gift of our beautiful granddaughter Lillian.   She reminds me everyday what is truly important.  

This is my wish for you, and everyone on the planet.

With love,

Lillie