She said, “The doctor saw a questionable spot on your mammogram yesterday and wants to see you again. Can you come in today?”

Her words made my heart stop and my thoughts fly.

Why did they want to see me so soon?? I have no pain! Are they just being overly cautious?? Is this the way people find out they have stage-4 cancer out of the blue all by themselves in a strange doctor’s office?? Why doesn’t anyone answer their phone at 9:00 in the morning?! Why were my words rushed and clipped this morning with the kids? I know so many people fighting this awful disease. Was I one of them and didn’t know it yet? Why did Mike have to be in Chicago today?? How do I fight and love and live well? Grandma went to Mexico for her cancer treatment way back in the day and mom’s cysts dissolved on their own after she quit sugar. What am I supposed to do?? I don’t want to be well-versed in this area of medicine as I have been with Jonny and his brain. Wasn’t I just talking to someone about the blessing of early-detection?…

The questions went on for a few miles of M40 but slowly they were replaced by these quiet words: God is my refuge and strength a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore I will not fear though the mountains crumble into the heart of the sea, though the waters rage and foam, I will not be afraid. He holds me with his righteous right hand. 

Regardless of the mix of KJV and NASB, these words calmed my heart and mind as they reverberated over and over. The uncertainty hadn’t changed. I still felt shaky like I was a poser in the land of the healthy, but my heart was quiet.

I arrived at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and after sending off a few quick texts to my husband and mother-in-law, I made it to the room in time to begin. Usually each year, the admin of our class mixes up the women so well that I end up in a group with no one that I know. This year, I’m with four of last years group – and one a dear sweet lady who survived her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s and her own battle with breast cancer. It was next to her that I “happened” to sit as I arrived on autopilot.

With one glance, she saw something was wrong and asked. I told her. Her kind words, strong hug and the courage deep in her eyes were almost as effective as the words still scrolling through my mind. I hugged her tight as I would my grandma.

After our discussion time, she quietly asked me if I would like someone to go with me and that she didn’t have anything going on today. I thanked her with another big hug and said I would be okay.

I walked into that office feeling like I wasn’t walking in alone.

Within the hour, I was walking out again. The doctor, satisfied that it was just exceptionally dense tissue, told me to return in six months for another round of diagnostic testing to make sure the area was stable.

In the space of a morning, my perspective on life had been altered forever. Suddenly the little projects in the house didn’t matter as much as they had yesterday. I was excited for the bus to come home so I could squeeze my three crazies.

Even more than that, I was acutely aware of my need to begin some new verse memorization. Those words, regardless of the translation, quieted the raging pendulum swinging in my soul.

Being 40 isn’t for wimps, but God’s stronger than this body of mine. Whatever comes.