The Anniversary

Dear Readers,

     Since March is the month I discovered a lump in my breast, it seems appropriate to run this journal entry today…


     THE ANNIVERSARY MONTH- Journal Entry, 2006


     I had my annual mammogram this week.  As usual, I sat with several frightened women in the prep room.  I decided to break the ice, so I asked them all a question, "Have any of you had breast cancer?"

     The entire group gasped!  A series of answers flowed from them, all amounting to a giant "No!"

     "Well, I have!" I told them, "It’s a good thing that we are all here!  Last year I lost my sister to breast/ovarian cancer, and another sister also has had breast cancer!"

     "Did you have chemotherapy?" one frightened patient asked.

     "No!  Thank God, I caught it in an early stage!" I told her, "I only needed surgery twice, and radiation!"  More questions fired back to me.

     "How come only surgery and radiation?" another woman inquired.

     "There were no cancer cells in the surrounding tissue, so chemo was ruled out as necessary treatment!  Only radiation was done as a preventative!"

     "Do you have a scar?" yet another lady asked.  (What she was really asking was did I lose my breast, but no one wants to say that out loud.)

     "Yes, I have a scar!  Would you like to see it?"  Several of them shook their heads up and down in response.  (Many women secretly want to see how deformed a breast gets after cancer has been removed.)  As I showed them my scar, I could see relief on their faces.  A hair line flaw is easier to accept than a lost breast.

     I continued, " I remember waking up from surgery and immediately asking my nurse, ‘Do I still have my breast?’  And she responded with, ‘Yes hon; we don’t remove breasts any more unless it is absolutely necessary!"

     I tried to reassure the group, "This is why it is so important to catch it early!  My sister, who passed away, went several years without a mammogram!  When she finally had one, she was faced with stage 4 cancer!  Even breast removal and chemo didn’t stop it from eventually getting to her ovaries."

     Fear again consumed the group.  As one lady was called in for a second set of xrays, she sighed and began to tremble.

     "Get in there Sweetie!" I encouraged her, "It’s better to be safe than sorry!"  She smiled at me as she left the room.

     We all chatted away until a technician entered with a lot of documents for me to sign.  Silence again consumed the group as they watched me put my signature on several forms, before they would release me.  I smiled at all of them and told them, "Once you have been diagnosed positive, the rules change!"

     Released with a warning of a possible "Call back," I smiled and picked up my purse.  Glancing back at the others I said, "Have a nice day girls!  Remember, enjoy every day of your lives from now on!"  They all smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.

     My day was complete.  I was free once again from the mammo prep room, to go about my life, and thank God for every day that I am cancer free!


                           Love in Christ,  Claire xoxo


     P.S.  That following summer of 2006, we retired and relocated to Missouri.  The clarity of the mammograph machines has improved tremendously over the years, making it unnecessary to take a lot of extra pictures.  Also, the xrays are quicker and far less painful than years ago; A wonderful relief for women today.


     Psalms 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  (NIV) 


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