I feel truly blessed to live just outside of Annapolis and have access to such an amazing Breast Center at Anne Arundel Medical Center. When I reflect on those days of going through treatment 7 years ago, I can’t help but be so proud of what we have for Breast Cancer care just minutes down the road~from the surgeons to the oncologists to the oncology nurses and staff at the DeCesaris Cancer Institute to the picturesque ceiling tiles. I read this post that I wrote in June of 2016 this week, and I think that it might be one of my best offerings about the fear that I still live with day to day but the HOPE that overshadows it all. It was also another sweet re-reminder (is that a thing?) of why I am so passionate about the support that Pinked offers to others…..
Lately I have been reading Dr David Jeremiah and looking up at a few of these again. These two things take me back to a very unsettling time. Dr David Jeremiah’s book When Your World Falls Apart (along with Jesus Calling) is what I ran to in the desperate days when I first learned of my breast cancer diagnosis. This picturesque ceiling tile was what I stared at in the moments surrounding learning that I had breast cancer. While it certainly is a sincere gesture to offer a view of something other than a blank ceiling tile while you uncomfortably lie on an examination table awaiting bad news, these rectangular pieces of tree and sky have become a bit of a symbol in my mind. It was this symbol accompanied by a few good words from a wise man that were just what I needed last week.
A few weeks ago while doing my self-exam I felt some lumpiness in my left armpit area. My hunch was that it was nothing to be alarmed about but frankly that was what I thought (almost) five years ago. So I wasn’t about to let it go without absolute confirmation that I am in fact a crazy person. It is kinda tricky when the only real indicator we post-mastectomy peeps have is our hands. That takes the mind to crazy places sometimes. So to the Breast Surgeon I went, which led to a follow up ultrasound quickly followed by an already scheduled yearly meeting with my Oncologist. That was a lot of picturesque ceiling tiles in two weeks time.
At the same time as making these visits to some old friends, I noticed that I was struggling a bit with my attitude, not about these appointments but just about life in general. I was second guessing my efforts with Pinked, I was missing my time in The Word, I was grouchy and self-absorbed. I was starting to taste summer, and even that wasn’t bringing the joy or anticipation for life that I often feel.
Then I sat staring at picturesque ceiling tiles again, a necessary step to hear that what I was most likely feeling was a bit of scar tissue. It was also a good and quite timely reminder that there is no guarantee in tomorrow, nor do I have much say in tomorrow. Recent horrific news events are most certainly evidence of that. But I do have this moment and I have a Hope that overshadows all the possibilities of what tomorrow might hold. And because of this Hope, I can choose to make whatever precious time I have on earth not about me.
When I stare into those picturesque ceiling tiles, my purpose becomes clear again. I see my family that needs my love, my time and my joy undivided by my preoccupation with me. I see others hurting from the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis that just might need care and compassion from someone who has lived through it. Most clearly, I see the brokenness of all of us (me included) that need the good news of a Savior who offers us Grace and assurance that no matter what, it all ends well.