Monday, September 29, 2008

Think Pink

One beautiful, August Saturday, my dear friend and sister-in-law, Lauren, was getting married to the strapping young man of her dreams, Josh. We had all spent months planning and dreaming about this beautiful celebration of love and patience on the Lord's perfect timing and provision of a spouse. The day had gone off without a hitch - Lauren was stunning, Josh was nervous, and the church was decorated to the nines. It was a day that would go down in history.

Just 30 short minutes before the two were to become one, I decided to forgo the stark white strapless bra that stuck out of the top of my black strapless dress. As I was taking it off, I glanced down at my meager bosom to see a small, rounded bump just below the skin on my left breast. Immediately, I ran my fingers over the bump, all the while thinking, "Hmm? I've never noticed that before." This little guy felt hard, but movable, so I didn't worry too terribly about his presence. Quickly, I said to my onlooking husband, "Brian, I have a lump." Together, we reassured ourselves that this couldn't be a big deal - I'm only 25. Young women have lumpy breasts. Ladies my age have benign bumps removed all the time. I continued to rub my hand over the raised mound throughout the day and into the next.

"You need to let your doctor look at that," my husband guided. "I'm sure you're right, and it's absolutely nothing. But, just to be on the safe side..." I took his advice, and that of my sister, and I called my doctor on Monday morning. Still, I little concern about this occurence. After all, I'm 25. 25-year-olds don't have breast cancer.

I waited the four long days to see my doctor who curiously felt the lump and commented, "Yes, there is definitely something there. It's movable. My guess is that it is a fibroadenoma, but I would like to send you for an ultrasound just to be on the safe side."

Again, I waited in anticipation of the next appointment. All the while, I was thinking, "C'mon you guys. I'm so young. This can't be anything."

Finally, the time came for the ultrasound. I stripped off my top and my bra, and put on a scratchy white robe, and I sat in a waiting room with women my grandmother's age. My loving husband and concerned sister had accompanied me to this event, so I was not alone.

At last, the doctor called me in. I noticed that he quickly hung on one section of my breast. He drew my attention to the lump, and commented, "95% chance this is absolutely nothing but a fibroadenoma. But, there is this one little margin that seems to be a bit ambiguous. Most benign masses are perfectly precise on the edges, and this one has just a small section that seems a little jagged. Nothing to worry about, though. I feel certain this is a fibroadenoma. But, just to be on the safe side... I would like to see you back for a needle core biopsy."

By this time, I was really thinking, "Biopsy? Seriously? Did you forget that I'm 25? 25-year-olds don't have breast cancer."

Again, I visited the breast center. I laid on the table. They numbed my breast. And, in went the longest needle I've ever seen. "Oh good," the doctor commented. "The texture is sticky. That is a characteristic of a fibroadenoma. I'll call you with the results tomorrow, but don't worry. I'm just sure that this is nothing." Off I went on my merry little way. At last, I could rest easy.

I reported to school the next morning, no worries. No problem. RRRIINNG! My cell phone caught me off guard. I thought the doctor was going to call in the afernoon, and it was only 11:30.

"Mrs. XOXO?" I heard a man's voice say.

"Yes, this is Mrs. XOXO."

"I'm so sorry, but it is malignant. You have grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer. I'm in shock. My whole practice is in shock. We were just sure that this was a fibroadenoma. I knew there was a chance, but I just didn't think that this was going to be the case. Are you okay?" he stopped and asked.

"I'm fine. What do I need to do?" my body felt like it had survived a blizzard. I was numb. Immediately nauseous.

"You need to call a surgeon today. This is a very aggressive tumor, and you need to get it out quickly. Then, you need to come in for a mammogram so that we can check your breasts with another form of screening."

That's the moment when my life forever changed. I went from a person who was aware of breast cancer research to a person who needed breast cancer research.

Please, if you're able. Support the cause. You just never know how your help may come back to save your life.

And, be an advocate for your health. You are NEVER to young to start screenings. And, if you are young, insist on an ultrasound. If I'd left my cancer detection up to a mammogram, it would've shown that I was cancer free. They're just not reliable for young women.

Let's beat this!


Whitney said...

You always did have such a strong passion for breast cancer, back in college. I just am constantly reminded of that. Everything I see about breast cancer, I am instantly reminded of you, and I whisper a prayer for you. Isn't it funny how breast cancer awareness month is the day after your surgery - so as all of this PINK surrounds us in stores, I am reminded of you that much more and the prayers are multiplied. :) Love you!

Amy said...

Lindsey, I am praying for you, bloggy friend. I have your name written on my calendar for tomorrow. I will pray for you all throughout the day. And Like Whitney said, the pink all around will be a constant prayer reminder as well.
I will also be praying for your sweet husband.
God Bless you both!
In Christ,

podso said...

Lindsey, it is interesting that I went looking for your blog tonight, not having read it in a few weeks. And the news I found.

This evening, you are probably prepping for your surgery tomorrow. I am sorry for all you have faced but admire your attitude--that you know God does not make mistakes and He is with you and your husband, and will be at your side throughout the coming days. He has your cancer in His loving hands, for His loving purpose. May you feel the arms of the Great Physician around you as you head into surgery tomorrow. Once I had scarey surgery in Africa, and I had such a sense of God actually carrying me into the O.R.

I have several younger friends who have faced this at a young age---be encouraged at how much things have improved in treatment over the years.

I will be praying for you tomorrow and in the days ahead.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story/journey thus far. Like I said before, I think you are amazing. Your attitude and outlook on all of this just makes me tear up when I think about it. I look at your story and you and hope that I could be the women you are, standing strong in the midst of this trial.

Check out my blog when you are well enough - I have something for you. The date of the post will be Tues. Sept. 30. I'll be praying for your surgery....

Julie Adams Gray said...

I'm so sharing this blog with the world. Wow...

Michele said...

Oh Lindsey...I, too, have written your name on my calendar and I will saying prayers all day, until everything is better. You are such a strong person. Please know that God will be watching over you tomorrow and all the days to come.


Anonymous said...

Hey lindsay I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you.
My Husbands cousin went through what your going through last year at this same time. She is young to 25 now. Like you said you always think of the co-worker or older friend but thats not always the case. You are an encouragement to me and I hope and pray that all goes well.
My bible study group will be praying for you.
lots of prayers
dani jackson

Crystal said...

You've been in my thoughts and prayers all day and I will continue to pray for you. I'm praying that everything will go well with your surgery tomorrow and that God will comfort you in the weeks and months to come.

melissa ellen parker said...

I'm praying for you! I'm the same exact age and I would be shocked as well. I'm so glad you have such a strong support system and I just know you will get through this with your wonderful spirit and powerful prayer. I really do admire you.

Hugs and many many prayers.


Megan said...

Good Luck. You can beat this.

Lo said...

you are truly an inspiration. in all of your hardships you are constantly thankful for the lessons learned, instead of dwelling on the negative- something that is SO simple for people to do. you have actually changed something in me- with just reading two posts of yours, i am suddenly ashamed of how selfish and negative i have been-when i have so much to be thankful for.

i wish you lots of love and send a prayer out to you this morning as you head into this new section of your life. i am positive you will emerge healthy, alive, loved and loving.

The Fabulous Side of Me said...

My prayers are with you as you are in surgery and trust that God will make your recovery speedy.

Lindsey said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I will be praying for you!

Liz Harrell said...

Lindsey, you're going on my prayer list today. May God bless you and give you peace in your heart. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hi there. I came over from glam life by way of Seven Clown Circus. Just wanted to send you well wishes and hope everything goes well for you today!

Jamie @ Bungalow Bee said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You're in my prayers.

Kate said...
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G. said...

I'm visiting via Glamorous Housewife, and I'm so glad I did. Thank you so much for sharing your story and raising awareness. What an inspiration you are. I pray that you would experience the grace of God like never before as you go through this difficult time.
God Bless you.

Weeksie50 said...

I have been praying for you today.

Unknown said...

Came by from Glam life of a housewife...I will be praying for you and hope the outcome is excellent for you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...


Know that you have been in my prayers for the past several days as I learned of your breast cancer. I pray that your recovery from surgery is going well. I am confident that God is and will be using this in your life in surprising and amazing ways.

You are missed and thought of on Bison Hill,

Monica Mullins

Bee said...

Of course you're in my prayers. I wish I lived closer so I could do more. I was telling my husband about what you're going through, and how much of a witness for Christ you are. God can use this for so much good.

I'll keep praying too, for God's healing and peace.

AngiDe said...

Hi, I linked over from glamorous life of a house wife. I want to wish you all the best in the times ahead. This thing is beat-able!
I know things are probably a bit scary and unknown right now, but when you get some free time I would like to feature you and your story on my blog. I run a cancer project and I am featuring those affected by cancer.
I hope your surgery went well and that you are feeling good.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Warm Regards,

Alabamamom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alabamamom said...

I'm sorry that my last comment was deleted. I misspelled several words and am not savvy enough to edit. I was praying for your surgery and I'm so glad to hear it was successful. You're testimony has touched my heart. I will continue praying for you.

the undomesticated wife said...

I"m so glad you had it checked!

I had a mammogram for the first time last year (at age 33). Not fun, but totally necessary!

I'm glad you were able to catch this! ((hugs))

Carolyn King said...

I just read through your story with tears in my eyes. Life can change on a dime and your story is proof of that.

Saying LOTS of prayers for can beat this.