Experiencing a Lumpectomy and Gaining 'Insight'

A woman writes a poem about how she leaned on family, faith and friends when a suspicious spot was discovered during her annual mammogram appointment.

I went to my annual appointment for a mammogram, just like I did religiously every year. It seemed unusual that I was asked to wait while the radiologist read my scans, but I did so. In a short while I was taken to her office, and she showed me a suspicious spot on my right breast via her computer program. After our talk, she walked me to the surgery clinic to introduce me to a surgeon and make an appointment for a mastectomy.

It all happened so fast that, at the time, I couldn’t take it all in. Ultimately, I went back to the surgeon several times to ask questions, got a second opinion, pored over medical books and journals and finally made the decision the morning of surgery: to have a lumpectomy.

I made the right decision, and have had good mammograms since. However, the process and concerns I had at the time were the same as for one who has a mastectomy. It’s a traumatic time for the patient, family and friends. Through it all, I learned to lean on my faith and those who love me. They never failed.

Insight

I sat in the radiology room

Waiting for results of my scan,

Wondering if I could live with news

That was not a part of my plan.


I exercise and eat healthy foods.

I get checkups once a year.

Cancer has never been in my family,

So I knew the tests would be clear.


But in the recesses of my heart

A fear took hold and grew,

And when I saw the doctor's face,

The imagined fears came true.


I love my family and hold friends dear,

It couldn’t be time to leave

My precious children, my dearly beloved;

This wasn’t their time to grieve.


But then I thought, with head held high,

I live by faith, not fear.

While the doctor spoke of lab reports,

The message to me was clear.


My life is the Lord's and not my own.

He can take me or let me stay.

His will, not mine, will give me life

For years, or months, or a day.


In a war against an elusive foe,

In battles I don't understand,

I have to trust, as I fight for life,

That God will hold my hand


That He’ll carry me over the deepest ravine,

That He’ll lift up my spirit from hell,

That He’ll cleanse me through the burning fires,

That His love will make me well.

This poem was originally submitted for the CURE® 2021 Poetry Contest.

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