My husband popped by the Doctor's office the day of my diagnosis to pick up the pathology report. By the way, I read that one! They gave him a pink book bag from Susan G. Koman. Inside the bag was a cute little teddy bear that had the word Hope written on his chest. I plopped him right on my night stand. There were a ton of books and magazines, a pink ball cap and a pink warrior scarf. We played this little game of hide the bag as we moved it room to room sneaking a book or two out, reading to one another in the early morning and late at night. Stopping for a hug and embrace more than usual during the day.
We were hiding from the kids! How do we tell them? When do we tell them? We were still waiting for one to come home from college for winter break and one to fly home from New York. There was another who was living in Montana, one living with us and a bonus child finding peace and shelter in our home. There were two others who live just down the road. In case you lost count there are seven. Three from my previous marriage, three from his previous marriage and a bonus daughter that the Lord gave our family to love as a seventh Page.
Nothing makes breast cancer more official than the pink book bag, not even the doctor's words or the pathology report. I began to read the books in the bag and look at all the diagrams. My eyes scanned over the words and pictures several times before I actually read them. I would start to read then my mind would wonder.. what will I look like with no hair and no breasts? I hope I can be buried by that pretty lake at the cemetery. I hope I get to be one of the lucky ones who has one round of chemo and it never comes back. Then a wave of tears come, the book closes and I start read again in about an hour.
Before I could see my doctor again she needs a PET scan. Standard procedure in these cases. It helps tell us more about the cancer and if it is anywhere else in my body. I was very scared since I realized that cancer had been my diagnosis for almost 5 years, with no treatment and total neglect. The PET scan would reveal all. They injected me with nuclear medicine and scanned my body. The whole process took about 45 minutes. Since I was radioactive I could not be around anyone. I didn't bring any books with me. All I could do was be still and know that God was God. I closed my eyes, took hold of my peace and had a conversation with God. When I closed my eyes I saw Him standing by a river. He motioned me to come to Him. I shook my head, no. I don't want to get in the river. I don't want to go with you. I want to stay here. In my heart, I asked if there was anyway I could stay. He simply held up a pen and handed it to me. I knew that writing is my purpose. Well, at least one of my purposes. I agreed with Him that I would use that pen. As soon as that agreement came the test was over. "Job well done," said the technician, "we got a great scan, your doctor will have the results in a few hours."
By the end of the day, sure enough the doctor's nurse called and said that it came back negative. "Negative," I said! "Okay what does that mean"? "Negative what"? you see, I'm asking questions now!
She said, " Negative for more cancer"