Wading Through It All

My thoughts before and after….my intimate prayers are layered: “I ask for complete healing. I pray for a good report of the mass being benign. I ask, that You, Father, Creator, to be with me in whatever I may experience and or hear Thursday.” My tears have been unstoppable on most nights upto Thursday morning, 12/23. Thursday morning, my sister picks me up and we head to my appointment. She is told she cannot wait with me in the waiting room due to the new variant. She returns to the car. I check-in and go to the furthest corner of the waiting room and I begin to cry. Well, there is just too much time between waiting and seeing the doctor so all these thoughts occur. I worry on how to do this. I worry that my prognosis is going to be the worst. I worry that I’m too young for any of this…but that’s not a new worry. I feel as if all of my life I’ve been too young for all that has happened in my lifetime. I laugh-cry reminding myself none of these thoughts sound like your prayers. I pull myself together just as my name is called.

My nurse gives instructions to change and states she will be waiting by my door. I change. I cry some more. I exit the room and she’s waiting. Nurse: “Are you ready?” I respond, “No.” She patiently waits until I am. She smiles. We proceed. She goes over all the medical jargon, expectations and how to take care of myself after. I lay on the table, staring at the ceiling as she begins to locate the mass. Nurse: “I can’t find it. I’ve moved all the way to 12:00+.” (I pray some more, believing God has heard me, answered my prayer.) She’s trying for about 5 more minutes and she finds it. The mass moved from its initial location at 2:00-3:00+ (3 weeks ago) to 1:00+. I’m unsure what this means but I think it is a good thing the difficulty she has locating it. (They determined the location of growth/mass by clockwise direction beginning at the center of the areola.)

Dr. comes in and states: “Your mass is in your areola. The fact that it is moving means that there is fluid inside and that usually means benign. That is not definitive you will have to wait for confirmed testing.” He begins to explain the procedure, the sounds I will hear…..he is kind, his voice comforting. I turn my head, close my eyes and practice my deep breathing as they numb the area. I think they can hear me and it bothers me that I think I am a hindrance. I grow quieter. I stay focused on my breathing and not the pain in my areola; my thoughts: it’s not in the deep parts of my breast. I’m still lost; running back and forth from faith to fear, from fear to faith. “Red Rover, Red Rover send Michelle right over.” Once all was over, I honestly can say I felt better after the procedure than I did going in. My results come Tuesday, over the phone not in person. (Coronavirus Measures 101) Deep sigh again.

Biopsy Christmas. Grief. Loss. Another isolating round of this new variant-Pandemic-ish living. We’re not blindly going into this new year yet we’re exhausted. I pray that we will faithfully say goodbye to the fear with renewed perspectives of ourselves, of our humanity. Yes, 2022 is coming in heavier than 2021. I believe prayers, the fact that we have to be inclusive, insightful of all that is happening around us, those things occurring far away from us and within us is quite a spiritual undertaking; it is becoming traumatic, at times depressive. We turn more towards self-defeat and question our whys, neglecting our purpose. We’re not wrong. We are weary. Our souls ache, we are wounded souls.

I hope that you find yourSelf wading through when you’re not able to stand, lean, pray nor comprehend. Our answered prayers do not always reflect what we ask yet they seem to always be what God knows is for our best, at times our betterment and more often than not what we have the capacity to receive. Trust this timing of your life….ask for what you need…love even the more. We’re not lost. We’re finding our way.

Faith read: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” James 1:17 NKJV

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Spiritual/Self-Independence: Unlearning

Bone Deep: Self-Acceptance

In my thoughts…I think this health struggle has thrown me back into the mentality of struggling, of always having to fight. I’m forgetting a lot of my structural things: forgetting to wear my mask consistently and wondering why everyone is staring at me; driving anxiously—having to concentrate on where I am going, budgeting/being really frugal because I’m frightened of not knowing yet anticipating the good of things. I hope that makes sense. I’m exhausted after errands, after a full day of work…when those things were easy for me. Socially, I’m inept, depleted.

I had gotten into the self-care thought pattern of going to the gym; looked forward to it. Thursday was a true struggle. I went yet I did not see the point in going in that moment. I’m losing weight…my favorite pajama pants fell of me while I was walking. I worried first, then laughed I still haven’t thrown them away. They are laying across my bed. I remain, faithfully in #transition.

No, I don’t have physical symptoms. There is no lump; only the knowledge that there is something there. My struggle is not only mental—the spiritual aspect of it has me reverting to, “Why now?” I stopped asking, “why me” as a teen. As I mature spiritually, I believe God’s love for His son personifies His love for us; He endured so much more.

I trust God’s divine timing —He is at His best…even when I think He’s got me in the valley of things. I’m rereading past writings with wonder and questions that turn me towards my relationship with Him. I do not feel distant. I feel a little lost with the how; the what else and currently the resigned acceptance; okay.

I wrote the paragraph below, April 29, 2019 5:42 am:

“Do not out-position God thinking you can not do better….that your right now is greater than His way, than this path you’re currently on. Review where you initially felt an offset, an unsettling. God didn’t stop there; why have you? Our insecurities can show up in so many different ways. Trust where you are; embrace the position, the possibilities. His grace leads to so much more. Believe Better. His love is greater.”

I do find joy in reflecting on my past writings, it gives way to self-wonderment and the depths of growth. I’m looking more within, giving pause. I hold space for Sundays, for my spiritual self and for my writing soul. What keeps you holding space, grounded in your peace?

Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned; the flames will not consume you.”

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

“There is something there…”

Vulnerability: November 2021

Prelude: I am flowing not forcing. I reflect, smile and I asked God for more writing days.

My days, my months, this year has been divine, purposed, productive, exhausting and loving days of hallelujahs. I am living to “do no harm” to anyone and thriving in my authenticity to be my truly different unique self.

I purchased a gym membership and I show up 2x a week at 5:00 am. I am loving it and finally seeing results after 2 months. I’m closer to entrepreneurship: professional headshots, website. My Tribe is flourishing. As an employee: I’m excelling, scheduled months out and there are bonuses that I forgot about. I witness the healing that will benefit individuals as well as generations and I am in awe of God’s purpose in my life.

Friday, day after Thanksgiving, I show up for my second imaging mammogram. I’m nervously strong, I think. Of course I’m completely turned around due to nerves. I’m in the Breast Cancer Center not Imaging. Mentally cuss the lady that left a voicemail without an address. Now I think I’ve completed a faux pau of predicting my future. Nice lady gave me directions to the Imaging Center.. I walk, yes walk, to the other building. My day off…no coffee, full of lostness and anxiety. #Michelle #DeepSigh #EarlyMornings

Second imaging is the worst. Painfully so.

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing. Move to the left. Face me. Breathe. Stop breathing. Look forward. Look out the window.” Pain. Pain. I gasp.

Me: “Is it suppose to hurt like this?

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing.”

My thoughts: “What have I done? Why am I here?”

She sits me in a quiet area. She comes back.

Her: “Your left breast is clear. We need to do an ultrasound on the right.” I’m still confused. Really confused but I say okay. She does the ultrasound. I realize she taking the longest time. Her: “I’ll go get the doctor.” I stop breathing. He comes in, black framed glasses and white coat. He’s real. He starts examining, searching. I don’t think I’m breathing. There’s nothing in my head. No sound. No words. He speaks: “There’s something there.”

I disassociate. I hear him. My tears fall silently as I listen. My voice whispers, “What now Jesus?”
She places back in the room. I cry. I cry for awhile. She places me in another room. I do not breathe as we discuss procedures. Her: “Do you have insurance?” My thoughts: ”What if I did not? What happens if you do not have insurance? Does it just remain there? Growing?”

I’ve never had the greatest relationship with my breast. I was a 36C at 16 and my mother was a Southern Baptist Mom to her heart; everything was covered. My breasts drew attention: Middle school boys, older men…they eventually became strangers to me. The alienation continued through childbirth and breastfeeding. I did the self-exams, my annuals they were always healthy, heavy, covered (no pretty lace bras for me) …yet they defined my femininity. They are purposeful, necessary, required. They are mine.

I ask for your healing prayers as I go in for a biopsy 12/23. Currently, I’m crying a lot. Thinking a lot. Putting their future ( my Tribe) in perspective. Trying to think…unsure of how to process any and all of this. My Tribe knows. The youngest walks away as I am telling my older two sons. I question him later. He responds: “I heard December 23rd. You’re not dying from cancer. That’s it. We’re not losing you to breast cancer.”

My sleepless nights….strange. I feel strange. Unfamiliar. I wake up crying throughout the night. I now sleep with a security blanket…I wake up holding it. I’m 51. I feel doubtful. Hopeful. Worried. My breasts —alienated. The right one seems more dominant….it never has been…they are disproportionately different in size yet it feels the heaviest. I’m scared. Prayerful.

Life has taught me and taught me well. I stopped believing in my fairytales a long time ago, without bitterness. Nowadays, I see how God places me in the center of my unbeliefs and strengthens me to wait and see, to heal. I am trusting Him for that yet wondering what if it is too big of an ask. Healing?

A few months ago, I silently asked for more writing days, for more “Me” days, for the ability to take more moments to do other things I love: soft launch of private practice, creating a woman’s support group, certification as a group psychotherapist, seemingly my goals, my wants are coming to fruition….all of this I am working on. Trusting Him for those things.; the tangibles. What I know, He answers our prayers His way.

Intimately worded,

Michelle

Persistent: December 2021

#Mammograms #Breasts #MyBreasts #BlackWomenHealth #Mass #Growth #Treatment #Biopsy #Healing #BlackWomen #Therapy #SpiritualHealth