No Spiders Allowed!
Two years ago around my 40th birthday, I scheduled my very first mammogram appointment. I remember everyone warning me about the discomfort, awkwardness and pain they'd experienced, which helped me prepare for mine. Once the exam began, I kept reminding myself that I had TWO babies naturally, with not a drop of anesthesia. The time of discomfort was worth the cancer-free confirmation I received.
Fast forward two years to Tuesday, May 2, 2018, the day of my second mammogram. This time, I knew what to expect: lots of smushing, flopping, stretching and mashing. I was quite relieved that the technician was much more gentle than the one previously and the appointment seemed to take less time. In fact, we were laughing and enjoying small talk during the exam.
After the appointment, I told her that I would definitely be back in two years and hoped that she would be there to take my scans. She jokingly agreed that she would not take a vacation in 2020 so she could help me.
The next day, Wednesday, May 3, 2018, I received a call from my doctor's office saying they needed me to return to the imaging department so they could take additional pictures from different angles. I wasn't too alarmed because I've heard that sometimes this happens. However, I was not prepared for the words that would come out of the woman's mouth:
"This is a diagnostic appointment, which means the radiologist will talk to you afterwards to discuss treatment options."
Say what?? Diagnostic appointment? Treatment options? Although I was thrown off by her words, I decided not to ask her any more questions. (Maybe because I didn't feel she could/would answer them because of how she blurted those words without a pause or concern for how they would be received.) My appointment was set for the following Thursday, May 10th, almost a week from then. I went online and checked my medical records to see if there were any notes about my upcoming appointment. There, I saw confirmation that radiologist requested additional pictures of my left breast.
That's when the tears came out of nowhere and they were accompanied by thoughts that I hadn't ever anticipated thinking. And they all began with "what if..."
"You are finally experiencing an awesome life with the man of your dreams. What if..."
" You have daughters to raise. What if..."
"You and LT just bought this beautiful home. What if..."
Immediately, I ran upstairs and headed towards the two things I knew would help me quiet those thoughts: My Bible and a journal. I grabbed both and begin to read and write.
These are the two scriptures I read, along with my thoughts after reading them:
Jeremiah 55:8 - "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways says the Lord." (So be quiet, TC! Quit the stinkin' thinkin'. He's worked it out!)
Matthew 9:22 - "But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour." (God sees you! Your tears are physical. But cheer up! All is well!)
In my journal, I confessed the thoughts I was experiencing and the emotions surrounding them.
"After reading those scriptures, I began to get excited and encouraged because God has worked it out...whatever "it" is. I believe that this is a testimony of His healing power and although I don't know what the reason is for needing other angles, I know God has healed me!
The tears that flow now are because I win! I am looking forward to openly sharing my victory, which is why I am documenting this."
After writing in my journal and meditating on the Scriptures, I felt better. Yet, over the next week, there were times when I was alone and the thoughts would try to creep in. I'd quiet them by saying the scriptures and thanking God. I would rub my left breast and continue to thank God for His healing. I did this every time those thoughts tried to invade my space, which was often!
On Thursday, May 10th, I picked the girls up from school and we returned to the hospital for my appointment. After getting them settled in the waiting room outside, I was ushered into the dressing room to put on my cape. When I walked into the x-ray room, there was a different technician. I tried to make small talk to ease my nerves but she remained stoic and professional. This time was definitely different.
After she took a few pictures, the radiologist came in and asked me to raise my arm so he could exam my breast. He asked if I felt any pain. Any lumps or bumps? I answered no. I did point out to him that perhaps what he saw was scar tissue from my shoulder surgeries from years ago. He told me that's not what he saw. I think he may have even chuckled a little at my self-diagnosis.
After a few more pokes and prods, He told me he wanted me to take an ultrasound, which happened to be available in a room across the hall. How convenient. Once we were in the ultrasound room, I was introduced to another technician. She was even more stoic and professional than the previous.
The room was very sterile, cold and the lights were dimmed. Only the whirl of the machine could be heard. My heart raced. Once she situated me on the table, in a very awkward position, so she could get "the best angles", she rubbed the gel on my breast and began taking the ultrasound. With the machine above my head on the right, I intentionally focused on my Scriptures.
"You are healed."
"His thoughts are not my thoughts."
And although those scriptures were in my mind, the image of my daughters in the waiting room kept coming to me.
Mother's Day was that weekend. How would I tell them that...
"You are well, Tiffany. Your thoughts are not My thoughts."
After what seemed like an eternity of her slowly moving the wand over one particular spot and making clicks and notes on the monitor above my head, she left the room. While she was gone, I allowed the tears to flow and began to have a conversation with my Father. Because words escaped me, I spoke in my Heavenly language.
A few minutes later, she returned to the room and began to take more images. Once she was done, she moved to another computer so she could send the report to the radiologist across the hall. She said the images were taking longer than normal to upload. In my mind I thought, "That's because my Daddy is fixing it so you see what He sees." Right after that thought, she said they uploaded and she needed to go and talk to the radiologist again.
After a few minutes, the two of them returned. Now he stood on my left side and she held the ultrasound wand on my right. She seemed to focus on an area toward the bottom of my breast. I looked at the monitor as though I knew what I was looking for. I guess the radiologist saw me looking because he informed me they were looking for something that looked like a black spider on the screen. I told him I didn't like spiders...especially in my body. He laughed a little and said, "I don't think anyone does, besides adolescent boys." Was this his attempt at humor? I nervously laughed and continued to look at the monitor.
Then he said, "I'm glad you don't like them because I don't see any."
At first I was tempted to catch an attitude with him like "YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT YOU HAD ME LAYING HERE AND YOU DON'T EVEN SEE ANYTHING???"
But then I immediately remembered that "my Daddy fixed the images for them to see what He saw... NOTHING."
Once out of the doctor's office, I hugged my girls and the tears really started to flow. On the way home, I was able to candidly share my testimony with them because I felt they needed to hear that although we all experience times when our faith is tested, we must decide whether we will choose to stand on God's Word or listen to the voices of doubt and uncertainty that may come. Although there were times throughout this process when I was tempted to focus on the "what if's". I now know what it feels like, in the moment to have a battle going on deep inside. You see, Satan has one job and it's to place doubt and unbelief in our hearts. He knows that if he can get us to doubt our healing, our deliverance, our safety, our comfort and our trust in God to manifest His promises in our lives, he's done his job. But when we remain steadfast, unmovable and unshaken, he has no choice but to flee!
From the very first call from the doctor's office, I knew that I would be sharing this with you. I didn't know how God would bring it to fruition, but I knew He would.
Thank You, Jesus!
If you enjoyed reading this WHOAment, you may also like "I See You".
I love hearing from you! Let's chat!
* Do you prefer to write or type your journal entries?
* For women 40+: Have you had your mammogram?
* What is your "go-to" Scripture for challenging times?
* In what way(s) were you encouraged by hearing this WHOAment?
* When you read the title, what did you think this WHOAment was about?