Updated: Mar 20, 2020
I stormed out the hospital. I had just received the official diagnosis of HER2+Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer, Stage 3. And I was livid.
Not that it should have been a total surprise. A few months prior, I noticed changes in my right breast. I have extremely dense breasts where bumps & lumps around the edges have been common most of my life. Excessive amounts of caffeine made them worse. I remember a wave of fear crashing over me. Something felt different.
Immersed in an entrepreneurial project that I valued above my own health, I pushed my instincts aside and plowed down my workaholic path. I was not going to be “distracted.” I was under a tight, self-imposed deadline and believed that pushing myself with perfectionistic standards was the only way to succeed. My body’s whispers for rest, love and self-care had gone unheard by me for most of my life. You don’t want to wait until your body starts screaming with a life-threatening illness to make changes.
When I started noticing nipple discharge, I knew something was amiss. Holding my breath, I Googled my symptoms (never smart) to learn that these were traits common to premenopausal hormonal changes... and cancer.
Cancer? No way. It wasn’t in our immediate family. My maternal grandmother’s two sisters had breast cancer. But that seemed genetically far away enough for me. I was fine.
Not long after my Googling, the project launched and God’s hand intervened- but not in the way I expected. Things were not going as I hoped, and I pleaded in my prayers to know why? When I look back now, I shudder to think what would have happened had I been successful. I would have pushed even harder, ignored my body even longer… would it have been too late? I once read that we should thank God for all the prayers that He didn’t answer.
I had been under so much financial stress over the last years and this project seemed to be the saving grace. Yet every time I got quiet with God, I would hear deep in my spirit: “You first need to heal your body.”
Less stress? Sugar? Caffeine? More rest? Relaxation (foreign to me).
In June of 2019, I had a diagnostic mammogram.
The answer came.