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  • cassiekarch

Worry tried to creep in.

I scheduled my yearly routine mammogram appointment the day before I was scheduled to leave out of town. According to the national institute for health, approximately 25% of women die from detected breast cancer, that is if they don't die from something else. For those of you who don't know what it entails, let me explain. When getting a mammogram, you stand in front of a special x-ray machine with one of your breasts exposed. A technologist will ask you to place your breast on a clear plate and will guide you to the exact position it needs to be in. During the course of the test, another plate firmly presses your breast from above. The plates flatten your breast while the x-ray takes the necessary pictures for the doctor to review. It’s a very uncomfortable process but it only lasts about 10-15 seconds.  When the exam is complete the technician will give you the spill. She reminded me that no news was good news, and my results should be in within a couple of hours. They would only give me a call if something was wrong.  I left my appointment and headed to the gym. 


Thirty minutes into the gym I noticed a call from an unknown number. I hit the decline button and went about my workout. Sorry but I don't answer calls from numbers that I don't know. You can leave a message or send me a text and I will return your call when I am available. I was completing my leg extensions when the number called again.  I immediately picked up because if you are calling right back, it must be important.  To my surprise it was the breast center. They wanted me to come back in for further testing. My right breast needed some additional imaging. I scheduled my appointment for the day when I returned from my trip.  I hung up the phone and tried to get back to exercising, but my mind was racing.  I've lost a few family members to cancer, not breast, but other types.  There is some family medical history that is still a mystery to me.  At that moment I remembered one of my favorite scriptures (Romans 8:28) and played praise and worship on my phone to listen to while exercising but my mind wouldn't let me concentrate on my workout.  I had to leave and go home.


What made this scenario worse in my mind, is that I work in health information management and just a few hours earlier I was data entering into a chart for a patient who had an abnormal mammogram and needed additional imaging as well. I see this type of information day in and day out. I just couldn't shake it.  I sent a text to my kids and a couple of my closest friends and was encouraged that everything will be fine.  My daughters told me to get ready for my vacation and don't stress about anything. One of my friends called me and told me that this was just a test and I have already passed it, but it was just something I needed to get through.


I didn't think about it at all while I was away on vacation.  I was enjoying the beautiful country and people of Australia.  I returned home on a Wednesday and on Thursday I had my appointment.  The technician walked me back to the exam room and asked if I've ever had a call back before. I told her no; this was my first one in 8 years.  She said well don't worry, every woman gets at least one call back in her lifetime.  She told me that they found a mass in my right breast and showed me the imaging. When I saw the tiny circle, fear crept in, and I pushed it out. I said to myself, all will be well.  I took a picture of it and sent it to my kids.  I like to make sure they are well aware of what is happening with me.  She performed another mammogram on my right breast. This time was a few seconds longer than the first time as she had my breast in a certain position.  She had me take a seat and wait for the doctor to review the imaging. If he saw something suspicious, I would be called back for an ultrasound.  


I was called into another room to wait for his decision.  Within ten minutes I was being guided to another exam room for an ultrasound. I could feel the tears start to well up in my eyes.  I said to myself, "You Got This." As I laid down on the exam table, I had to expose my right breast for the technician to examine me. I raised my hand above my head, and she put a warm gel on my breast and then used the ultrasound to get an in-depth look at the mass that was inside.  This procedure took about 2-3 minutes and then I waited for the doctor to review the images.   As I sat there for what seemed like a long time but was really only a few minutes I was calm. I know that God would not give me more than I could handle, and He didn't bring me this far for me not to trust Him. 


The technician came back and said you are clear.  The mass in your breast is just a cyst filled with fluid.  I could feel the little bit of tension I was experiencing in my body immediately subside.  My immediate thought was, thank the Lord. According to the Mayo Clinic online, "breast cysts are common in women ages 35-50 and usually disappear after menopause.  Treatment usually isn't needed but if a cyst is too large and uncomfortable it can be drained with a needle."


I want to remind you that worry is a down payment on something that may never even happen. Why do we get ourselves all worked up and cause ourselves pain and pressure? The bible says in Matthew 6:34, don't take troubles ahead of time because tomorrow will have its own problems.  Just do faithfully what you should be doing today and live one day at a time. When you find yourself about to enter into a state of worry, I want you to stop and pause for a moment. Take a deep breath and think about all the things that are going well in your life.  Practice some self-compassion and self-gratitude.  Share your fears with someone close to you so that you aren't holding it all to yourself. If you are not already, I encourage you to keep a journal and make sure you are getting enough sleep.  Trouble doesn't last always and the sun will rise again.

Sending you love, light and positive vibes,

Cassie K.

"Always remember to LIVE to the fullest, to LAUGH at everything and LOVE unconditionally."

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