There is nothing that can prepare you for the moment when a doctor says to you, “Your results came back and you do have cancer.”
Many of us probably have thought what if this is cancer or that is cancer, but we truly don’t think that it is and we truly don’t think we are going to be the one who gets cancer. This was me until this August. That is when my safe little world was turned upside down.
Being a 62-year-old woman, I didn’t get a mammogram as often as my wonderful doctor asked me to do yearly. However, this time when she mentioned it again, I said okay and made the appointment. At that time, I was thinking this way she will be proud of me when next time I can say I had one, again thinking nothing would come of it. Following the mammogram, the lady says to me, I see a spot on your right breast so we want to biopsy it. Still thinking it’s just a spot from where I had such large breasts, it won’t turn out to be anything.
After having the biopsy, of course, there is a wait time. It wasn’t long before my doctor called and gave me the news, the spot is a cancerous tumor. I think at that point, I was just in shock and I heard her say you need to see the oncologist. And as if I was a robot, we set up the appointment and still it had not sunk in, ‘You have cancer.’
I told my family and friends that I had this little tumor on my breast, it is really small and it was caught early. I think I was thinking that if I downplayed it, it wouldn’t be a big deal. I did keep saying that I knew the Lord had this and that I knew I wouldn’t have found it if He wasn’t in control. I still believe this with all my heart, but at that time I was still thinking that this was nothing – Denial- I am sure that any of you that have had cancer know exactly what I am talking about.
My next step was to see a surgeon and after this visit, it really started to sink in, “I have breast cancer.” Here this doctor was telling me my next step and I was ‘wide awake all of a sudden! Now mind you, I had always said that if I ever got breast cancer, I would just have them both taken off, never really dreaming that it would happen to me and yet here I was asking him if we could have them both removed. I still thought, have the breasts removed and this will be over, we caught it early, it is small, the Lord is in control and it will be over quick as that.
However, the Lord had a different plan because when I went for my two-week follow-up with the surgeon, he told me all went well but not only did I have a tumor, I had three tumors, but I didn’t have anything in my lymph nodes and nothing with the tumors had spread, but I did need to see my oncologist just to be sure if he felt I needed chemo or any other treatment.
It was at the oncologist appointment that I literally got smacked in the face! . This was when he let me know that one of the other two tumors was serious and we were going to have to have some chemotherapy to make sure the cancer was completely gone. Plans were made and I will be having 6 cycles of chemo each one, three weeks apart. Then, I will have a year’s worth of protein and antibodies treatment. My journey is not quite over and I needed to hang on a little while longer I still have faith that my God has all of this in His control and there is a reason and it will all be okay.
I know there are others who have or are now going through so much more and I feel so bad for them. I pray for them daily and maybe this is my story, I want to witness how good God has been to me and even though this journey is going to be longer than I anticipated I will use my testimony and faith in Him.
Plus, I will be constantly telling women of all ages, get their mammograms, it is so important, had I not finally listened to my doctor and had a mammogram, it would have been too late. No one likes mammograms, but they are so essential to a woman’s overall health. I would not want to see anyone have to go through this if it could have been prevented or wait until it is too late.
I have celebrated breast cancer awareness month for several years here at the newspaper, but I never dreamed that I would one day be one of the women who had to take this journey, we worry about it, but we still don’t really think it will happen to us. But, it does happen to women every day and we feel like we are strong, but I can’t describe the amount of weakness I have felt during this time. I just won’t let it get me down and I will win this battle and this journey we don’t think we’ll ever have to take will be over for me. God Bless all of you.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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