Monday, October 6, 2008

Purpose in the scar

Out of obligation because I was a member of Women’s Ministries Council I attended the Breast Cancer Awareness clinic at church. I was one of two women who were under the age of 30 at the clinic. I was the girl who always let her gynecologist perform the yearly breast exam that was good enough right? After the clinic I went home to rest and relax with my husband for a few minutes before heading up to bed. I went in and joined him on the couch he was watching a Sheryl Crow concert on tv. I sat down kicked my feet up and stretched out. As I reached for a pillow with my left arm I felt pain in the upper part of my chest. I reached my right hand over and felt above my left breast, and there it was a ‘lump’. It was hard and the size of an almond. I spent a few minutes feeling and making sure I wasn’t going crazy…since I had just come home from the clinic and now I was watching Sheryl Crow who had just battled breast cancer, maybe I was just a tad hypersensitive. After a few minutes of pushin’ and pokin’ I couldn’t make it go away it was there. I finally said to my husband, ‘you have to feel this’ he didn’t hesitate for a second once he realized where it was. ‘Do you feel it?’

I remember going to bed that night questioning God’s timing.

I went to see a breast care specialist who confirmed what my husband and I felt. He did an ultrasound. The ultrasound informed us that it was nothing to worry about at this time. I was instructed to make sure the lump didn’t change and to schedule a follow-up appointment in a few months. I did great right after the appointment. Then a few days before I was going in for the follow-up ultrasound I felt a cloud of worry, fear, and doubt surround me.

I went in for another ultrasound, no change! I scheduled a follow-up ultrasound a few months out.

A few days before the ultrasound I started to have a flood of thoughts that I could not hold captive.

I went in for my follow-up appointment and my doctor asked how I was doing. I explained that ‘I did fine until I remembered the lump was in there, and that I feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my chest waiting to go off. I feel like I keep coming back so you can tell me if it has gone off yet!’

The ultrasound showed change in the lump. I was scheduled to have it removed. The lump was removed on a Friday and I waited until Monday afternoon for a phone call from the nurse….benign!

The surgery left me with a one-inch scar.

The purpose of the scar:

 So I can see it and know everyday its there
 To be able to understand and sympathize in the fear of waiting for results
 To encourage women to take care of themselves
 To stand beside women who are going through the process
 To know the feeling of having something in my body that shouldn’t be there
 To submit my fear of the unknown
 To understand beauty is internal and not external
 A visual to know I am forever changed
 To grow in prayer

It’s about faith in God and believing in His purpose for the scar. God’s purpose!


Amy said...

Nicole, I am so glad everything turned out ok. God does take us through testing to reveal His purpose in us. I appreciate your heart for God and wanting to follow Him. It has been a joy to get to know you in this journey. Blesssings.

Chatty Kelly said...

Wow - talk about a frightening time. And that is just 1 fraction of what you would have gone through had the nurse not said "benign."

I'm sure you have a heart for Breast Cancer Awareness now.

Keep up the awareness. Knowledge is power.

Edie said...

I'm so glad that you are alright. I'm sure that was a very frightening experience but clearly one that God will use in you to help others. Bless your heart.

Pinkshoelady said...

Hi friend!
I have been there too. Isn't that a beautiful word...benign.

I'm glad you are OK.

Your testimony God will use in evey way!

Praying for you!

My ADHD Me said...

I am SO glad everything went well. It is very hard and scary waiting for those results.
God does everything "on purpose". Perhaps this blog will save a life or two...and probably a few souls too.

Nicole said...

Wow, what a frightening time. I'm glad it was benign. I know that God will use you to reach others and sympathize with them!


Kristen said...

I am thanking God that everything turned out ok.

I know all too well what you experienced as my youngest sister at the age of 33 had breast cancer. She will be 6 years out this year! She felt a lump, and called the doc! Ladies... I cannot express to you the importance of self exams, mammograms and doctor visits.

God Bless You!

Truth4thejourney said...

You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this very personal, very frightening event in your life. I am so thankful that it was benign and you are ok. Scars come in many shapes and sizes, there are even ones that form on our hearts.

God is good!

Cindy said...

Hey girl, I've been there. I have the scar to prove it. I'm glad you are alright!!!

Fibrocystic breast disease keeps me checking regularly.

I too have my bracelet from Alexa! Mine says believe!!

I believe everyday!!!!!!!!

Runner Mom said...

Thank you Nichole for this reminder! I am so glad that you are fine. It is so important that we take precautions like self examinations, regular check-ups, and mammograms.

Thank you for being an advocate--both in breast cancer awareness and for Christ! You are such a witness in both areas.
Love ya,

Susan said...

Oh wow, what an amazing story. (makes me want to check myself now!!)

I had a small scare once, and gosh, the W-A-I-T, that is the hardest part!

I have a son who is a brain tumor survivor. We've been through the dx, the surgery, treatment. Now, it's those scan days that are the hardest.

I'm so blessed you are fine, and you were persistent. We are truly our best advocates!!

So nice to meet you!!

Krista said...

I am so glad that it was benign! I appreciate your illustration and I challenged by your words!

Have a blessed day,

Joyful said...

I went through the same scare a year ago, extra tests, ultrasounds, cone compressions, but everything turned out fine in the end.

Your post made me think of the song, "Heal the Wound, but leave the scar" by Point of Grace.

Thankful all is well with you,

Susan Roberts said...

How cool that God lined things up just in the right way for you to be more aware and to find the lump in your breast! His timing if perfect. I thank Him for being with you and for the benign outcome! To God be all the glory!


Kimberly said...

What a beautiful scar you have. Beautiful in all that God achieved in your heart through it. Thank you so much for sharing about it!

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Wow Nicole I had no idea you had been through this! Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing what your scar means to you. Thanks for this! It's an eye opener!!

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Wow, Nicole! That had to be so scary! Praise God all is well. Thanks for sharing.

My Army Brats and Me said...

I am crying and praising at the same time. I am so sorry that you went through this. I am so glad you are aware of your body. You just have to be. I am so thankful that you are fine. I will continue to pray for you my dear friend.
Love Cindy

My Army Brats and Me said...

Alexa and I love the bracelet. Thank you for wearing it!

Amydeanne said...

beautiful blog Nichole! and I held my breath while reading this post.
Glad it's benign.. scars bring out a lot of emotional "war wounds"..

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Amazing story! Amazing testimony!
I just love the thought you present of living life 'on purpose'. Your heart for God is an encouragement!

Samantha @ the Listener's post said...

Wow - God is good. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad that you can see how He can use it in your life!

He has big plans for you girl!

Tracy @ our Journey said...

Yeah....that is Kayla's natural hair color, or should I say colors.

;o}-my hair is the same way, just much darker...usually if I ever go to a new stylist she argues with me that you can't have highlights like that naturally. Ha-I have never colored her hair or mine.

Isn't it funny how it is striped like that? 100% natural.

Kristi O said...

I hate when we have visible reminders of God's goodness in our everyday. But I am thankful we serve such an amazing and big GOD who paid for them all. Amen!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

How very poignant. I mean you have just described the purpose in everyone of our scars whether they are physical or emotional. I believe the trials in our lives produce scars and He uses those for His purpose.

Praising Jesus with you for your healthy report and your lasting scar reminding you of His goodness and purpose.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your sweet comments. I appreciate them so much.
Sweet Blessings.

My ADHD Me said...

Hi. Me again. I wrote about you in my most recent blog. Hope it puts a smile on your face.
Take care.

Kimberly said...

I smiled when I saw you listed in the Linky at Lysa's. This is such a wonderful post! I'm glad you chose it!


Julie said...

When I discovered my first cyst I was flooded with fear, doubt and worry. I wrestled with God until I found His peace. He came to me in the moment and told me He was with me. I entered the doctor's office to have my ultrasound. I knew He was in the room. He told me He would be.

I too had a good report, fluid filled cysts.

But what I remember the most about that day 6 years ago was His presence and peace.

I found you from Lysa's blog. It's nice to meet you.


Rena Gunther said...


What a beautiful testimony you have! He will no doubt use this for many women.

I found you at Lysa's blog and popped over for a visit. So glad!

And the pic....I LOVE it! It speaks volumes!

Rena Gunther