Cheryl Copeland

Cheryl's Adventure - 
My little secret  
By Cheryl Copeland

Hmmm – that’s weird.  What is that?  Is that a lump?  How are we to know if a lump is a lump?  We should check ourselves once a month, but what exactly are we supposed to be feeling?  Had I checked myself before, then I ‘d know if it was normal to feel as though I had a twenty-five cent rubber bouncy ball stuck in the side of my boob!

After checking with my school nurse, an appointment was made with my primary care doctor.  She confirmed that there was definitely something lumpy and it was time for further testing at the Breast & Diagnostic Center.  I completed my photo shoot (aka – Mammogram), and was taken back to the waiting room with several other women, all sporting the adorable matching robes.  We all waited patiently, and anxiously, to find out if we’d be happily dismissed or require further testing.

Needless to say, the pictures concluded that I would need an ultrasound.  Once that portion of the day’s festivities was complete, another nurse returned to explain that the mammogram and ultrasound were being compared by the radiologist.  She said they’ve determined it is, in fact, a lump.  Not wanting to accept this conclusion I questioned, “Are you sure it isn’t just a cyst? Could it simply be extra fat?”

She smiled and explained, “No dear.  It’s a definite solid.  It can be called a lump, tumor, or mass.  The fact remains – it’s not liquid or fat.  I’m sorry.   I’ll be back shortly.”  

So what’s a girl to do in a silent, dim lit room, lying on a table all alone?  Close her eyes and begin a conversation with God!  At least that’s what I did! 

“Hey, God!  I just wanted you to know that I’ve had a great attitude about this lumpy business.  I haven’t been worrying.  I haven’t cried.  I haven’t been scared.   I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t take my non-worrying attitude as a sign that I didn’t care – because I promise you, I REALLY do care!  I promise that it would be perfectly okay if you had that nice nurse return and tell me that the lump is all gone!” 

As the last few words were spoken in my mind, visual flashes began to appear.  A slide show of horror consumed my head.   I saw my two beautiful girls, me sick with cancer, my girls crying at my funeral… instantly tears were pouring down my very own cheeks. 

I was definitely losing it on the waiting room table and I needed serious help!  My Daddy taught me that if I believed in God then I must also believe in the devil.  The devil is the one that wants us to be filled with fear, worry, and sadness.  If I ever felt the devil trying to lead me down the wrong path, even if only in my mind, I was to simply command him back to Hell where he belongs. 

“Seriously dude, that was so rude!  I was JUST in the middle of a conversation with God.  Go back to Hell.  I don’t need you right now!”  

Lying with my eyes closed, tears still falling, I continued.  “God, please help me!  I can’t deal with him!  I promise - I’ll concentrate on You if you could please get him off my back and keep him out of my head!  I simply don’t need his negative thoughts and images right now!”  

As the last word trailed off in my mind, my very last teardrop trickled down my face.  An overwhelming sense of peace blanketed over me and I took a nice long deep breath as I wiped my wet cheeks with my sleeve. 

After further testing it was determined that I did, in fact, have breast cancer.  Over a nine month period I had a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.   I believed that God would keep the devil off my back, and that is just what he did.  Not once did I cry again because of worry or fear.  My Adventure was a happy and positive journey – and now you know the secret!  

Simply ask, and believe, and you shall receive!

Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer. 

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