Tag Archive | mammogram

A rose is a rose is a rose, or is it?

“A rose is a rose is a rose.”  This is from a poem Gertrude Stein wrote in 1913.  Supposedly it means that things are what they are when all is said is done.  To me it always sounded like it meant that all roses are just that…simply put, just a rose.  I want to tell you about one rose that is  more than just a rose, to me anyway.

I went for a mammogram in January which was one year since my previous one when my breast cancer was first detected.  Upon completion I was handed a rose.  After all, it is the least they can do for you after what they put you through!  I had my mammogram early in the morning before work.  The rose sat in my car all day.  It had a little tube of water attached to the bottom of the stem.  The rose did not look especially beautiful.  It was still a bud but looked like possibly it was leftover from the day before’s supply.  I was one of the first patients of the day and perhaps the new batch had not yet arrived for the day.

Me and my "survivor rose" at 3 weeks!

Me and my “survivor rose” at 3 weeks!

At the end of the day I arrived home and popped the rose in a vase with some water.  Over the next week I enjoyed seeing it bloom and enjoyed it’s beauty.  At the end of one week I suggested to my photographic son that he use it to shoot and practice with before the petals started falling off.  One of those pictures is on a recent post.  After two weeks the rose was still in bloom and hadn’t lost any petals.  After three weeks one leaf on the stem dried up and fell off but it still hasn’t lost any petals and still looks beautiful!

With Valentine’s day coming I happened to watch a video recently on how to keep your roses looking fresh and nice.    They suggested making a fresh cut at the bottom of each stem.  I hadn’t.  They said to use a very clean vase free of any bacteria.  I used a dusty old one I didn’t even rinse out. They said to add the packet of food to the water in the vase.  It came with no packet.  They said to change the water every 2-3 days.  I haven’t changed the water once, in fact I haven’t even added any more water to it.  They said to keep it in a spot that is not in direct sunlight.  It has been sitting in direct sunlight on my table since the first day.  It is such a sunny spot that my elderly cat likes to lie there in the sun to keep warm.

I have no green thumb.  I don’t even have any live plants in my house.  Anytime I received roses in the past they would bloom quickly and then the petals would fall off.  Sometimes they don’t even open up all the way.  Often they droop at the top of the stem and hang their heads.

This rose is still standing straight and tall and beautiful.  It’s almost like it has refused to give in or die.  I LOVE the fact that this is the rose I was given for a mammogram that yielded results marked NORMAL!  It is a survivor and so am I!    I have seen God’s hand through this whole cancer journey and felt that it was very fitting that He gave me such a beautiful sign of survivorship.  I think He is also reminding me to keep on blooming despite my circumstances.  One day this rose will die and so will I but for now I rejoice in life and I think this rose has been rejoicing as well.  One thing that will never die is the Word of God.  Isaiah 40:8 says,”The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” (NASB)

Good News !

Who doesn’t like to get good news?  As I wrote last week, I had my first diagnostic mammogram since all this started one year ago.   I received my letter in the mail stating that the results were NORMAL!!!  I expected that result as they did not take any additional pictures after a radiologist looked at them while I was still there. It was still good, however, to actually see the results in writing.  I give all thanks and glory to God for the good report.


The rose I received after my mammogram.
Photo credits: Joshua Siniscal

There’s something about the written word.  Obviously since I blog I like to write.  I’m old fashioned and I like the feel of a real book versus an e-reader, being able to FEEL the written word as well as to see it.  Think about how much more important and final any kind of deal or contract is once it is in writing.  Two parties can verbally agree on anything…a purchase price for a product, a job offer/contract, an estimate for services, an exchange of goods, etc. but once it’s in writing it makes it more official or real.  Maybe what’s appealing is that it can’t be revoked or taken back.  It stands until another contract is written up.

The written word of God is such a powerful thing.  It’s amazing to think that the Word always was as we see in John 1:1. “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” (Amp)  There’s no denying the reality and truth of something in writing.  John 17:17 shows us that His Word is truth, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (NRSV)

I like to think that because I have this valid report that cancer can’t come back and change its mind.  Unfortunately that’s not the case and it could rear its ugly head again one day.  I already have an MRI scheduled next month.  I am not going to dwell on that but will instead revel in the fact that TODAY I have the victory and will shove my letter in cancer’s face and remind it that my mammogram was normal.  YES!


My good news!

I shared my good news on Facebook with my friends and so many “liked” it or commented.  They truly rejoiced with me because they have been through the journey with me  whether in body or  in spirit.  Romans 12:15 says, “Share the happiness of those who are happy, the sorrow of those who are sad.” (Phillips).  I have seen this over the past year as friends have been there through the hard times and can now rejoice with me.  This is an answer to many of their prayers.

Although this is the best news I could hear right now, the grammy winner for all time good news has to go to the gospel.  Did you know that the word “gospel” is from the Old English “god-spell” meaning “good news” or “glad tidings?”  From Greek it is translated as “good message.”  The gospels are the first four books in the New Testament that tell of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and his teachings.  I can’t think of any better news than that.


Well this week I had my first mammogram since this whole thing started.  My radiologist gave me a script to have a diagnostic mammogram done this month and I went early one morning before work.  It felt so strange to fill out the paperwork and check off the box and write  breast c-a-n-c-e-r on the information.  I think this was the first time I had to include that word and put it in writing under my medical history.  There was no denying it and it literally stopped me in my tracks for a moment.  This is real.  This is part of MY history now.  It was a weird feeling I didn’t like.

Can’t wait for this day!

Back to the mammo.  It cracks me up that they always tell you not to wear any powders or deodorant.  In my opinion it is one of those things you have done where you definitely need the deodorant!   After it was done I was told to sit and wait to get changed until a radiologist looked at my films in case they wanted to take more pictures.

In the meantime I could hear others getting their mammogram done and when they were finished the technician would tell them they could leave and would get the results in the mail in a few days.  It was the waiting game.  The longer I sat, the more I envisioned the technician returning only to tell me they wanted to take more pictures because they saw something.  It was probably the longest 15 – 20 minutes I remember in a while.  It is hard to wait.  Finally she poked her head back in and told me to get dressed and that I could leave.  Whew!

I have not heard anything back from my doctor yet…so I’m still waiting… but I’m believing that it will be a good report.  I’m not going to sit around worrying in the meantime.  I have learned to trust God no matter what the circumstances.  He has been with me every step of the way and will be with me regardless of what the future holds.

There’s many things that we have to wait for during our lifetime.  Think of the amount of time you spend just waiting in lines whether it’s at the bank, at a store, a gas station, on hold on the telephone, for something to download, for clothes or paint or nails to dry, for food to cook, for something to come in the mail, for someone to get out of the bathroom, for a party, for a check, for someone to take your order, for someone to get back to you with an answer or  for news, for someone to ask you out, for the next train or bus or plane, sitting in doctor’s offices, for an event or ceremony to start, for water to boil, sitting in traffic, waiting for something to cool off, for summer to come back, for a vacation, to get over an illness,  or for a cure, etc.  Supposedly the average person spends an average of 45-62 minutes a day waiting, or by the time you are 70 years old you will have spent 3 years of it waiting.

Some waiting is minutes, some is days, some is weeks, some is months, and some is years.  It all depends what we are waiting for.  My question is what are we doing while we wait?  Think about how much of your lifetime is spent in a waiting or even in a holding pattern of sorts…possibly even unable to go forward until the waiting is over.  Often we don’t know how long the wait will be.  I try to be as productive as possible if the wait is anticipated.  I will often bring something to read with me or if it’s longer, a task I need to accomplish.  When my kids had lessons of some sort I would bring coupons to clip and file or homework to work on or I would run an errand while I was out.  When it comes to longer term waiting I still try to focus and keep going in the direction I would like to be once the waiting is over.

I think this waiting principle applies to the most important thing I’m waiting for.  Jesus told us that He is coming back one day.  Many have predicted to the day when this would be but obviously they were wrong.  Matthew 24:36 says, “But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows.” (Message) No one knows how long this wait will be but I want to be ready. “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,”  Matthew 2:44.  I won’t sit and do nothing while I am waiting for that day.  I am determined more then ever since having cancer to live my life to the fullest for the Lord.  I don’t want to waste time while I wait for His return.  Isaiah 25:9 says, “They will say on that day, ‘Look! This is our God, for whom we have waited—and he has saved us! This is the Lord, for whom we have waited; let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!'”

It is interesting to see that in Psalm 37:4 where we are told to WAIT for the Lord, depending on the translation used, it says to HOPE in the Lord.  These are synonymous.  The way to do our waiting is by putting our hope in Him and trusting Him during our time of waiting!  We are told to “follow him,” “keep his way,” “rely on the Lord, keep his commands,”  “wait for the Lord’s help and follow him” in various translations of this verse.

My question is, “What are you doing while you wait?”