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As the title on my scrap book reads…it started with an itch. Early last spring I had an itch on my right chest. I scratched and noticed a lump. Being somewhat hard headed, I brushed off the lump for a month or so thinking it was the result of a pimple or an ingrown hair.
Once I realized the lump was not going away, I asked my wife to feel it and share her thoughts with me. Thankfully she had attended training on breast cancer awareness, and although that training occurred more than 15 years ago, she immediately suggested that I see my PCM. Maybe suggested is not the right word; she pretty much demanded I go to the doctor.
On May 23, 2017, following a mammogram and associated biopsy, I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and to top it off, was notified of my condition by e-mail. I immediately prayed to God to use this to strengthen my faith and to provide talented and compassionate medical professionals to assist in the battle that I faced.
I still remember the look on my wife Erika’s face then I broke the news. Even more memorable was the comfort I felt while we shared an embrace and a few tears after I mentioned that I had cancer. After the hug was over, we came up with some ground rules, as we were not going to let cancer make all the rules.
Our two major rules were; for every tear shed we would have to laugh, and to expect disappointment. After shedding tears with my adult children over Skype I was looking to balance it out with a laugh. That quickly happened when my grandson asked “does Bepa get to make a wish”?
Looking back at the rules Erika and I set, I think we played out this situation according to our rules, not those set by the cancer. With surgery and radiation in the rear-view mirror, I am currently on a medical regimen to decrease the likelihood that the cancer will reoccur.
I immediately prayed to God to use this to strengthen my faith and to provide talented and compassionate medical professionals to assist in the battle that I faced.