HELP me spread the word...IT's PERSONAL...and I want to visit your Club, your Church, your Civic Organization, or whatever group you think may benefit from hearing my story...I'm hear to share. I want to share, and I hope that together, we can save a life!
If your familiar with my story, I have an UPDATE at the end of this post. If your NOT familiar with my story, read it, either way...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE forward this along...It might save someone's life?
Breast Cancer...It's not just for women!
MEN CAN AND DO GET BREAST CANCER! I did. THIS, is my story.
I was 52 years old on September of 2012.
In March 2012, I discovered a lump near my left breast.
It was purely by accident. It was about 11:30 pm; I was in bed and had been suffering all day with a cold. I coughed, and when I did, I grabbed my chest to suppress the cough and ease the pain caused from coughing all day. I felt a lump. At that very moment, I prayed to God, “Dear Lord I pray that this is not anything serious, but I will let you be the Master Physician, and I am Yours to do with as You see fit. I turn my life and my body over to You, Lord”. I felt relief, yet I was still concerned for what may be forthcoming.
I told my wife, what I had discovered and she jokingly said to me "yea, you have breast cancer and I have prostate cancer...now go to sleep". I assumed she was right, and I laid my head on the pillow, but, I felt the lump again. It was there, I was sure, despite my wife's attempt to dismiss my concern with humor. The humor worked, but the next day, the lump was still there. I continued the same prayer, only now, every time I touched the lump, I found the prayer freely leaving my lips and mind. After ten days, I decided to go to the doctor just to “rule out” anything serious.
The doctor assured me that he would run test, yes he felt the lump too, but it is “so rare for men to have breast cancer” he said. The first test I was scheduled to have would be a sonogram. It proved, “inconclusive”. My concern was NOT diminished… and neither were my prayers. The next day the doctor had me scheduled for a mammogram, which would be very difficult to perform on a man. But, being ignorant of just how the mammogram worked I assumed the doctor knew best. Fortunately, the doctor’s office called early the next day and told me they wanted to see me as soon as possible, and to not bother with the mammogram. He had another test he wanted me to have. This time, I was going to have a needle biopsy. Now this is a wonderfully painful little test that involves the needle being inserted right into my areola, and then he proceeds to wiggle it around until he can locate the lump and basically cut a little piece of it out to examine. I’m not going to lie, it hurts. But I will tell you it hurts less when God is holding your hand, and I knew He was with me, because as the procedure was being performed I talked to God, and I knew that He was with me. The next day, the test results were in…”inconclusive”. I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the tests results.
So the next week I went back into the hospital this time for what would be the final test. It was an open biopsy. This meant I would be placed under with general anesthesia and then awake, almost as quickly as I had gone to sleep. The “sample” would be sent to the lab, the doctor said it would probably be three or four days before he would have the results. So I did would had now become part of my daily routine, I prayed my prayer, although now I started to include those people that I had met in the waiting room…some suffering with similar ailments, some with cancer.
The next morning, the phone rang early. It was the doctor’s office. He wanted to see me in his office as soon as possible. He said as soon as you can get here. I told him I was on my way. I knew it was not the news I had hoped. I called my wife, my parents and we met at the local K-Mart which was a good meeting place for the four of us to meet, that would be convenient and on the way to the doctor’s office. It was a quiet ride. I’m sure we all knew. Mom said, “You know whatever happens, just turn it over to God”. I told everyone in the car, I had already done that, weeks ago, when I first found the lump.
It was now the first week of April. We walked into the doctor’s office, and he said, “Well, you have breast cancer. You’ve probably had this for at least a year or maybe two.” Without missing a beat, without emotion, without tears, without choking up, but with the power of prayer to guide me, I said, “Okay, so what do we need to do?”
On May 14, 2012 I had a full mastectomy. I had a great surgeon, Dr. Rebecca S. Evangelista, now I have to tell you with a name like that I knew I was in good hands! I knew I was going to be evangelized! The mere thought of this I found exciting. Was I scared? NO. I knew God was with me, why else would I have someone with such a spirit-filled name performing my surgery. I had to ask Dr. Evangelista. “Dr.”, I said, “do you know the Lord?” She smiled like the Angel I knew she was, and said “Absolutely, I would be able to do my job for one day if I didn’t”. I’m not positive, and I’m not just saying this for sensationalism, I swear there was a glow around her head. So honestly, it just doesn’t get more divine than that. I thanked God for hearing my prayers, and for sending me to Dr. Evangelista…for my Evangelizing! Bring on the surgery everything was going to be Okay!
I told everyone I had the Big C in me. My Aunt suggested to me, “Does that stand for Christ?” It did from then on. I loved having the Big C in me. And you know what? As it turns out my Cancer saved me. Not just in a spiritual way, but three months after I had the mastectomy, I was back in the hospital facing open-heart surgery. In preparing for my mastectomy the doctors had discovered I had some severe blockages in my heart. It was rationalized that I should have the Cancer related mastectomy first, rather than the open-heart. If I had the open-heart first I would have to wait up to a year before they could do the mastectomy. So you see it all works out for the best if you turn it all over to God. Now, I know how strange this may sound, “But, having the Big C for me was a life saver, and the Cancer, well it was worth it too!”
UPDATE: As I write and share this with you, I am preparing for another trip to the doctor's office...seems I have discovered (in Mid-September) another mass...this time it is on my right breast. I, of course don't know what it is, and at this point, neither does my Oncologist, however to err on the side of caution is best. So I'm going to the have some tests run soon. I'll keep you posted. Thanks goodness, GOD already knows what it is, and is in control. I look forward to closing this new chapter as soon as possible, but I know it can not be written without the presence of God in my life.
Have your loved ones check themselves. Your husband, your son, your father, your best friend...and one more thing...ladies, check yours too!