Lately, many of articles have been focused on encouraging women to tell their stories, finding strength in womanhood and the importance of traveling the path of faith even when the future looks uncertain.
I talk a good talk. Even though I fiercely believe in that, I struggle to implement it in my life.
Well now it's time to practice what I preach.
Darn it all. Serves me right for telling everybody what to do.
Yesterday I had a bit of time so I ducked into my favorite haunt other than a coffeehouse, the library.
It was there in the classic literature aisle that I received a phone call.
From my doctor.
If anything I figured he was calling me to let me know I won a prize for best patient. I am so consistent on my annual exams and mammograms, I swear I deserve an award. The only other thing it could be was calling me out on my diarrhea episode that occurred in their bathroom when I had my exam a week ago. I had had coffee and was nervous. They were out of toilet paper. I already had my excuse at the ready.
So I wasn't prepared for the news he gave me and when he started talking about abnormal cells, results showing high risk, biopsies, the need to make sure they get clear margins and appointments for procedures, I got a wee bit emotional.
Right in the middle of the literature aisle.
Why couldn't this have been about the diarrhea episode?
Sobbing frantically I found myself stroking the book bindings in an effort to calm myself down.
This is the kind of news that happens to other people. Not me.
At least that's what I always believed. I figured with the history of cancer on my mother's side, cancer could at least have the decency to skip myself and my cousins.
I went directly home, changed into my yoga pants with no intention of doing yoga, made tea, gathered my dogs and curled up on the couch.
And there I sat for 4 hours until my husband came home.
I'm still in shock because I'm scared and I'm certainly praying for good results come Monday when I go in for my 'procedures'.
But, it reminded me of all the stuff I've been writing about. Now it's my turn to put it into action. I'm not sure of the outcome, I certainly pray it's just an anomaly and the findings will be in my favor. I know many, many women have gone through this and the support I have received has been ever so loving.
In any event, this is my chance to grasp faith and breathe and believe. I'm a strong woman and I will have a story to tell. I don't have to offer this brave facade. After all, vulnerability and transparency are what make our stories all the more meaningful.
I pray this experience will only add to the tapestry of my life, one in which the many threads woven together will reveal the brightest design.
Oh and just a reminder to the ladies, make sure you have regular pap smears!