You see because of you I was stronger. Braver. Less afraid.

You don’t know this and you may not even know me. And I may not know your name. But I want to thank you.

You see because of you I was stronger. Braver. Less afraid. Because of you.

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The morning darkness was still lit by the stars of Abraham’s promise. And before walking out the door I clasp the lock on my brave necklace—the butterfly necklace a friend gave me. I hope they allow me to keep it on.  

I count the trucks on the interstate. Some parked along the exits. A rest for the weary. Some with their wheels warm to the road. Not many cars traveling on this early morn.

And God is here.

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I find my entrance at the place that never sleeps. The volunteer receptionist—an older lady and she smiles at me. Her voice is a calm and I take my place in the waiting room and within minutes it begins to fill and I see them walk in. She’s wearing her pajama bottoms, her arms tightly wrapped around a red blanket. And her friend with her camouflage shirt adorned with the large pink ribbon.  I don’t ask their story. I have no need—the friend’s shirt speaks loud….I am here. I am right here by your side. I am fighting with you—for you. I won’t leave you. And they take their seats. Together, they wait.

And God is here.

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A few minutes pass and the doors swing open and the nurse in the blue scrubs calls my name. We exchange morning hellos and I notice how shiny the floors are and how the hallway goes on forever. We go into what looks like the emergency room and she explains she will take my vitals and I will stay there until another nurse comes for me. She’s a sweet lady. Our birthdays are six days apart—hers the 6th and mine the 12th. December babies.

Another nurse enters the area and with her is an elderly gentleman. She takes him behind the adjoining curtain and he tells her his bride of 53 years—she’s right outside the room.  

My nurse finishes my vitals and assures me I won’t have to wait much longer and before she leaves she softly says to me, ‘don’t worry.’  

And the man next to me —well, he’s still talking.  

‘Are you saved?, He ask to his nurse. And she said, ‘oh, yes sir I am.’ 

‘I quit church and join the Marines where they cussed some,’ he said. ‘My Mama wasn’t happy. But God let me live. I praise God for my salvation.’

And God is here.

It’s almost 7am and my other nurse arrives. Wearing a smock, black adorned with a million pink ribbons it seems. Her black hair pulled partially back into a ponytail. I learn she and her boyfriend ride motorcycles.  She promises the procedure won’t take long.

We walk down the shiny hallway again and there’s a young man mopping the floor. He’s the reason for the shine. And I say good morning.

Another room—this time smaller. And the nurse, she and my doctor explains the procedure steps. ‘You can keep your necklace on,’ she said.  I can’t help believe she knew it was part of my needed brave.

And as I laid there with my body perfectly still I watched as this tube carried my tissue and blood into the machine with the large button lit bright red, labeled biopsy and I thought about you.  Women who have been here before me.

My pain came and I prayed not only for myself but for Hannah, the young teacher with two small children whose fighting her own battle with breast cancer. On this morning her story—her pain helped with my pain.

To the dear friends and loved ones who has went through the same procedure, some more than once. On this morning your stories—your strength gave me strength.

To Elaine and Ann and so many other women who fought their battles hard and won the victory crossing over holding onto Jesus’ hands–on this morning your stories– your fight gave me fight–your faith deepened my faith.

And to Kathryn and Sharon and Teresa and Anne and Diane and Caroline and Sylvia and all of the women who fought hard and today your bodies hold battle scars as survivors—on this morning your  stories—your brave gave me brave.

And to every woman who is clinging to blankets going through chemo and mastectomies and lumpectomies and the families and friends and loved ones who wear pink ribbons and pink hats and pink shirts in support. Names I will never know. On this morning your stories—your courage gave me courage.

And God is here.

The nurse was right. The procedure didn’t take long. And my doctor, he’s done this before. More times than he cares to count or remember, I’m sure. His face is humble as he explains the biopsy results will be back in a week and once he receives them we will meet and talk. And before he leaves the room he scolds the nurse for riding a motorcycle in a pleasant, but very meaningful way and she smiles. 

And God is here.

Fifteen minutes or so pass and I am released. Well to drive. I made my way back to the car, the night skies now day blue. The car door shuts and in that moment the walls I had built around my heart over the last three weeks broke. And my tears flowed for every woman who has ever had to hear these words…..there is a chance you may have breast cancer.

And God is here. He’s always here.  

 

17 thoughts on “You see because of you I was stronger. Braver. Less afraid.

      1. Thanks, Tathel. Wasn’t sure if you would know me, cousin. Much love flowing back your way, along with prayers. I see my little sister has commented below and that my youngest sister commented on FB. Not sure that I would have had such a wonderful outcome without those two (and Donna) by my side. Family is everything. But I know I don’t need to tell you that. Another blessing from God!

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      2. Yes, I remember you and you are so right. Family is everything and even though I don’t see you all very often I think of you often and love each of you. Peggy was a very special person and her daughters are the same. Blessed you all are a part of my family!

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    1. Tathel, this is beautifully written. I enjoyed reading it and of course I could relate to the process. Praying for you and wishing for you a good outcome. You will be strong, brave and courageous. Sylvia

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  1. Tathel….I loved reading your blog. Your words are more than just words; they are your innermost feelings and are so inspiring. Six years ago this month I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a scary time. I could not imagine having to go through it without the love and care of my family and friends, and knowing that God was with me the whole time and brought me through it spiritually and physically was everything. Love you!

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    1. Love you Brenda and thank you so much! Our stories do affect more than just ourselves and you are so right. The storms of this life would be more than we could comprehend without the love of family, friends and most importantly the love of God.

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  2. always, there is Hope…

    We never know, the rhyme or reason as to who or when, our faith will be tested the most, but I know, through your words, God has you. He is always with you and now more than ever, he will hold you close and keep you within his loving arms. Whatever the outcome, know you are never alone. As he is with you, so is everyone who has ever learned the sweet, caring friendship and gift of your love. A lifetime of moments may pass before our next meeting, but always, you are in my heart…in all our hearts. You are one of the strongest women I have personally, ever met. Why do I say this…because you share your very soul with us in each word you share, every photo you take and the way you walk in life. My love and my thoughts, along with prayers will be with you…always, but know too, whatever the results, God Has You! You’ve Got This! and We’re All Here Too!

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    1. Love you, Darlene! Words can’t express how much I appreciate your words of encouragement and especially your prayers. I hope you never forget what a special lady you are to others and especially to me. You have always been a blessing to me and a part of my heart!
      Love you!

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  3. always, there is Hope…

    We never know, the rhyme or reason as to who or when, our faith will be tested the most, but I know, through your words, God has you. He is always with you and now more than ever, he will hold you close and keep you within his loving arms. Whatever the outcome, know you are never alone. As he is with you, so is everyone who has ever learned the sweet, caring friendship and gift of your love. A lifetime of moments may pass before our next meeting, but always, you are in my heart…in all our hearts. You are one of the strongest women I have personally, ever met. Why do I say this…because you share your very soul with us in each word you share, every photo you take and the way you walk in life. My love and my thoughts, along with prayers will be with you…always, but know too, whatever the results, God Has You! You’ve Got This! and You Have Us…Our Prayers & Our Love!

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  4. Tathel, God has blessed you with such an amazing gift of words. Words that touch, bless and reach out to others to share such deep thoughts and emotions. I have not gone through what you are going through now, but I can tell you how the valleys in my life have proved to make me so much stronger in my Christian faith. Mountain top experiences are wonderful, but in the valley is where I have always grown the closet to my Lord and Savior. He has never, ever left me and I know Who walks beside you now my friend. I love my family with all my heart but as one by one they are being called home and I am left here, I know there is only One on which I can lean. Love you!

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    1. Kathy, Thank you so much for your encouragement and beautiful thoughts. You are so right. We wouldn’t depend on God if we were always on the mountain tops. He is here with us as a loving parent waiting to help us in these storms of life. I am encouraged not only by your spoken words of faith but also how you live your faith daily. God is good, always and He is here with us. Love you and thank you for your prayers!

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