On the morning of September 28, 2008, I awoke from a strange dream while on my last day of vacation with my husband in Florida. In the dream, my maternal and paternal grandmothers, as well as my mother were busy preparing for some big event. (All of whom had passed away with in 3 years of each other) I was the center of their attention and each one spent time with me reminiscing about a special memory we shared. Finally, it appeared things were ready and they each stood in front of me holding hands. They then said “now we are ready to help you prepare”. I remember thinking in my dream, well, I ‘m not throwing any party so I couldn’t imagine what they were helping me prepare for.
While taking a shower before we departed the hotel, I found a lump in my breast that was not there the day before. I thought how odd that I didn’t notice or feel it the day before.
The next day at home, I contacted my doctor and she wanted me to come in immediately. After a physical exam, she sent me directly for a mammogram.
The young radiology tech said “not to worry” she would take 3 images and be done. It was only her third day on the job.
After the second picture, she stopped and asked me to have a seat while she spoke with the radiologist. Fifteen minutes passed before the doctor entered and informed me he would finish taking the pictures.
12 images later, he finished and told me he was going to read them and come back to talk. He told the young tech to stay with me. She spoke quietly as she bounced her leg nervously waiting on the doctor. All I could think of was what in the world is this all about.
When he returned, he sat down next to me and calmly told me I had a 9cm mass in my left breast. He proceeded to tell me he had contacted the necessary individuals to move forward in my treatment in dealing with this mass.
I remember thinking, so this is what the ladies prepared me for. I kind of smiled and said “ok then!” As the young tech walked me to the next doctor’s office, she apologized, wiping away a tear. I looked at her and said “what in the world are you sorry for? Do you realize how fortunate I am to have had God prepared me for this.” She started to cry and I gave her a hug. i reassured her, whatever his plan, I knew it was his plan and not mine.
I chose my path of treatment and God allowed me to, but he also made it known that it wouldn’t be an easy path. Throughout the next months involving surgeries, chemo, radiation and numerous hospital stays, I never found a need to cry or feel sorry for myself. In fact, I began realizing how wonderful the time I had on this beautiful earth was and that my family, my friends and the time were all his gifts.
I began speaking to random individuals about life and choices we make trying to buy time instead of living in the moment.
I wondered what God’s real plan was for me since I was still here after years of people wondering how.
Each new person I encountered, each new dilemma I faced, each new change I felt, made his presence more apparent.
I continue to treasure each moment I can share his word with someone new and I know his plan is always in place. I am amazed at where I was spiritually, and where I’ve been taken since being diagnosed.
I do not ever dwell on the cancer, in fact, I am the biggest non-advocate of the “pink ribbon”.
I do not see any of this as a sickness, but yet as an opportunity. He has opened more doors and minds for me to learn from and share. For that, I am eternally grateful.
My last oncologist visit was 6 years ago when I chose to stop all treatment. My oncologist was irate that I was not going to follow suit, like everyone else and continue with their plan for me.
He boldly asked me “Why do you want to die?”
My response to him was “There’s a big difference between wanting to die and not being afraid to, maybe someday you will understand that”.
So life for me goes on and I know I have been blessed with his tender love.
I find daily peace and comfort in knowing “the best is yet to come!”

One Response to "Gail’s story"

Leave a comment