Saturday, 2 October 2010

Rejoice together

What an amazing week I've had. I have been feeling God's peace so much over the past few weeks. I've been amazed at how calm I've been. Let me tell you about the past few weeks.
About 3 weeks ago I was doing my irregular breast check and came across something that felt different. My heart stopped, pulled my hand away as quick as if it had touched something hot and had to stifle a scream (I didn't want to wake up Alison - housemate - as it was the very early hours of the morning, something I've got acquainted with lately!). I took a deep breath, cleared my head and had another feel. Yup, definitely a bump where there wasn't one before. "OK" I thought. "I cannot do anything about it right now, better get to sleep and I'll check it out first thing".

I didn't give it another thought, until the following Monday night as I was getting changed for bed. My hand brushed past my breast and I felt a bump again. Was I imagining it? Nope. It was definitely there. I carried on getting ready for bed and knew where I'd be sitting from 8.30 the next morning - in the Doctor's surgery at the open surgery. I had a great night sleep.
I requested I saw a female doctor. Normally you cannot specify who you see but thankfully I got to see one (didn't realise we had 2 at the surgery). She was really good and listened to me and the family history. She had a quick check and said she had a feeling it wasn't anything sinister but it must be checked out. She said she'd fast-track me due to family history. She made me promise that if it turned out all OK I would come back to see her and she'd refer me to the family history clinic to discuss potential risk with me. I said that I would and thanked her as I'd been trying for 17 years for someone to refer me. I love the health service over here!
I got an appointment within 2 weeks. Thankfully it was a one-stop clinic where you have the tests and results on the same day. It must be a nightmare waiting for these results. The closer the appointment came the more nervous I got as I was going to get a definite answer. The Sunday, day before, was the worst. The unknown is a very scary thing. It can grab hold of you if you'd let it. I kept having to say quick prayers.
On the whole the 2 weeks waiting for the appointment flew by. I thought they may have dragged but at times, in fact most of the time I'd forgotten about the bump and the nearing appointment. I can only put that to God's peace on me. I've a nature to worry about things so having this I thought I may be in a state but Ma was right. She said that when she knew she had Cancer it was not as scary as the possibility of having it. It still amazes me how she faced each day with it, especially during the end. I'm not sure how much of what I saw of her was a front and she was crumbling inside but I was with her practically 24/7 so perhaps she was at peace with the world...I think I need to leave this for another post! Getting a bit sidetracked.
Anyway, I started to get really panicky walking to the bus stop to get home for the appointment. Have you ever been paralysed with fear? That's how it felt. I wanted to run and hide but couldn't work out where to go, how to get wherever. My mind was racing away from me. I then came to myself. I realised I could carry on down this thought process and possibly go mad (at least it felt I would!) or to give up my fear in prayer to Jesus. He didn't give His life for us to live in fear. So I prayed. Before I had finished I felt it rise from me to be replaced with peace.
I had that peace at the hospital. I have to say a big thank you to Leah for coming with me. I'm more confident with someone with me. I'm so glad she brought a book with her. I didn't realise most of the waiting would be done in another waiting room with a cape draped around my shoulders with Velcro that didn't keep the cape shut! Thankfully only women were in the waiting room and all having the same problem. I couldn't wait to get dressed again, it took hours.
I'd heard from friends about mammograms so prepared myself for pain. I was surprised. Either I've forgotten how bad it was or I didn't think it was as bad as I thought it'd be. I'm glad as they had to take 4. I don't think I'd have let her do the other 3 if it'd have hurt the first one!
Next came the ultrasound. That was interesting. I was shown the bump-s. BUMPS... wow and yuk. I'm still not sure about the amount of bumps there are. I was told that the bumps are in fact cysts and I have quite a few of them. The nurse drained 2 of the biggest and sent off some of the liquid to be checked. I wanted her to get rid of the others but she wouldn't do that.
I went back to see the Nurse to be told all OK and can go home and relax. She explained about cysts and that she'd make an appointment to go back in 12 months for mammogram and another appointment to get the results. At last, finally being monitored. They cannot do anything genetically as they need a member of the family with Cancer to check their blood for the faulty gene. But even if they could do that and found the gene it still isn't a firm conclusion that someone will develop breast cancer. So I feel quite happy with being monitored.
It seems to be spurring me on to look at my eating again. Looks like I'll be getting out the cook books soon and starting to create and eat properly - hopefully lose the extra pounds too (too many to count but have to start somewhere). Also keep fit craze is definitely brewing - I'm doing a 5km walk next week - argh, is it that near! My aim is to be able run the 10km next year
That was enough to celebrate and think what a great week it's been, but it gets even better...
I got a voicemail on my mobile from the job and benefits office I was registered with when I moved over here, to Belfast. What on earth did they want? I rang them straight back. I was told she had good news for me, no in fact very, very good news. I was told at the time I couldn't get income based benefits and had to use my limited overdraft. I ran out of money 5 days before starting my job, didn't have money to get to work (but again, that's another story). I was told my national insurance records has been updated - yay Norfolk had finally amended my payments to the correct number - and it meant that I did qualify for contributions based after all. So after having the information checked I'm due to have job seekers back paid in one lump on Tuesday. Woo hoo. It's going to good use - clear my overdraft. It'll mean I'm in credit for the first time in a long while.
So I've drawn up my budget. I thought I'd done quite well, until speaking to bro I realised I hadn't put my mobile or phone/broadband/tv down - OK not much but am going to have to revisit the budget - again! Hmm, have to be creative this time.
So two amazing things (at least) to praise and be thankful for.