Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Thankful for Answered Prayers

Hey, y’all, happy Wednesday.  I had another post intended for today, but I decided to bump it to share some good news. 

If you read every day, then you probably saw me mention in a post or two that we’ve had a bit of a rough start to the year, so I just wanted to share what’s been going on now that we actually have more information. 

On January 11, I went in for my annual mammogram and ultrasound as I do every year.  We have a history of breast cancer in our family, so I started getting annual mammograms at age 35 at the urging of my midwife, and my breast tissue is very, very dense, so I get called back every single time for an ultrasound since the mammogram doesn’t pick up everything.  The ultrasound tech always does the ultrasound, then the doctor comes in and does another quick ultrasound just to doublecheck, and then I’m told I’m all clear for another year.  That’s been the standard operating procedure for the last five years, and I’ve always received a clean bill of health. 

Well, at my visit a couple of weeks ago, the tech did the ultrasound as she always does, and then the doctor came in to do the ultrasound as he always does.  He usually does a really quick sweep since the ultrasound tech has already gone through once, but this time, he lingered in one spot for far too long.  He and the tech started talking quietly and in medical terms that I didn’t understand, so my heart sank, and I just knew there was something wrong.

Sure enough, the doctor announced that the ultrasound had picked up a tumor in my right breast.  It’s so small that the mammogram didn’t even detect it, and it’s so small that I didn’t even notice it during my self-checks.  As a matter of fact, even now, knowing its exact location, I still can’t feel it. 

He told me that they needed to do a biopsy, and that the tumor could either be benign, or it would be cancer.  Hearing the C word was one of the scariest moments of my life, and after he said that, my brain pretty much turned to mush.  The nurse scheduled my biopsy for the following Tuesday, January 17, and I walked out of the office in a fog.  I failed to ask a single question because my brain just couldn’t get past the fact that I might have cancer.

When I got in the car, I called Brian at work and immediately burst into tears.  Then, I called my Momma and Daddy and did the same thing.  The rest of the day was rough – I couldn’t concentrate on much – and I cried a LOT of tears, but I kept busy because a) that’s what I do when bad things are happening beyond my control, and b) because I’m a mom of two small kiddos and I don’t really have a choice.  Haha.

I told a handful of family and close friends that day because I knew that I’d need support and encouragement no matter what the outcome would be, and I also just needed to be able to talk about it.  That’s what I do… I overanalyze everything, you know.  ;o)  And also, the more prayers the better, right?  I did choose to not tell the kiddos, though, because there was no reason to get them worried or upset when it could turn out to be nothing.

The next couple of days were fairly easy and good because we went to Athens to celebrate our Georgia Bulldogs winning the National Championship game.  That kept me super busy and engaged and excited, and it was a much-needed distraction to help keep my mind off of things. 

Then we got home, and things went downhill. 

Sunday morning was the day we discovered Olivia had Covid, so we were not able to get together with family for Sunday lunch or dinner, and I felt like I needed that more than anything that weekend.  Then Monday was the MLK, Jr. holiday, and we were stuck at home that day, too.  To top it all off, the weather was abysmal, so that didn’t help matters either.  I typically like dreary days in January and February because I love the coziness that those days provide, but in this instance, I just needed some sunshine in my life. 

Tuesday morning, Olivia had to stay home, and then, Jacob came home sick, too, so that was not ideal, especially since Tuesday was the day of my biopsy.  I was scared and not feeling great mentally, of course, so having to focus on two sick kids all day was tough. 

The hospital wouldn’t let anyone accompany me to my biopsy because they are still following strict Covid protocol, but I suppose it didn’t matter anyway since B had to be at home with two sick kids anyway. 

I wasn’t scared or worried about the procedure itself at all – medical things like that don’t bother me in the least – it was just the potential to receive bad results from the procedure that scared me to death.

The procedure itself was easy peasy, although, quite a bit more invasive than I thought it would be.  For some reason, I pictured them just sticking a needle in there and “sucking” some stuff out and that would be that.  But no, I was wrong.  Haha.

Instead, the doctor inserted a needle to numb everything layer by layer.  Then, he made an incision near the top and stuck some kind of tool in there.  He had to keep jiggling the tool around in there to get to the right spot, and then once he was near the tumor, he would make two loud clicks/jolts (he warned me about that part before he did it because it was quite harsh/unexpected) and that is what would chop a piece off of the tumor.  Again, that whole time, I thought he was just using some sort of fancy needle.  I didn’t realize that he had even made an incision.

The pieces of the tumor kept coming off really small, so he ended up having to take four pieces, so he did a total of eight clicks/jolts all while looking at everything on the ultrasound.

After that, came the shocking part – the doctor then inserted a piece of titanium in my breast?  And it will stay there forever?!  Apparently, the titanium marks the spot of the tumor to make it easy for the technicians to find it each time, and it also marks the spot in case I ever have to have surgery to have it removed.  The doctor said the titanium is only about the size of a single grain of sand, though, so it won’t set off metal detectors or anything like that.  I had just never heard anyone mention anything like this before, though, so it completely blew my mind. 

After that, the nurse then held some gauze to the incision to make the blood clot (I did feel blood drip down my side at one point) and then she put liquid stitches over the incision.  Again, I had no clue that there was an incision so I was a little confused as to why they were using liquid stitches, but I figured it was just that they’d used a needle and needed to put something over the puncture from the needle. 

Y’all, normally, Lindsay is asking lots of questions because Lindsay wants to know everything that is going on because that’s who Lindsay is.  But I’m telling you, my brain was complete mush the whole time so I didn’t even think to ask questions.  I just wanted it to be over.

After that was done, I had to have another mammogram, and then they sent me home with instructions – no showering, no working out/pushing/pulling, and no lifting anything over 5 lbs. for 24 hours, and no blood thinners (including Ibuprofen) at least 48 hours.  I. was. shook.  Haha.  I had no clue that I was going to be sent home with limitations and I was so sad because all I wanted to do was go for a run that afternoon to run some of my anxiety out.

What can you do, though? 

The doctor scheduled my follow-up appointment for the following Tuesday, January 24 at 9 AM, and he told me that he’d try to call earlier with results if he could. 

I had to wait a whole week to get results.  Sigh. 

I’m not good at waiting.

But who really is when you’re waiting for this kind of news? 

It would have been nice to have been able to fill my next seven days with friends and family and projects to keep my mind off of things, but sadly, we had two sick kids at home, one definitely with Covid, so we couldn’t go anywhere. 

Needless to say, it was a loooong few days after that.

Thankfully, Jacob ended up never testing positive for Covid, so Saturday we were able to go to church and dinner with family, and then we were able to do Sunday dinner with my family, so that was a huge blessing.  I also snuck out Thursday evening to go to dinner with my girlfriends… I needed that for my sanity.  That was a perfectly timed dinner, that’s for sure!  And I also had lunch with one of my old friends/coworkers the day before I got my results, and that was a huge blessing as well. 

Yesterday was my follow-up appointment, and of course, by the time it rolled around I had pretty much convinced myself that I had cancer because there were so many “signs” that were pointing to it. 

For one, on the very day of my mammogram/ultrasound, I published my blog post with my goals and word for the year, and I talked about how I had pivoted at the last minute to change my word to CONFIDENCE because I had been feeling a strong tug in that direction.  So of course, my brain took that to mean that I had been feeling the tug because, little did I know, that I was going to have to have confidence to fight something big this year. 

I also thought about how I typically get my mammograms and ultrasounds in November, but we were so swamped in November and December, that I pushed mine back to January for the first time ever.  The doctor said my tumor is very small, so naturally, I was thinking, “There’s a reason I pushed my mammogram and ultrasound to January… it’s because if I’d had it in November as scheduled, then the tumor would have been so small that they wouldn’t have found it early.” 

Then, I thought about how if we had gone to the National Championship game in California as we had originally scheduled, then I would have had to move my mammogram and ultrasound from January 11 to another date further out because we would have been out of town that day.  I was so torn about going/not going to that game, but we ultimately decided not to go (even though it killed me), and therefore, I went ahead with my mammogram/ultrasound as scheduled, so I took that to mean that there was a reason that I chose not to go out of town.  If I had moved my appointment maybe a different technician wouldn’t have found the tumor?! 

Then, I thought about how I have been feeling so fantastic lately – I’ve mentioned a couple of times here on the blog and on Instagram how I feel like I’m in the best shape of my adult life.  I feel strong.  I feel fit.  I feel healthy.  So, naturally, there’s a reason for that, right?  It’s because subconsciously I’ve been preparing myself to fight. 

And also because, every time I finally feel like I’m finally in a good place mentally and physically, obviously something has to come along and knock me back down, right?  A good thing can’t last forever, right?

And since I had Covid in October, I still haven’t gotten my full appetite back.  Maybe it’s not the Covid causing that… maybe it’s cancer?

Plus, we have a family history of breast cancer…

So. Many. Signs.

(And, by the way, this is what it’s like living with anxiety, y’all.  If your brain does not operate like this, then consider yourself lucky.)

Anyway, Brian met me at the hospital at 8:30 AM yesterday for my 9 AM appointment, and we went ahead and went inside early since we were there.  When we arrived, the lady at the front desk looked in her system and didn’t see my appointment, so she asked what I was there for, and when I told her, she took us straight back.  That is not standard procedure for them at all – I ALWAYS have to wait in the waiting room – so my heart sank because I knew it had to be bad news since they were expediting things. 

They also let Brian go back with me even though at my previous appointment they had told me I couldn’t bring any guests.  Again, not good.

The doctor came out within two minutes (which I was very grateful for) and he led us to a dark room with a million computer screens with scary images.  He told us to sit down, and then he started explaining the picture on one of the screens – it was a picture of the tumor, of course, with the needle in it – because he wanted to show me that we’d gotten a good, legitimate piece of the tumor.  Well, naturally, I took this to mean that I had cancer since he didn’t just come right out and say it was benign. 

I just knew at that point that it was cancer.

Two minutes later, when he finally proceeded to tell me that it was benign, I was in total shock because I hadn’t expected that at all.  I burst into tears because I was so relieved, and I cried pretty much for the rest of the day.  Haha.  I was just a basket case, y’all.

The doctor proceeded to say that there is no reason to remove the tumor at this time, so I’ll just live with it for now.  I have to start getting mammograms and ultrasounds every six months now instead of yearly so they can monitor it properly.  Eventually, it may get too large and/or painful so I may have to have surgery so they can remove it.  But for now, I can go about my normal life. 

With all that said, I am so incredibly grateful today for good results.  I’m incredibly grateful for answered prayers.  I’m relieved.  I’m happy.  And I’m still in shock.  I’m also infinitely grateful for my tribe… you know who you are, and I love each and every one of you dearly.

Ladies, please take the time to schedule your annual mammograms.  If you have a family history of breast cancer, please, please start those mammograms early.  Do not get too busy to get your mammogram.  Do not skip it because you don’t feel like doing it.  Do not skip it because it’s too painful.  If you have dense breast tissue, demand an ultrasound, too.  Do not take no for an answer.  My mammogram didn’t even pick up the tumor.  At all.  My ultrasound is expensive, and it has to be paid for out of pocket because our insurance won’t cover it.  But it is worth the extra money if it can save my life.  Please take care of yourselves.  Early prevention is key. 

My doctor did tell me on that first day that even if it did turn out to be cancer that I would, “be okay” because we caught it so early.

I found those words to be a little odd, because how can you really “be okay” when you have cancer? 

Today I’m just really grateful that I don’t have to find out.  And I pray I never do.


  1. Oh friend, prayers answered indeed! I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. I’ve been in the situation worried that the test results will come back as cancer and the relief when it is not is unexplainable, pure, obliterated bliss and relief. Grateful for your good news.

  2. What craziness you went through. I don't understand why they wouldn't just call you with good results! So scary. I have had to have follow up ultrasounds for the past few years as well due to dense breast tissue and last time they saw "something" but didn't end up doing the biopsy which sounded scary to me! They say it hasn't changed since so I'm back to just regular yearly mammograms. I was annoyed last time my insurance didn't cover the mammogram as preventative since it was labeled a follow up!

  3. Oh Lindsay. I want to give you the biggest hug ever, my friend. I can't even imagine what was going through your head. You writing this is motivating me to finally get in for my annual and finally schedule my mammogram. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this, but geesh, how amazing that you're able to pass along awareness! I agree with the other comment on here; why couldn't they have just called you with the good news or tell you right away that it was benign. Gosh. I'm beyond happy for you that you're okay.

  4. OMG tears came to my eyes when you finally said it was benign. I am so happy and relieved for you!! <3

  5. Praise the LORD that it was benign! Thank you for sharing something so personal with us. I am so sorry that you had to go through this.

  6. So happy for the good news! It is super important to get those mammograms like you said, I'm a huge advocate for it also. Get those boobies checked! It's not bad at all, just uncomfortable.

    1. Exactly! So very important! A few minutes of discomfort is necessary for something that could save your life!

  7. That's such a stressful situation. I'm so happy that things turned out well for you. Take care, and thank you for sharing!

  8. I am not good at waiting either, and anxiety completely consumes me. I can't even imagine how hard this period was for you, and SO happy to hear it was benign. Sending lots of hugs sweet friend <3

  9. I am so happy that it turned out ok Lindsay! What a relief to find out the good news. How scary for you! I also get a mammo and an ultra sound done each year. Take care.

  10. What an absolute relief it was to get through this post and see the amazing news. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that scare and grateful you are healthy!

  11. What an ordeal! BUT I am so happy that you got such great results.

  12. I am sorry you had to go through all of that, but so happy it was a good result!

  13. So, so thankful it was benign. Thank you for sharing this, especially all the details about the procedure. I know you must have been a bundle of nerves in that week-long wait! So glad you're ok!!

  14. Oh, Lindsay! The waiting part is the worst, I really do think... and, you waited an awful lot for answers!! I know I told you about how I had to have an u/s done recently and my husband was out of town when I had that done and it makes it so hard. But, sick kids (esp with one with Covid) makes it even harder. I am SO, so glad it turned out ok! Thankful for prayer! I really need to see if I can just have yearly ultrasounds done. That is scary that the regular mammogram didn't pick it up. I must be hidden well and very small! I hope it doesn't change any in the future, but at least it isn't the "c" word!


  15. I am SO sorry you had to go through this Lindsay, but SO thankful that it is benign! God is so good, and it is so wonderful to know that He does hear and answer our prayers! I would have really stressed myself out during that waiting period too, I feel for you that you had to endure that! So incredibly happy for you that it turned out okay, and hope that you can take some time just to relax soon. You've been through so much with just this alone, and with sick kiddos, etc, it's just a ton to juggle! <3

    Make Life Marvelous

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Ashley. You are right, God is so good!

  16. How incredibly scary. I am so glad that you got good results. The waiting must have been so very hard and stressful.


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