Rebecca Talks About Embracing Life After Cancer
In 2017, I went for my first mammogram at Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Women’s Health Center. I walked into a calm, welcoming atmosphere—accentuated by the bright sunrays that grace its hallways. I felt as if I was in a spa, and from the staff to the robes to the changing and exam rooms, my perceptions and fears began to subside.
I had encountered something different from the horror stories my family and friends shared about mammograms. I found a staff that was welcoming, knowledgeable, compassionate and strong. They instilled confidence and peace in me.
As I look back, when I made the appointment for the mammogram, I had already embarked on a journey that I had unknowingly begun. A journey that would take me through unknown and uncharted territories. A journey of pain, uncertainty, rediscovery and new realities. A journey that would test my limits, my resolve and my patience. But also, a journey of hope, faith and healing.
When I received my diagnosis, I didn’t really understand what they were telling me. I didn’t know who to talk to or how to respond. I never expected to receive a cancer diagnosis. It was as if I had received a death sentence for a crime I had not committed.
But I knew God heard prayers and I simply asked him, what should I do? And who should I talk to? After telling my husband, the next person I spoke to was Swedish Covenant Hospital personnel. It was as if God had placed doctors, administrators, nurses, health navigators and my family, friends and church family along this demanding season in my life’s journey so I wouldn’t be alone, would be reminded that I’m loved and be cared for in my most vulnerable stage.
On July 20, 2018, I received my confirmation of being cancer-free. My journey is not over, it has continued, though it has now evolved towards a path of wellness and wholeness. I’m different and I can’t go back to life before my diagnosis. I embrace the newness and blessings instilled in this part of my God-given journey.
I’m grateful to my family, friends, colleagues, church family and people like Anthony, Linda, Dr. Cilley, Dr. Schreiber, Dr. Mizera, Karen, Corina, Suzy, Robert, the nurses, CNAs and technicians and even the security guards and reception staff who empathized with me and fulfilled their life-long calling of providing care to others. I owe this part of this journey to God and them.
To schedule a mammogram, request an appointment or call 773-878-6888.
Published October 1, 2018