One of the worst things in life is watching your child go through something terrifying. As a parent, you never want to see them harmed in any way. And, when those children become sick with a flu bug, or have a broken bone, it pains you to no end.
I recall one evening our daughter Emma was getting ready to take a shower. As she prepared herself, she called me into the bathroom to show me something. I was not prepared for whatever it was and I was quick to jump to conclusions when I did see it. Emma had a lump on her left breast. It was about the size of her pinkie nail.
With a very strong history of breast cancer in my family, Emma and I both knew she needed to be watched. However, we figured she would be introduced to all of this stuff in her late teens, not as an eight year old. After examining the spot further, I called my husband in. As someone who has more training than I do, we discussed what I found. This was a lump that just appeared. Maybe Emma had some kind of trauma to her chest – hit with a ball or took a tumble at school. Something. Anything. What could it be?
The lump was small, somewhat soft, and moveable. We determined it to be an inflamed lymph node. Although, we knew we needed to watch it; our self-diagnosis could be wrong. If this lump got any bigger and didn’t go away in a few days, we knew a trip to the doctor’s office would be in order.
I have to tell you, that was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I knew Emma would be okay. But, as a breast cancer survivor who is all too familiar with the disease and the family history that runs wild, my mind often strayed to the “what if it is cancer” thoughts. I checked her spot daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I needed reassurance that the lymph node was reducing in size. I needed to know that my baby was okay. Over time, the spot faded away, and Emma’s memory of it is in the distant past. It still scares me today to think of what it could have been. I never want to see my baby have to go through something like I did.
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