I'm fast coming up on the one year anniversary of that fateful mammogram which revealed I had breast cancer (November 21). That means I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of getting the news . Try as you might, with these anniversaries come the usual apprehensions. It's easier to just accept them and deal with them one on one rather than suppress them and find yourself trying to climb out onto a ledge in the future. From what I hear, this is far more common than one might think.
I'm supposed to be making an appointment for the dreaded diagnostic mammogram. It was never my favorite event but since having breast cancer it has become far worse. They want to make sure they get everything including a large chunk of my chest wall (along with the rest of me) and then of course, since they figure I've already been radiated to death already, it can't hurt to take a few more extra pictures just in case further snapshots are required. This way I only have to pose once...for a very long time. Sigh...
I guess it really is better that way but I still don't have to like it.
I have to confess, however, that uncomfortable as it is my reluctance to set this appointment is not to the procedure itself. It's fear. There I said it. It's fear. Something in the back of mind whispers "What if there is something again? What if you have to get sliced, diced, pickled and fried all over again? What if it happens the next year again? What if some cancer cells slipped through unnoticed and it's spread somewhere else? What if? What if? Stop!
The only way to find a problem is to look for it. The only way to solve a problem is to find it. Sometimes examinations are scary and they hurt. Avoiding them may seem like the easy way out but is it really? Unchecked, problems can grow rapidly until they are completely out of control and destroying everything in their path. Is that really what we want?
Submitting yourself to the Holy Spirit for a spiritual examination can be a very painful thing. He will be honest with you and blunt as well. He doesn't pat you on the head and say, "Oh well, it's no big deal. We'll just ignore it." Sometimes it's a matter of just bringing something to your attention. Some spiritual medicine or changes in your spiritual lifestyle will do the trick. Sometimes awareness is all that is required. You have to stop loading up on spiritual junk food or change your environment.
Other times, spiritual surgery and treatment are required. You may have to have something cut out of you and be subjected to some painful, unpleasant treatment. It is awful while you're going through it but in the end you will be made whole and better than ever.
Allowing the Holy Spirit to examine you is often a very difficult and uncomfortable thing. However, we must remember it is also a very necessary thing. It is a critical part of following Christ and unlike modern medicine, the examination and the treatments are guaranteed 100% successful by God. You can't do any better than that so don't forget your spiritual check-ups.
As for me...I better quit dragging my feet and get that appointment set up today.