I was getting out of the shower the other morning when a sharp little pain shot through my right breast. For anyone keeping track, my right breast is the healthy one. It’s the left breast that was removed three years ago after a cancer diagnosis.
The towel caught my skin wrong and I flinched. My mind immediately filled with one thought: What if it’s cancer?
People have indeed discovered diseases after an abnormal pain, but I knew even in my moment of mini-panic I was overreacting.
How I went from a slight twinge to another cancer diagnosis is beyond me, but ask any other survivor and they’ll tell you they do it too. I have yet to meet someone who has had cancer of any kind who doesn’t occasionally wonder if it will come back.
I stood in front of my mirror for a moment while my mind wandered. Cancer… What if…
What do you do with your what ifs?
Do you hold onto them and breathe life into them, allowing those two little words to grow and expand until they overtake your whole brain?
I’ve done that more times than I care to admit.
I knew I had the option of inviting this black cloud to follow me around for the rest of the day… but I knew I also had the choice to speak back to the fear.
That’s what “what ifs” really are you know. Fear disguised as problem solving.
I grabbed some clothes from my closet and replaced the “What if” with “If what.”
Instead of thinking “What if it’s cancer?” I silently prayed, “If what I’m imagining ever comes true, God thank you for helping me handle it gracefully.”
I immediately felt a peace and an ability to move on with my day. I knew I didn’t have to hold onto that what if. And guess what? There’s good news. Neither do you.