On getting to my car, the first track that came on was Tim McGraw’s ‘Live Like You Were Dying.’ I love this song because it compels you to think of the little things that makes life worth living. Now, I do not know about the verse ‘I went two point seven seconds on a bull named blue Fumanchu’ as an ideal choice for my bucket list but I was encouraged by this song to start enjoying my life today because tomorrow is certainly not guaranteed. The emotional feeling I was experiencing by listening to this song gave me the hope I needed to deal with the results of my biopsy. Through my pain, I kept hope alive.

After the biopsy, I waited for seven days to get my results and in those seven days I remained prayerful. I asked myself, if God grants you a miracle today what will you change about your life? This was my way of finding hope to stay strong through the seven days of psychological torture. First, my relationship with God will be stronger because He is the giver of life, provider of my needs, comforter of my pain and protector of my soul. Second, I will cherish every priceless moment with husband and children because I can no longer wait for tomorrow to say I love you or go on that honeymoon with Ike or take that family vacation to Disney Land. Third, I will appreciate my close friends and relatives who love me unconditionally and uplift me emotionally and spiritually. Last, I will live my life for ‘Ngoma’ by accomplishing my dreams, and enjoying every moment taking care of myself, my health, my finances and my happiness. Certainly, the motivation is real and powerful but as the seventh day approached I became anxious and afraid to face the results. The funny thing is that I am a very strong person but this experience frightened me because of the thought that I might have cancer and it will take me away from my husband and children. Surely, I cannot compete with this inevitable situation so you can understand how vulnerable I might seem right now. I might be vulnerable right now but I am not a quitter, I fight until the end because I believe in the light at the end of the tunnel. Through my pain, I kept hope alive.

So the seventh day came and I was procrastinating on calling the doctor’s office for my results. Did I really want to know the results? Or did I want to live my life as if I was dying? Apparently, my family and close friends were more anxious to know the results than I was, so I had no choice but to call the doctor’s office. As I spoke to the Radiologist I listened for the signs of bad news but the doctor was normal in her diagnosis of the results. I was in a trance the entire time she was speaking but I quickly snapped out of my trance the second I heard “it was benign,” and I screamed “Praise God!” Apparently, the doctor explained that I have micro-calcifications in my left breast caused by calcium deposits that look like ‘white spots’ on a mammogram which are common and noncancerous that can grow in a woman's breast tissue. Honestly, I was relieved and thankful that I had this experience because it demonstrated that regardless of the circumstances I faced, through my pain, I kept hope alive.

I understand how challenging life can become for everyone but we cannot give up hope because we all have a lot to live for. We have got to live for our families, our friends and especially for ourselves. So whenever you feel discouraged remember that through your pain, trust me, you can and should keep hope alive.