“Mrs. Lopez, can you come in today to discuss your test results?”
My heart started to sink as I braced myself against the wall. Time stood still. I could see my sons’ as men, my husband with a head full of grey hair, my sisters with multiple smile lines embedded in their faces. There they were. Altogether. Without me. I couldn’t picture my life past that moment.
But I was getting ahead of myself – as so many of us
do when we’re expecting bad news.
Appointment after appointment, test after test, more and more unanswered questions. I spent weeks being poked and prodded, parts of my body being invaded and even removed. All while silently screaming, “Please God please! Let me be healthy!”
Please God please, my son’s need me
Please God please, my husband needs me
Please God please, my work here isn’t complete
One night I laid in bed nestled in my husband’s arm and just stared at the ceiling with all my fears staring right back. In the dark of the night – the darkness found me. Every what if question you could imagine crossed my mind. Every worst case scenario played out like a back to back live performance. Each thought more torturous than the previous. I reached for my journal and jotted down, “Diagnosis you do NOT define me!”
Cancer, you do not define me
Anxiety, you do not define me
Fibromyalgia, you do not define me
Infertility, you do not define me
Autism, you do not define me
Hypothyroidism, you do not define me
Depression, you do not define me
Endometriosis, you do not define me
Eating Disorder, you do not define me
OCD, you do not define me
PTSD, you do not define me
I am not the wisest person in the world. I do not know the answer to every question.
But I do know…
No diagnosis, no name, no label – none of it defines me
No diagnosis, no name, no label – none of it defines YOU