I’m a Noble Warrior, I’ve Got This


Photo courtesy of Google Images
Photo courtesy of Google Images

Because I have two sisters who have had breast cancer, and because I have extremely dense breast tissue, every six months I go through some form of breast-cancer screening. In October, I do a mammogram, in April an MRI.

This year, in April, I had both. Last October the radiologist saw something she didn’t like and wanted more pictures of it in April when I had the MRI. After 6 hours of testing, she broke the news: “I want to do a biopsy.”

That was a Monday, and I scheduled the biopsy for Friday. For the next three days until the biopsy, as you can imagine, I thought of little else. I knew that biopsies were not for sissies, and while I did not consider myself a sissy, panic seized me every time I thought about it. I fought anxiety during the nights…which wasn’t so awful thanks to my sister’s present. She gave a amazon weighted blanket that helped me feel a bit of pressure that helped me sleep during the night. And it also helped during all the things I went trough. You can also have one, just click on the link and learn more about it.

On the morning of the procedure, I decided to go for a run to work off some of the nervous energy. And as I ran I thought, Suzanne, you can be scared or you can be brave, but you can’t be both.


Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince
Photo by Suzanne Whitfield Vince


And in that moment, I decided that I would be brave. And so later, when the tech called my name, my husband squeezed my hand and said, “You gonna be okay?” I replied, “I am a Noble Warrior heading into battle. I’ve got this.”

And I did. I really did. I climbed up on the table, my face set and determined, and braced myself for the battle to come. And when it was over, and the doctor asked if I was okay, I said, “Piece of cake.”

And it was. It really was. Despite the fact that the accounts I’d read on the internet about Stereotactic Biopsy promised it would be excruciatingly painful. And it did hurt, a lot, but rather than resisting the pain, I leaned into. Accepted it. Said, “this too will pass.”

And to this day I’m not sure why it went so smoothly. Was the procedure really no big deal? Or is the mind really that powerful? If you take fear out of the equation (or at least push it to the background), are the big things in life that much easier to endure?

What do you think? How much of a factor is fear when facing the scary moments of your life? What strategies do you use to get through them?

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7 comments on… “I’m a Noble Warrior, I’ve Got This”

  1. Thanks for the post. I will remember that when I face a challenge. I also remember Robert Frost’s word. “Life is hard. Be a rock. Be steel.”

  2. Suzanne, you are such a strong woman. If I ever need a boost of bravery, you’re the person I’m going to call. Sometimes fear can propel us forward, and sometimes it can paralyze us. The trick is finding the right balance between fear and bravery, something you seem to have mastered.

  3. I have learned you can’t fight fate. After going through the cancer that killed our daughter and then having to face it myself, I realize we must find a way to deal with what life tosses at us. In my heart I knew I wouldn’t be coming back when I rode down to UC Davis to have my cancer surgery three years after our daughter died. I went because I at least had to try to rid my body of the disease. I was shocked when I woke and my family told me they got it all when they took the uterus out…I was one of the lucky ones and didn’t need chemo or radiation. That’s when I decided I would keep the can’t fight fate attitude and try not to worry and deal with it. Of course, worrying is part of my nature and that won’t go away, but I try to face those problems with a much more positive attitude and find ways to deal with life. It’s okay to be scared. Like you said, it’s how you deal with it.

    • I can’t imagine all you’ve been thru, Marlene. You are very brave, indeed, and I’m so glad you survived your surgery. You’re right about the positive attitude, too!

  4. I can’t believe you even had to answer that question; you’ve ran an Iron-Man for God’s sake, woman! You are a noble warrior from all accounts.

    But, fear can make you experience things that probably aren’t there. I’m so glad you chose the brave route and that the procedure wasn’t harrowing for you.

    Gook luck on the results. I’ve been asking God to keep you calm and help you make the best decision no matter what the outcome.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. Great post Suzanne 🙂 I have everything crossed that you stay well and healthy for a long time. I know what you mean about choosing to be brave. I had to have a lumbar puncture a little while ago and everyone told me they are dreadfully painful. I managed to keep very still and found the whole thing not to bad and over quite quickly. Though the migraine headache that followed it was gruesome lols. Fear is always a factor isn’t it, how we mange it makes the difference.

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