Nine days ago, I went for a routine visit with a doctor. I went with the expectation that he was going to check out a swollen lymph node I’ve had for awhile. I thought I would be in and out and moving on in a half of an hour. He took one look at it, found another, and another and told me the lymph node has to come out. . . ASAP.
There are no words for the shock I felt and completely out of my character, I fought this guy. I fought him hard. . . ‘I just had surgery. I have kids to take care of. I have a job to go to. I have had so much blood work done and all has come back clear. This is not necessary. I am going to pretend you didn’t say that and just go on with my life. . . ‘
Yep. I said all those things. . . and more. He had only one response. . .
‘We need to rule out lymphoma.’
I refused to schedule the surgery that day. I kindly thanked the surgeon and his assistant and told them I would consider it. I wanted to pretend the appointment didn’t happen. I wanted to, but I couldn’t, because my husband’s sanity level is higher than my own. According to him, I had no choice. I had to have the surgery. So, that’s what I did today. . . My second surgery in just over a month. . .
|Really, I just dig the purple gown that is about 56 sizes too big|
Oh, how I’d like to report that I am handling this like a champ. I’d like to tell you that I have been fearless, courageous, and optimistic throughout this week. I would like to proudly report that I have stayed the course without fretting, obsessing, and worrying. . . but I haven’t.
Throughout the week, I have run the gamut of emotions. . . all of them accompanied by tears. Lots and lots of tears. The fact is. . . I have no facts. This will likely all turn out fine. But no matter how hard I try, the thoughts still come. . . ‘what if I have cancer? What if. . . what if. . . what if. . . ‘ I’ve thought so much about the countless people that await the same answers we are awaiting, and I wonder how they do it.
Dr. Seuss called The Waiting Place that “not so fun place.” Waiting is hard. Whether it is test results, news from the loved one at war, getting confirmation that the slippery baby that was placed on your chest is healthy, you got the job, you’ve been accepted, and on and on. . .
And if loosing my Mom and taking a long hiatus from running didn’t already give me enough perspective. . . this one just piles it on. Once again placing before me the preciousness of each and every day. Reminding me not to sweat the small stuff. Recognizing that, as a friend said just the other day, you can’t put a price tag on your health.
And so we prepare for another week to ten days of tortuous waiting with full expectations that our waiting will be followed with a celebration. I plan to do my best to keep myself busy and dive into the beautiful simplicity that is our life. From the waking up and the going down and from the silliness to the sweetness, I will wade my way through it. . .
Because even though I’m waiting, I’m still Mommy. I expect that I might have moments when I excuse myself and make my way quietly to the bathroom to shed some tears, but then I will return. I will return and I will dive in because just as a price tag can’t be put on my health, neither can a price tag be placed on these moments. . .
And when all is said and done, no matter the outcome, I know that in time. . . we will be okay. And maybe, if we allow it, all of this just might make our little family a little bit stronger.
The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.
Don Williams, Jr.