Wednesday, March 6, 2013

When the C Stands for Cancer

Two years ago, the doctor told me I had a nodule on my thyroid.  He said it was mobile, so he wasn't too worried about it.  So naturally, I wasn't too worried either.  He's the doctor, he knows what he's talking about.

Two weeks ago, I had another physical, and the doctor, just to be on the safe side, scheduled me for an ultrasound.  The nodule was still mobile, but he wanted to make sure.

So I dragged myself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning that Thursday and arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. for my 7 a.m. ultrasound appointment.  It wasn't quite as exciting as the ultrasounds I got when I was pregnant - no kicking cute babies sleeping inside me - just lots of inexplicable images on the screen.  After the uneventful ultrasound, I drove home.  

Days passed - I figured if anything was wrong, they probably would have let me know right away.

And then the call came.  "We've found something.  We need to schedule you for a biopsy."

In a matter of seconds, my world came crashing down.  I had started out the morning flying high.  My book had just made it to #1 on the bestseller list for Christian mysteries on Amazon.  My career was bright, nothing could stand in my way.

Except for this.

The thing is, I don't know that it's cancer.  It might be benign.  I don't know that it's not cancer.  I have a lot of unanswered questions.  But when the C word happens to you, statistics don't matter.  Sure, thyroid cancer is known to be highly curable.  But the big WHAT IF hangs over your head like a sword on a thread, waiting to drop any second.  What if it doesn't work out?  What if I have to do chemo, radiation, hormone replacement medication?  How will that affect me, my daily life?  

And then the big ones...

What if my husband is left alone with my three very young children?

What if God decides not to heal me?

My doctor (bless the dear man) called me himself to put some of my anxiety to rest.  He went over all the reasons why, if you're going to get cancer, thyroid cancer is the one to get.  And it might not even come to that. Everything might show up perfectly clear and I'll go on my merry way.  For right now, the next thing to do on the list is an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration.  After that, we wait.

I've always liked the idea of walking with Jesus one day at a time.  I'd sing the old song and imagine my journey hand in hand with Jesus, usually along a beach somewhere, one step by one step.  But suddenly, I see that scene in a whole new light.  

It gives me a whole new appreciation for every single day, every smile my kids send my way, every little prayer lisped by my three-year-old, every time I enter the girls' bedroom at night and watch my baby sleeping in her crib, her lashes sweeping across chubby cheeks.

At any rate, I'm going to walk with Jesus today and enjoy today and seize today.  Tomorrow?  We'll see.  Either way, I know Jesus is right here.  And that's enough for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment