Sunday, January 8, 2017

Step 1: Knowing Something Was Wrong & Doing Something About It

Journal entries:

Saturday, March 5, 2016:
"Facing surgery next Tuesday. Results will reveal cancer or not. Feeling nervous, but also trusting God. 'My hope is in the Lord.' "

Sunday, March 6, 2016:
"Getting closer to surgery and feeling a bit more nervous. But realizing small joys will overtake the fear. Thank You, Jesus."

In the beginning...

I knew for some time that something was not quite right. I was tired more often than normal. I actually felt listless, like I just wanted to check out and off of anything that might require more than a little time, or concentration. A full day of work left me exhausted. I didn't even have the 'want to' to write, which is a total contradiction to my reality. I love to write, so when that became a chore, I really began to wonder if God was trying to tell me something.

Of course He was, but at first I was not listening to HIS voice, I was listening to that other one, the one we are warned against, the enemy, satan.  You will notice I did not capitalize his name. He does not deserve it. There ya go. I thought God was telling me that HE did not like what or how I was writing, that I really could not write at all, and that I was just trying to be a writer, but was deceiving myself all the way. So of course, it follows that I started feeling somewhat depressed, deprived, misled. By God Himself.

I was wrong, and I know it now. Once I understood I had an issue with my health, I realized He was freeing me up from my already hectic schedule, and preparing me for a journey I had not knowingly chosen, but was on partly because of my lack of wisdom in continuing the post-menopausal healthcare women should seek. We think we are past those needs simply because we are older, but I can tell you, that just is not true. More women have more serious conditions than we realize because they have bought into an untruth about menopause.

God was talking to me all the time, I was just so busy with work, and my totally crazy schedule of activities, that I was not taking the time to hear what He was saying. He did not tell me I could not write, or that He was displeased with me. He was telling me to slow down, to spend time with Him, and to put the really important things first and foremost. Which also included my health.

When my symptoms became so obvious I could no longer explain them away, I went to see a gynecologist. After some initial testing, questioning, history taking/providing, and examinations, I had a minor surgery which included a few different procedures, along with removal of a large polyp, or fibroid, and other biopsies from my uterus. And a week later I met with the surgeon and was told it was cancer.

She spent time explaining it, and what needed to be done, and what she felt my prognosis was, and the usual things a doctor will say. She stopped suddenly, looking at me and asking me if I was okay. I smiled and said yes, I was fine. So she continued on, and then stopped again, wanting to know if I wanted her to call someone for me. She had met my husband, and suggested calling him. I told her no, I was fine. I could tell she was not convinced, but I had that smile plastered on my face.

She then examined me to make sure I was healing okay, which I was. And she called another surgeon in to meet me, who I was familiar with.  He and another lady surgeon, whose name I was familiar with from my work, would be working as a team to do a total hysterectomy, robotic, with all the cancer staging and accompanying procedures that are done during these kinds of surgeries. My doctor had also already set me up for a CT scan that following week, two days before I would have a consult with the other surgeon, who is an oncology specialist. So all points were covered, all arrangements made, except for the actual date.
And I remained calm, cool, and collected. And smiling.

I walked back to work after this very revealing encounter. My eyes got a bit wet on the way, but I pulled myself together quickly. I knew about these things. I knew the reputations of all my doctors. I knew I was in good hands. More than that, I knew Whose Great Hands I was already in. But still, while calm on the outside, my inside was confused, befuddled, trying to understand and compartmentalize all the information I had just been provided with. In short, I was a mess, but just wasn't showing it.

I went back to my office, told my boss I was going home, and got in my car. I called my husband, and he came home early to meet me there. And we talked, and still I smiled, and held back the conflicting emotions going on inside. He was adamant about going with me to my appointment with the oncology surgeon. I was okay with that. He is a comfort always in difficult times. So we knew we had a problem and we knew we had a plan. We were embarking on a new kind of journey, one of many we had already completed. This one was different. This one held different kinds of obstacles, emotions, possibilities, some that could be life-changing and life-threatening. But a journey we had to take, just the same.

"Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you." 
                                                                                                           Psalm 37:5