It was Monday, January 18, just four days away from the end of cancer treatment. I was getting excited, thinking about ringing the bell at the cancer center, doing a victory dance, and getting on with my life. It would be a week of celebration!
Then the phone rang. My general practitioner’s nurse told me that a blood test I had done in mid-December showed that I might have a contagious disease, totally unrelated to cancer. Actually, the nurse forgot to use the word “might.” She just told me I had the disease.
I was speechless.
Did they mean that after spending a year and a half fighting cancer, I had a totally new battle to face?
This particular disease would not only require a year of treatment, but since it was contagious, it meant I probably couldn’t ever get into a foreign country again. And it would almost certainly cancel the surgery I had scheduled for the following Monday.
I went down to the lab that same day for extensive testing. While there, I found out that I might or might not have the disease. For days I waited for the results to come back. Wednesday night, just a few waking hours before my last cancer treatment, I got the results back. Thankfully, I did NOT have a contagious disease.
Why did they think I did? Why did they have to give me a scare? I was exhausted from thinking about it and it kind of stole the joy from what should have been a very happy week.
On Friday, March 11, I got medical clearance from my employer that allows me to start planning my overseas return. I excitedly sent off for my visa and started packing. Several days passed before I noticed a lump on my neck.
My neck is where I first discovered cancer, so I dare not ignore a lump.
I’ve been to six medical appointments in the past week. The mysterious lump seems to have taken over my life once again.
In the spare moments since March 11, I’ve been packing and planning, but wondering if I was really going back overseas or if the lump was going to mean a longer stay in the U.S. Would this lump change the course of my life? It’s really hard to pack while in this state of mind, but I’m short on time and can’t waste days just because my diagnosis is hanging in limbo. I held off on purchasing the non-refundable items: airline tickets and dog travel.
I got an ultrasound done late last week, and it came back okay, but the report was very uninformative. The doctor who’d felt the lump in my neck wasn’t satisfied that I had gotten a good enough diagnostic exam so she ordered more extensive testing; I was in total agreement with her plan.
I had that extensive testing done today. Good news! There is nothing wrong with me! Yes, a huge heartfelt thanks to you, God! They said the lump in my neck is just a tiny metal hook that had tied off part of my neck during last year’s surgery — it showed up in the ultrasound. Yes, there was really a lump in my neck, but it was not a lymph node. My family and I collectively sighed in relief. We’d faced another unnecessary scare, and were thankful to receive good news.
It seems like the enemy has been trying hard to assail me, annoy me and delay me. But the Lord, my shield and protector, wins on my behalf, for His glory!
The beautiful words of Psalm 91 are locked into my heart from here on out. I read that chapter over and over, and I believe it.
By the way, I’m not publicly announcing my exact day of travel, but if the Lord allows, I expect to be back overseas in time for the May Day celebrations. I’ll keep you informed.
Thank you for praying and for asking about me. I didn’t want to write much the last few weeks because I didn’t know what to say. I do need prayers as I prepare to go back. I have so much to do and so little time to do it. But I am so very thankful for so many things.
Love in Christ,
“If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91:9-11