Friday, March 28, 2014

A Scare

A week ago Wednesday, I went for a routine mammogram. The next day, I received a call that they had seen something on the mammogram, and they wanted me to come back for a "spot compression" that would give them a closer look. The appointment was made for yesterday, the 27th.
I won't keep you guessing...nothing at all was seen on the re-exam.
But I'd like to tell you about my emotional state during the week leading up to the re-exam.
Now, I'm a Christian. I know that my sins are covered by the blood of Christ and that, when my body dies, my spirit will be very much alive in His presence. I also know that, in the words of a popular Christian song of many years ago, nothing can happen to me today without passing through my Father's hands.
Nevertheless, I experienced some anxiety during that week. One obvious reason was that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 53 and died eight years later of cancer that had spread from that original site. But maybe the biggest reason for my anxiety was knowing how hard it would be for my sweet hubby to watch me go through it if the test revealed cancer.
I don't know how to explain what I was feeling. In one sense, the spiritual sense, I guess, I was totally at peace with the possibility...even probability...that this could be it for me. But we are multi-faceted beings, and my mind was racing with things that I'd want to take care of before leaving this earth.
A big one is our financial records. I take care of all the finances for our household, and I do most of it electronically. Doug and I were both single until we were in our forties, and he's very capable of handling that job every bit as well as I. He just doesn't enjoy it as much, which is why I do it. But I would have to get all of the online stuff transferred back to manual and snail mail if I were to expect Doug to step in and take over. He just doesn't do computer, except for an occasional game of Solitaire.
I've got an unimaginable number of photos from our life and travels together, but most of them are on the computer. I would want to get those into scrapbooks so that Doug could have something tangible to look at and remember.
I was even thinking about what Hospice Home I would want to go to when that time came.
And there were thoughts about the details for a funeral service. We have the major parts of our funerals already planned and paid for, but there are things like music and photographs and messages that we want to convey that still need to be worked out.
I know that some reading this will think that my Christianity doesn't go very deep if all these thoughts were keeping me awake at night...and they were. Maybe there's some truth to that. But I honestly didn't feel anxiety about dying. It was more about leaving...leaving one sad puppy of a husband...leaving things undone that could make life easier for those left behind.
In the course of all that thinking, it occurred to me that I spend way too much time on the computer. Well, I confess that that wasn't a new thought, but it became clearer during my week of sleepless nights. Blogging does take a lot of time that I might better spend doing other things. I'm not sure yet where that train of thought will lead me.
Anyway, I just felt the need to share my heart about my experience. Maybe it will help someone else.
The day before my re-exam was scheduled, I received a letter from the diagnostic company that does the tests, saying that there was no need to be anxious, that approximately one out of 10 women get called back for a second exam, and that the majority of those show no problem. I thought to myself that it would have been nice if the person who called to set up the appointment for my re-exam had told me that six days earlier.

After the good results of yesterday's re-exam, I told Doug that I thought the scale would weigh a lot lighter the next time I weighed myself. He asked why, and I replied that a big burden had just been lifted. He heartily agreed.


  1. Praise God that it was only a scare. I think it is perfectly normal to have concerns when it comes to dying. It is something we have not been through before so is totally unknown.Hope you are fully enjoying each day and living in the joy of the Lord.

  2. i am so grateful it was nothing. these things can cause a lot of anxiety - especially with your mom's history. as for your faith, i think it is sweet of you to worry for your husband and all he'd have to tend to. and i don't think it is bad to be prepared in case something happens. life changes in an instant.

  3. Linda, I'm so relieved and happy to hear that the subsequent scan showed nothing. All of your thoughts about Doug and how we would manage is so totally refreshing and sweet. I admire your strong faith and learn from you. I'm so glad you shared your thoughts. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    Yes, blogging takes a lot of time and something I've been getting more lax about as the weather gets nicer and I want to be outside doing things, connecting with people in my community. Not that other bloggers are not my community; they are, but it's nice to have the physical presence of friends. And to do things that don't involve the computer.

  4. Hi there, We are back from ANOTHER trip. This time we were in Georgia checking out yet another waterfall... Check my blog today when you get a chance.

    I went through the exact same thing several years ago.. They thought they 'saw' something on my Mammogram ---yet, after the retest, nothing was there. And even though I am also a Christian, we are HUMAN --and we do experience anxiety---especially during the 'waiting' period... Glad yours came out the same way that mine did.

    Have a great weekend.

  5. I don't know what to say except I'm so very glad this only turned out to be a scare. Maybe some good will come from it by pushing you into organizing and setting your affairs in order if only to give you some peace of mind.

  6. 1st thought - what a blessing. i was having a conversation with my parents about cancer yesterday. it has affected our family several times. we walk through life not knowing what will happen & when something puts a glitch into our schedule it gets all messed up. is it the type of thing you will have to be check out more often? i ask because i am thinking of a friend now. she had ovarian cancer & continues to have to get checked out. i always worried about her. she had a little boy... well he is 14 but that is still small to her. he can pick her up & is so tall compared to her ... i am glad you have a support system, your faith, & us - your bloggy buddies. have a lovely weekend. relax. & feel without that extra weight. what relief. big big hugs. ( :

  7. So glad it turned out okay. Regardless of one's faith, that's scary!

  8. Thank the Lord! I'm so glad your retest showed no problems. Your thoughtfulness in the "what if" case is something we all need to do. I certainly have a lot of loose ends that I would need to take care of. That really is something I've been thinking more about lately. I don't want our kids to go through a lot of aggravation because we didn't have things planned better than we do now. I think turning 60 last year has put a bit of a timer on getting those things done. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Linda, first, praise God that your test and retest didn't find any issues. I, too, am a christian and feel that emotions are perfectly normal in humans. Fear, anxiety, anger, etc., these are all part of being a human being. I fully understand your anxiety and I pray that you are able to relax now. Sending you a warm hug.

  10. Linda, you probably shared about your mother in years gone by, however, no wonder you had those thoughts going through your mind when you received your test results. You mentioned on the telephone you had a scare, but didn't realize how deep the emotions were until reading your blog.

    Some of the thoughts you experienced are exactly what happened to me when the doctor said they found a tumor and a few days later was told it was Muco Ephermoid Carcinoma and would need to be surgically removed. God's grace took over immediately and even though I was thinking about Dave, the children (no grandchildren the first time), the details of our lives and how it might be for them without me, it still was amazing the calmness He brings as you mentioned, that carries you through the trial.

    The amazing verse that blesses me as life goes on (Dave and I face various tests of life) and even as I type it lifts my spirits is: Hebrews 12:11 - Now no trial for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit to those who are exercised thereby.

    Thank you for sharing your heart so openly, Linda, and may the Lord use your blog to guide a person to the Lord Jesus Christ.

  11. I'm sorry to hear about your scare, but I'm delighted that it was nothing but a scare and that the second exam showed there was nothing there. I think the thoughts you had during the week between exams are very normal and really have nothing to say about the depth of your faith. The fact that you felt peace even as you thought about human concerns says much about God's grace -- and you.

  12. Hi, Linda. I'd like to say "ditto" to what I read in George's comment above. I don't think there is anything I can say that he didn't already say so eloquently. I'll say again that I"m happy your scare had a happy ending. As a Christian, I know that even as much as we trust the Lord, there will be times of worry. This was one of those times for you. I would have been worried, too. Have a wonderful weekend!

  13. I'm so happy for you and Doug that there was nothing to the re-exam! I those thoughts sometimes when I'm driving in bad weather, or when Eddie is late getting home from work. They just pop into my head involuntarily! There are very few things in life that we can control, that is for sure. Faith makes it easier to handle. I don't know where I would be without it. :)

  14. Yay Linda! I'm so glad it all went well. I used to work at an OB/GYNE office so I spoke to many women who had been called back for extra views and spot compressions. Nine times out of ten it's nothing. But everyone thinks they are that one person, and I can understand the anxiety.
    I had a similar experience in my 20's and I did not sleep well. My nurse practitioner thought I had a lump and wanted it aspirated. I can't tell you how awful it was thinking about it. It was nothing too.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and anxiety. I'm sure you are ministering to someone who needs to hear it today.
    Blessings, Ceil

  15. That reality of leaving what one has for a better place often makes one think it isn't time. Glad to hear your results were good. That better place awaits , when it is your time.

  16. It is a frightening moment. Fortunately for us my wife survived two different type of cancer (ovarian and breast) with the grace of god and the good work of the Mayo Clinic....:)

  17. I can totally relate to everything you just posted....especially that you handle all the financial and your husband would have difficulties if something happened to you. I am glad your tests results were OK.....perhaps you can start working on those photo's :)

  18. Oh Linda, I'm so sorry you went through this worry. Yes, you should have been told up front (so to speak) that the call backs are rather common and far more often than not, unwarranted. I've had that happen a couple of times although they were able to do them the same day, so I had far less time to worry. I'm so glad that it turned out to be just fine. May it be so with all future squishes.


  19. Linda, I'm happy with you that the result of the re-examination was good and no trace of cancer has been found. I had a similar experience a few years ago and can imagine what mixture of feelings you must have felt. As for your Christianity... You're right, we shouldn't worry but place our worries into the hands of our Heavenly father. On the other hand there are things we can and should do and so I think that the mulling over the worries wasn't any sign of possible shallowness of your faith but the responsibility you felt about practical matters of your lives and there is nothing wrong with that.


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