This past week I had a minor health scare. “I found a lump…” I repeated to my wife, my mother and the receptionist answering the phone at my doctor’s office. After a previously scheduled visit for other health related concerns, I had an order for more tests.
“I found a lump.” I explained to my new boss because I needed to reschedule our meeting. “This is perhaps one of the few reasons I would reschedule!” Her response was everything a woman wants to hear. “Of course it is! How are you doing?”
I texted my brother. It’s rather convenient to have a doctor in the family who researches cancer and can read those mysterious test results.
Me: Is it okay to have test results sent to you?
Brother: Do you have a lump?
As we texted back and forth, he reminded me that there are a number of false positives and not to worry. I was comforted, but I still worried.
This past week has been busy and rather mundane. I found myself holding my kids a little tighter and listening to capture every detail about their day. As I paid several bills I realized that we should really discuss how these things need to be managed if I’m not around.
In the past six months, I have been a witness to several families’ fight with cancer. The mother of three widowed after a long and dramatic end to her husbands suffering. The work colleague who bought a home, went to Paris, and ran five miles after her first chemo treatment. I honored her by going for a hike, because it’s probably what she would have been doing if she had lived. Or the mother of two who is at this moment watching her spouse at the end of this illness. I am awed and amazed by them all.
After a week of sleepless nights, my results were good. My spouse stayed with me throughout the appointment and her joy was contagious. My brother texted before I could and commented that he needed some good news. I can only imagine what it is like to work with individuals as they live with and sometimes die from this disease. I am grateful for all of the research and advances in medical care, as well as the support of family.
Even though its was a brief experience, I found a lump was the most difficult four words I’ve ever said. They mean so much more and yet only begins the journey for most.