When I decided to add a blog to my web site, I didn’t plan to begin with my thoughts about a new journey into uncharted territory. As an author, I thought I would be writing about well, writing. I planned to chat about my latest book (just released!), the creative process, editing, with maybe a sprinkle here and there of my observations about life and faith.
But two days ago, a single call from my doctor changed everything. Though she wanted me to come into her office for a consultation, I insisted she tell me the results of my biopsy over the phone. Who would want to wait overnight, I reasoned, know that a consultation could only mean bad news? She paused, then spoke that heart-stopping word: Cancer.
I would love to tell you that I handed the news with gutsy courage the way my fictional characters might. But that would be honest. This wasn’t fiction, it was flesh and blo0d me. There were tears, questions, lots of questions — and not many answers in those first hours. Even the next morning at our consultation, my doctor could answer only a few of the questions I’d written down. The rest, she said, would be answered by my surgeon.
After discussions with the nurse coordinator at the cancer center, I finally began to get a better picture of what I faced: grade 2, invasive cancer, medium to rapid in growth, but caught in the earliest stages. The latter is a blessing, considering I almost didn’t go in for my annual mammogram.
The memory of the diagnosis day will stick with me a long time. But strangely, if won’t be the fear, the dismay, the what-ifs that linger. Instead, I will always remember the overwhelming love — from my husband and daughters, from my extended family, from precious friends. As the word spread, the phone calls poured in. By bedtime, I felt such peace. My family and friends and reached out to me with arms that seemed to be God’s own.
Last night a friend sent a verse of Scripture I’ve clung to all day: “When the cares of the heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” (Ps 94:19) And my dearest aunt called and left a message with a quote from Psalm 62: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
Lead me to the Rock . . . This is my prayer as I begin this new journey. Lord, lead me to the Rock that is solid and sure, unchangeable, no matter the changes — the upheaval — in my life. These words, and a song that drifted into my heart today, saw me through Day Two. The song? “His Eye is on the Sparrow . . .” I think I’ll be singing it a lot in the weeks to come.
Before I complete this first day’s entry, I want to encourage you to pick up the phone and make an appointment for a mammogram today. I almost didn’t. How thankful I am that I wasn’t “too busy” to make the appointment this year. It was that routine mammogram — and a very sharp radiologist who spotted some abnormal calcifications — that led to the diagnosis.