The last five days have been spent in this anxious terrified state. My breathing is short and shallow, I'm dizzy, my stomach hurts, my appetite is gone (bad for a stress eater) and I'm starting to have chest pains. Focusing on anything was impossible, which made work and school work difficult. I kept telling myself to think positively while acknowledging my negative feelings but telling myself to see the better picture. I would sit at my desk and just force myself to take deep breaths.
2 months ago is when I went to the doctor for the lump in my neck, an examination, ultrasound and second opinion later...I was now seeing the surgeon. Every step of the way I hoped and begged the universe for it to be the last step...but there I was moving forward with uncertainty. I arrived at the hospital and asked how long the wait was to see him, "I don't know, he's not even here yet." was the reply. What if he doesn't come due to emergencies and I'm rescheduled for another month?? I go and sit in the waiting room. Surrounded by young and old I scan the faces in the waiting room, including a convict in an orange jumpsuit seated between two police. Each one in that room occupied my thoughts for a brief moment as I wondered why they were there and shared some worry for each. My thoughts began to drift to those that have been plaguing me for the past months, from the moment I found the lump over 6 months ago.
"What if it is something?"
"No it's nothing, you're fine."
"But what if?!"
"Stop it, you're fine. Don't worry until you have a reason to worry. Do you know how slim the chances are that it's something bad?"
"Yes, 1% actually, but I bet that 1% had people telling them they were fine and not to worry too!"
"You can't think like that, look how old your grandparents are and how healthy your family is!"
"Well there has to be a rotten egg in the bunch doesn't there? Our luck can only hold out for so many generations."
"Now you're getting unreasonable."
...and on and on, back and forth, angel and devil arguing. Suddenly, after waiting only 20 minutes, my name is called and I am lead through a narrow hallway. Doors lining the hall, some open. I glance in each room as we walk, a man waiting. A couple waiting. Then I pass by one and hear, "This here? Yes this is all cancer." I glance and see an elderly man with what looks like his wife and daughter. My chest tightens as I glance in the next room and see 5 people sitting in a circle hooked up to IVs. That must be the radiation/chemo room. I sit in my room and wait.
The surgeon finally enters and asks me some details, it is all a blur. He finds the bump on my neck and says, "oh ya, right there...hmmmmm" he asks me to move my chair forward so he can stand behind. He starts feeling around both sides me my neck humming and hawing. Then he said, "It's just a lymph node, you probably had a bad infection and it never went back to it's normal size. You are fine and it can stay where it is." By then I was crying...
Now it seems so stupid, the hours I spent worrying, the tears, the thoughts about what the future will bring, the research....should I fight? Should I not? Now it is all trivial and...stupid! It seems now I'm always thinking of those who sat in the same chair I did yesterday, those who received good news, and those who received bad. Their battles, who made it, who didn't. Life is so previous and our health is so fragile. I am so incredibly thankful that all my worries were for nothing. Well not nothing...now I have a new look on life, for too long I've had no motivation and just did not want to be in the situations I was. Now I am thankful for everything, even the stresses and disappointments! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!
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