Monday, March 26, 2012

Then the rain came tumbling down

It always seems that life is going well and things are just as you would like them, then a bomb drops that disrupts it all. Suddenly everything you have worked hard to get just right is up in the air.

I have had this experience a few times.

Each time I had such an experience, I ended up on my knees praying, mainly because I didn't know what else to do.

Just prior to Christmas 2010, I had a blood test for exhaustion. It was some of the worst fatigue I had ever experienced (and I'm a mother, we are a tired people regardless). I felt the way you feel the day before the flu. All my muscles ached constantly. I eventually dragged myself to the GP and she gave me a blood test.

That evening we went to a friends for dinner. We arrived home about 9pm and almost straight away our neighbors rushed over. Apparently a Doctor from our local hospital had been trying to call me and luckily one of the hospital staff recognized our address and figured out she knew our neighbors and called them. She was on the phone when we pulled in. I went over and they said my potassium levels were critically low and that I needed to go straight to the Emergency Room.

I went and was put on a drip (IV potassium is a horrendous thing to have pumped into you - it HURTS like crazy!!). They ran all sorts of tests and found a grape size lump in the side of my neck. I was admitted as it would take several days to get my potassium levels up high enough.

After the potassium levels were sorted, they were concerned about the lump. I had scans done and countless blood tests, but in the end they did a fine needle biopsy to check for cancer cells.

Later that afternoon, the specialist came into my room and sat on the edge of my bed (not a good sign). She asked if my husband was around or if I wanted to wait for him to come in for my results (bad sign #2). I said that's fine, I'm ok to hear them myself. Then she put her hand on mine (alarm bells ringing now).

I was told my biopsy showed abnormal cells that were consistent with lymphoma. They planned on removing the entire lymph node first thing the next morning.

Obviously it wasn't good news. So I just prayed to feel peace. And I did. It was almost as though I couldn't even force myself to worry. I was just completely at ease and knew that regardless of the outcome, all would be ok. Seems stupid considering the news I had just received.

I had my lymph nodes removed and was left with a nice scar along the crease of my neck (to add to my collection). We had to wait to receive the results and was told I could go home and be with my family.

On Christmas Eve, I went to the specialist for my results. He had them faxed over while we were in the waiting room and as we sat across his desk, he read them while we waited. With obvious surprise, he said;

"Wow! I was really expecting to be making Oncologist appointments for you and booking further surgeries... but according to this, your lymph node was benign."

Regardless of the impending change ahead, I am so thankful I can be blessed with peace. The feeling that regardless of the outcome, everything will be alright is all I really need.


  1. I remember this whole experience and I still am grateful for those results. I know Dad was grateful to have you just across the hall as well :)

  2. I was thrilled to have a familiar face in the ward with me too. I still laugh when I remember him sneaking out on Sunday night to go to the Christmas musical fireside! Your family made my time in there much more enjoyable xx

  3. tears streaming love u jo