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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life Takes an Interesting Turn

I had intended to be blogging about my Doctor of Ministry program that I started last month, and I still may do that.  However, life has thrown a curve ball and I am now in the throes of the medical system that I have counseled so many other people through.  About two months ago I noticed some things going on in my body that seemed irregular and I'm not one who freaks out but I am attentive.  So, I saw my primary care doctor who said, "well, you can't be doing THAT."  To which I replied, "well, but I AM."  So she sent me to an ob/gyn.  I was to see her the week before I left for Decatur/Atlanta.  The day before my appointment I got a call that that doctor had a family emergency and wondered if I could see her the next week.  I told them I'd be in Atlanta so they suggested I see one of her colleagues.  I did and he read one test and did a biopsy.  The next day or so (now Thursday and I'm to fly out Saturday), he called and said I needed to have a D and C.  He suggested I could do that in Atlanta.  Well, it requires sedative and I figured I should do it before I left.  So, naively I asked, "Can you do it tomorrow!?"  He didn't laugh but said he'd have to find yet another doctor to  do it, if possible.  In an hour (an hour!) he called back and said a wonderful woman doctor could do my procedure.  I did it the next day, was a little woozy and tired, but they told me it was okay for me to fly as long as all else was normal.  It was.  Please know that all through this I kept waiting for the good news.  They kept downplaying every step of the process.  The next call I got was in Atlanta saying that what the D and C revealed was cancerous cells but they were pretty sure it would be contained to the uterus.  However, to be sure and to determine whether I should stay for both classes or come home two weeks early, they wanted me to have a PET/CT scan.  Now my main concern was that I had to drink crap.  I don't ingest nasty stuff easily or well.  It wasn't that bad.  I had 12 exceedingly close and good friends praying and encouraging me and I felt totally calm about it.  Got results two or three days later and they confirmed that this was contained and not an urgent/emergency situation.  Whew!  I realize it sounds selfish, but I did NOT want to have to leave my classes early.  I would have left if it was in the best interest for me and my health, but I am so glad that it was not the case.  It was an answered prayer.  There have been all sorts of little moments and glimpses and encouraging signs along the way.  I know now that I will have surgery on Friday, August 12 at 11:30 a.m.  I feel very calm and faithful about this.  It will be abdominal surgery, so I'll be sore and tired and unable to laugh easily (that's hard for me!)  One of my main comforts is knowing that I am absolutely not the first or the last person to go through this, and I do not go it alone.  I am grateful for my faith and my faith communities.  I also think our medical system is totally screwed up!