Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On a Biopsy and a Blog

Well, the biopsy did not happen on my birthday. Which was fine with me. Who wants to get her mouth cut into on her birthday? Not this girl!

The oral surgeon looked at my X-rays and said, while the area in question was a bit concerning, it was not concerning enough to risk damaging the nerve that runs through that area, which could leave my tongue or lip permanently numb. Happy Birthday to me! We agreed I would check back in three months.

...and that was the high point of the visit.

We moved on to the issue of my TMJ disfunction. I told him I really would like to eat without my jaw popping and cracking with every chew. He gave me some ideas like getting a bite guard to wear at night. And removing stress from my life... I think I actually laughed out loud with that one. He literally said, "You need to find a way to relax, or I will suggest medication." Hey, did I mention I love this guy?... No, seriously, I do.

So then he decided to look at my TMJoint on the panoramic X-ray, which he hadn't looked at before. He stared at it and scratched his thick, greying beard, and said, "Hmmm." Then comes the low point of the visit. He sees on my panoramic X-ray another suspicious spot and is now more concerned because there are "two spots that shouldn't be there."

Did I mention that he began the visit with, "So is there any history of cancer in your family?" Comforting. Now, instead of seeing him again in three months, I am supposed to go back in a month. And get my last panoramic film from my old dentist. Soon. Like, first thing tomorrow.


Despite the low point of this visit and the sense of doom I was left with, I still felt blessed not to have had a biopsy on my birthday. I will cling to the high point. And look forward to Christmas. Because I am not waiting for biopsy results. And a month is a long way off.

As I sat thinking about this last night, and continuing to fret over my book dilemma, the Holy Spirit opened my heart to consider whether I really understood what God wanted me to do. Then the revelation - God asked me to write about it. He never asked me to write a book. That was my "interpretation." Like yesterday when my daughter decided that when I said, "go to your separate rooms," to her and her brother, I really meant, "as long as you are quiet, you can be in the same room." Like my daughter does with me, too often I view God's promptings through the lense of my own (insert fruit of my sinful nature here).

I started to think outside my own desires. It's a novel concept I should do more often. An ongoing struggle needs an ongoing story.The full impact of my story - the drama, suspense, fears, joys, prayers, and praises, all the highs and lows - actually exists in the evolving nature of it. Let's say, hypothetically, that I do eventually come to a place where I could put a The End to my book. Consider the people that would read it, however many years from now. I would hope that they could take something uplifting from it, that my story would cause them to praise God and seek His strength for their own trials. But they would miss the day in and day out, including the tangents and gritty parts that the editor cut because they didn't forward the story or I went over my page limit. For instance, I might want to communicate, "Hey, my foot is acting up today and I'm struggling to keep my attitude in check because I really wanted to hike with my family." That's the moment that doesn't go in the book because it's not profound enough. It's also the moment that I need a lot of prayer. It's times like that I want the family of God praying for me. And I want people to say, "I know how you feel. Can you pray for me too?." In the moment.

So I decided to start another blog, and give it the dedication I was giving to writing my book... before I got stuck on where to go with it. It's called Under the Care of the Great Physician. My plan is to get it up and running after the first of the year. It's not baseball, but I figure, if I write it... I know for sure there are a lot of people like me with ongoing challenges, and I hope that the Lord can use me to touch their lives, and them to touch mine.

Tonight I'm praying for a friend who did have a biopsy recently and is, as far as I know, still waiting on her results. I hope you will join your prayers with mine on her behalf.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Health And A Book

I've been sick for seven days now. Seven whole days, many of which were spent in my bathrobe on the couch. After day three I went to the doctor.
Respiratory infection, with constriction of the bronchi. Inhaler, cough syrup with codeine, lots of rest and fluids, and come back and see us if you don't feel better in a few days.

I felt a little better after a few days, but still not great, so I went back. Bronchitis secondary to my original infection. Inhaler with steroids and an antibiotic. I'm praying the antibiotic knocks this thing out because I have too much to do in the next two weeks. Today is my daughter's 12th birthday. We're traveling to WV to see my husband...right after I go to the MVA to get my license renewed. Oh what fun.

Friday is my birthday. I'll be thirty-five. And I'll be having a biopsy done on a suspicious lesion the dentist noticed on my x-rays. Happy Birthday to me. When I found out, I groaned. Something else to see another doctor about, deal with, diagnose. Will they have an answer or will it come up a big question mark, like so many other health issues I've faced lately? If there is an answer, will it be good news or will it be something I don't want to hear - Merry Christmas, you have cancer? These are the things I'm pondering as I look forward to my birthday. I'm also thinking about the book that sits half written on my computer. I have been drug through the medical mud and have in the past always clung to my God, the Great Physician. I have seen the work he has done in my life through my challenges, and have always known that my body would be my particular cross to bear. That's what my book is about. What I've been through, and continue to go through, and how God is using those things in my life. So why is it half done? Why am I not finishing it?

Part of it is that I feel like my saga always continues. I wouldn't even know how to end it. Because It seems this journey never ends. But then writing about it is third verse, same as the first.

I will also admit that I am weary. Spent. Completely devoid of energy. Yes, that repetition is on purpose. You have to understand that when I say I am weary, I really mean I am so. done. with. this. That's probably the real reason why I can't finish it. If I write it, and share it, then I have to live it. I have to walk the walk, so to speak. Model it on the runway. And I haven't figured out how to do that when I'm in this dark place.

So I face my thirty-fifth birthday not knowing whether I will take my place among so many people I know strugging with life-threatening disease. My friends who have had cancer in the past, those who are just coming out of the fight, those who are still in the fight. Or those who have fought valiantly but lost.

Here's the thing - what if I get the Merry Christmas, you have cancer, with a sobering dose of Happy New Year, you have a month to live? I'm going to think about that book. Still sitting half done, and wonder if I can finish it in time. Because I don't want to leave this world not sharing the awesomeness God has done in my life through all the battering of my body.

I honestly don't think I have cancer. And, if I'm wrong, I don't feel like I'll get a terrible prognosis... but I have nothing to base those feelings on other than hopes and prayers. But I could get in an accident and die tomorrow. And the book would be half done. It seems I am Jonah once again. If anyone would like to keep me accountable, please raise your hand, crack the whip, kick me in the rear end. Most importantly, pray for me to do what I have been called to do.