The day that Mom was to be transported from UNC to Wilmington our friend, the nurse manager, came in to Mom's room. We talked business for a while and then she looked at me and said, "I want you to do something when you get home. It's something I have noticed and am worried about." All I could think about was Mom. What had I not done?
She moved over next to me and said, "you have a lump on your neck and you need to have it checked Well, I kept it together because it was visible that mom was getting upset. With her permission, she touched my neck and also felt of my lymph nodes and mentioned them being checked soon. I could feel my eyes welling up with tears. Of course! Of course, I have a lump! Let's just go ahead and get it all over with while we are in this "season"!
I know my friend was surprised at my tears and I explained my history. She quickly told me this would not be from breast cancer. She felt bad that we were upset but explained that years ago her Mom went to the doctor for a cough from a cold and got a chest x-ray that showed she had breast cancer. She said as a medical professional she decided that day that she would never stay quiet if she thought she could help someone. Mom and I both thanked her for being honest with us. We had wondered why we were stuck in the hospital all weekend with no therapies, etc but maybe this was why. She did not work on the weekends. I had not noticed the lump but could feel it. I looked in the mirror and I did see it.
My friend asked if I would mind if a nurse looked at it who worked in endocrinology for thirty plus years. I told her of course. The nurse came in and he asked if he could examine me. After examining he said he felt better but an ultrasound was what I needed. He asked me how soon we were leaving and if I could get in with my doctor. I told him I had just missed my physical due to the hurricane but I would make some calls as soon as I got home. We hugged my new friends good bye and assured them we would keep in touch. She had notes for me to use when I called my doctor explaining the details of the lump. It was a tearful morning with lots of tears but Mom and I knew the blessings were all over us. Including someone being willing to bring this to my attention at a time I would not have even noticed. I texted a few people who I KNEW would pray for me.
I had a lot of time to think during my ride to Wilmington but I had a total peace. I knew it was the prayers. I think I was so overwhelmed with Mom that it really cushioned that blow! I knew God was in control and "it is what it is." That was my saying when I was sick. He had lined things up so it would be brought to my attention. I was very grateful for that.
On the way to Wilmington I called my oncologist who could not see me for another week! I have two other doctors who will not let me wait because they say it is too stressful. And they have both given me their cell numbers. I do not know why I did not call one of them except someone mentioned calling my oncologist. By the time I got to my house late that night I had a message that I had a 15 minute time slot with my oncologist in a week. I think that was it for me. I decided I was not waiting. I called my primary care doctor the next morning and they had a recording that power had been restored but their phones and internet were down. If you wanted to be seen you could just show up without an appointment.
That night was my first time home in 15 days and my bed felt wonderful but I could not turn my mind off. I was not having negative thoughts. I was just sorting things out in my mind. I told God, again, not my will but His will be done. I told Him He knows I would like to see my grandchildren one day.
I thought about death. I am not afraid of dying. I have seen too many peaceful deaths and near death experiences to be afraid. I know that Heaven will be so wonderful that I will not even miss my family. I would be the blessed one. I thought about my mom burying a child. I thought about Mike living alone. I thought about my girls without their mom. They all need me.
On another level, I thought about my witness. When I was not sure if the cancer had spread to my bone and brain I remember thinking I wish I had done more for God. I should have worked harder to enrich His Kingdom. When I was healed from breast cancer that was a priority. There were still people I love, people I know and people I do not know who do not have a relationship with Jesus. Was I going to be able to hear, "good and faithful servant"? I decided if God had more for me to do then I was trusting Him to work it out.
My doctor understood my concerns and took a thyroid panel that day and asked lots of questions. He also told me that we needed an ultrasound done. Due to the hurricane we could not do it that day but we could do it Friday and I should know those results Monday or Tuesday. He told me someone would call me the next day with the results. The next day I was told the blood work looked good.
On Friday morning Mike was having a cardio version to get his heart back in rhythm. He was supposed to have had surgery but due to the hurricane it had gotten canceled. I booked his cardio version and my ultrasound within the same hour! God brought a good friend to mind who I knew would not mind taking Mike. At my ultrasound the girl asked why I was having it done. I explained. She sounded annoyed and asked me to show her because she did not see a lump. So I put my hand up to my neck to show her. I did not feel it and told her I needed to sit up so I could feel it. I sat up and put my hand to my neck and I felt and felt and felt. Then I busted out crying. "It's gone" was all I could get out!
All of a sudden she was friendly and told me I needed a hug. Then she told me that was good. I told her, "I know. These are tears of joy. God has taken this lump away. It was here yesterday." I told her to keep doing the ultrasound so my doctor could see. When she was finished I told her that I hope she knew she had witnessed a miracle because I had.
I ran back by my doctor's office across the street and told the girl I needed to get to my husband at the hospital but first I needed my doctor to look at my neck. She said, "aren't you supposed to be getting an ultrasound?" I told her yes but the lump was gone. I was put in a room and I was overcome with gratitude so I was crying tears of joy and relief! My doctor came in and said, "Jill, this is good!" I said, "I know. These are tears of joy. God has taken this lump away. It was here yesterday." I told him I wanted him to be my witness that it was gone before I go on with my weekend. He smiled and said he could not see it and he could not feel it but he reminded me that we would wait for the radiologist to read it but he was feeling better about things. He also told me that he had called the girl who just did my ultrasound and she said things looked good. I should know something Monday or Tuesday.
I got to Mike as soon as he was taken back His heart was shocked back into rhythm. I told Mom and the girls! I was amazed how the prayers of my family and friends had given me so much peace that could only come from God. No matter the news He was there. Monday came and I heard nothing. Tuesday afternoon I called and was told they had not gotten a report yet. My family was concerned so on Wednesday afternoon I called and spoke with my doctor's nurse and asked if I could try to hear something before the weekend. Thursday afternoon I got a call that the ultrasound looked great!
This lump could have been something caused by stress but I will tell you the stress had not stopped that day! I believe it was a miracle. So many lessons were learned from this experience. Trust God where you are and who you are with. You may very well be where you are for a reason. Thank God for putting the right people in your path! Thank God for those people listening to nudges from God and acting on it. When people ask for prayers it is wonderful for them to have people who really will pray for them. God's peace does surpass all understanding. You never know what is going on in someone else's life. God sees the big picture! Miracles do happen! Remember to say thank you! God will not waste anything. We do not know what tomorrow brings but with God we can handle it. Is our work for God done?
Deuteronomy 10: 21, "He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes."