I sat and cried.
I thought I was okay, but I wasn’t. The night before, I was taking my evening stroll and lectured my husband, that if anything should come back, that’s questionable, I didn’t want anyone to overact. That if my tests were to prove something malignant, I wanted everyone to be strong.
Yet, here I was sitting at my kitchen counter the morning of my thermography scan wiping away tears. Fear gripped me in an unexpected way. I was afraid of the unknown. Though I had prayed for healing, boldness, and confidence in the unknown, my insides were shaking with fear.
I didn’t want to know that I was going to put my family through the journey of an unpredictable diagnosis.
I had already made a gutsy declaration should the diagnosis be positive/malignant, I was going to face this disease head on and do it my way.
I had made a bold declaration that nothing was going to take me down, yet here I was wiping away tears that kept rolling down my cheeks as I was eating my breakfast. I looked over at my husband and told him, “I’m scared, I am really scared.” I was so surprised at myself. I was surprised that after all these days of believing in a good report, here I was literally shaking.
We entered the facility. We walked in silence.
I thought of the many women in my life that have had to walk this journey of the unexpected news of a diagnosis that would change everything.
I sat, quietly waiting.
She greeted me with a warm smile and explained the procedure. It’s interesting how everything is in slow motion, and you catch yourself looking around feeling a little bit more sensitive, more alert, more aware of your surrounding.
Everything is brighter, louder.
I entered the room, and she explained why it was so cold. The cold temperature will assist the magnification of any hot spots that will be disclosed on the images. If there were any “red hot spots,” then that would mean there was a tumor or tumors.
I disrobed, put my arms behind my head and waited. Turned. Turned again. Angle turned around. Silence, just silence. I needed it to be blue, cold blue, no hot spots, I literally was shaking not because the room was cold, but my spirit was shuttering. I quieted my spirit as I closed my eyes, remembering the many folks that I knew were praying for me to be okay. Exam over, I put the robe back on, and she asked me to come over and look at the images. It was all blue, cold blue. There were no hot spots, no red, other than where it was supposed to be. Preliminarily she said there was nothing to be alarmed.
I was fine.
I stood there not sure what to say. I felt vulnerable, and though my husband was in the room with me while she was explaining all the details, I felt alone. I thought about how many women walk this long road and feel alone. How many women don’t get the good news I received, how many women hear the dreaded words?
I was quiet. I needed to process my fear, and I needed to process my empathy. We drove home, I was quiet. I was thankful and quiet. I knew that yet again I was given the opportunity to feel the fear of the unknown so that I can remember to empathize with those who walk this very unpredictable journey.
Is there someone you need to walk alongside their illness journey?
Don’t ever forget to empathize with someone walking alone through their illness. No one knows the sorrow.
Volunteer, show up and be present for those walking the long and lonely road of illness. You never know when it can be your turn.