It turns out that the lump was nothing to worry about. I might be imagining it but I think I can hear you shaking your head with fatherly amusement and saying, 'I told you so!' - is that right?
It was nothing. I don't have breast cancer. I don't need chemotherapy or surgery and my hopes of living to see my girls grow up are alive again. We're opening a celebratory bottle and cooking the very fine looking dish that was given me last night and there's a large Toblerone in the fridge that might not be there later.
I am so relieved that I am exhausted. Katy's appointment went as well as can be expected with a four year old who doesn't trust doctors who propose to poke her bump any more; the consultant suggested trying to aspirate her bump again, Katy politely declined (or something like that) and so surgery is scheduled for 3 June, as it was. I still feel that there's time for the bump to disappear in a miraculous manner, though, if you're up for it, but after this afternoon's get out of jail free card I feel awkward about trying to guilt you into anything else.
Oh, my God, you were there with me today. When I was being poked and prodded and squashed and manipulated and examined you were right there next to me. I felt a bit nauseous, scared, but not overwhelmed. The doctor I saw, the technicians and nurses and even the reception staff were just lovely. Welcoming, reassuring, kind, respectful (and I found myself in some pretty undignified situations) and when the doctor told us the news at the end they seemed genuinely happy that they were giving us good news.
I don't really have the words to say thankyou. Especially not after a couple of glasses of wine. All I can say is that I've spent the last couple of days contemplating the worst that could happen and it hasn't. It's alright. I don't know what this experience means; does it mean anything? Is there something profound? If there is, please show me because I want it to mean something; something that I can take with me. If there's anything about my life that I should change in the light of this last week which has been spent wondering if I'm seriously ill, then I want to make sure that I notice it. I don't want to wake up tomorrow feeling so much better and pick up the trivia again and forget the soul searching and the deep, deep emotions that I've been grappling with this last week.
I don't want to forget that you were there when it was grim, just as you are there when the birds are singing and the sun is shining. Maybe next time I'll be quicker to turn to you; to trust you. Oh, I don't know. I'm too tired. I can hardly keep my eyes open. Today I've spent nearly five hours in the hospital and wondered if things would ever be right again. I went from fear to euphoria, from depression to elation. It was a Big Thing for me. Help me to grow and not to just turn my back on this. Give me more wisdom, Father God.
Thankyou for loving me, Jesus. Thankyou that you never let me down. Thankyou that you surrounded me with warmth and love from my family and friends. Thankyou for a wonderful husband who loves me so much. Thankyou for my gorgeous children. Thankyou for a sunny day and doctors and sonographers and a health service that takes care of us in an emergency. Thankyou for my health and my life. May I never take it for granted.
Thankyou for wine and pasta and meatballs and chocolate.
Thankyou my Friend.
'Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good
His love endures forever.
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
he brought me into a spacious place
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.'
Psalm 118; 1, 5-6