The CT scan to diagnose my ruptured appendix this July showed up a shadow on my liver. The attending doctor suggested I follow up with an abdominal ultrasound to see if it was something or nothing.
I went for the ultrasound and was there a long time. I took this as a good sign as it seemed like the technician was hunting for something and couldn’t seem to find it.
Then the doctor’s office called to ask me to come in for results. “It’s not urgent,” she said. I convinced myself that it was all fine.
But when I went to see the doctor, it wasn’t fine. Instead of one shadow, there were now seven. They could be benign cysts, there all along and simply not visible in the appendix CT, or what was one concerning spot has now grown to seven in a matter of two months.
I left the clinic with my heart sitting like lead in my chest, clutching my next ultrasound order for a month from now to see what’s going on then. I know this could be a lot of fuss over nothing, but I also know that it could be something quite scary and uncertain. There’s nothing I can do but wait.
Letting go of my ardent desire to know everything now is a lifelong struggle. When I was so sick in the hospital, willing myself to stop puking after surgery, I learned kicking and screaming to take each moment as it comes instead of pre-ordaining what I want to happen.
I vowed I would keep this mentality in my regular life. I felt desperate for my appendix rupture and bumpy recovery to mean something. It was huge and monumental and powerfully affecting and I longed for those changes to stay with me. To change me.
But life has been on fast forward as we prepare to take possession of our new house in BC, and it’s been too easy for me to fall back into old habits. I spend so damn much time forecasting and not enough time remaining open to whatever possibility will present itself next. Why was I so sure the doctor would say this shadow was nothing to worry about? Is that my coping mechanism to hedge against disaster?
Like all of us, I have no choice but to keep going. The sun will rise and it will set. My kids will make me laugh, Jason will reach for my hand, I’ll eat popcorn and watch Netflix. What we have is the moment we are in. The job is to stay present, within ourselves and with those we love most.
It’s okay to be scared and sad and unsure. I’m grateful to have a tribe of friends that I can reach out to and they don’t offer me false hope. They say, “We love you, we are with you, we will help you carry this so you don’t feel alone.” They remind me that I am strong and brave and that I can do hard things. This helps tremendously to lighten the load.
I can’t control the rest, but I can be kind and gentle to myself every day and search for the smallest ray of hope in the unlikely and most beautiful of places.