Today, while having coffee with friends, the phone rang. “Dr. M wants to see you at 9.00 tomorrow morning.” Unexpected, yet not. In March, a routine blood panel had come back with a low blood count across the board. My GP waited a month and then ran another test. The numbers hadn't moved.
My GP checked off on her fingers: iron levels good, so not anaemic; B-12 good; kidneys OK (not sure of their relevance). “It looks like a bone marrow issue.” She looked hard at me. And referred me to a hematologist.
Waiting and wondering is always tough. We have been here before with a thyroid cancer scare. It's an odd feeling – in limbo – knowing that be tomorrow I could be soaking in a bath, relaxed with relief. Or stunned and trying to adapt.
Being me, I wrote it as it is always my way of clarifying and coping. These are my unedited diary notes:
Thinking about it makes it worse, more definite. Yet not thinking feels risky, slipshod as if worrying in itself is a protection.
When I got up this morning and dragged my back out of bed, finding a positive spin to the day seemed irrelevant. Life was larger than petty decisions. The canvas I am about to draw on may well turn out to be so big, that today's small choices are irrelevant. Determinedly not thinking belittles the gift of life.
Suddenly, clarity: what matters is not where the path leads; it is how each step is trod.
The bigger viewpoint – up and away till I am so small in the greatness of creation. The only thing that makes sense is the HOW of living – wherever it takes me. I hope that will be enough.
And so the next day, we sat with Dr. M., a friendly Brit, which caused an immediate connection. In my physical exam, all was good. He looked thoughtful.
“Leukaemia?” I asked, hearing the word drop into the silence.
“Could be. It's on the list but way down. You would be feeling ill by now.”
He ordered a slew of tests and asked me to come back in two weeks. Our two younger kids would be staying then. We only see them once a year as we live in Ontario and our daughter and family live in England; our son on Vancouver Island. So that week is special and I wanted it sunlit, not filled with foreboding and discussion.
There was no hurry, he assured me, so we made an appointment for the end of June. “If I see anything worrying, I will call you.” And he has.
Notes from my journal:
Not sure what it means, but felt very still and that it would be OK. When I asked God for guidance, I just got a calm “no need.”
The only important thing is to handle this with courage and grace.
Why? We are all part of a greater grace.
Tomorrow at 9.00.