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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: Normal in Abnormal Times
By Ruby Harris


There are times when things catch us so off guard that our initial reaction is to fall apart or to
give in to emotions of fear and worry. God gives us choices and ways to react rather than to choose the obvious and what the world deems as normal.

I had a return visit to my oncologist a few days ago and all was remarkable well as far as the
way I felt physically. I had never felt better even though I had some soreness and felt a nodule in the breast that had just had a malignant tumor removed from it. I had been through chemo and finished radiation with an all clear and the port had been removed exactly a week ago.

I have learned to not take anything for granted and not make my own diagnosis and even though I felt okay with it I mentioned it to my doctor. He checked me and found one of his own that I wasn’t even aware of. I ask him what we were going to do and he said I want you to have a mammogram on both breasts and an ultrasound on both also. I then ask, “When?”. He said right now if they can get you in.

Okay! No problem. That is until I called my daughters and they didn’t handle it very well. Two of them came apart and I could feel their fear. I told them I wanted them to know where I was and got off the phone before things got any worse.

I decided God had a reason for me to go to the Diagnostic Center and I began to look for it. The ladies at the desk registering me are some of the people I share my poems with and I told them that we just needed to visit today. I went to the room to change for the test and the room was full of ladies waiting, already in their cute little shirts.

I decided to cause some laughter and since I was larger than all the others, it was easy. I asked from behind the curtain , “How may shirts did they say for me to put on?” All the ladies burst our laughing. It worked! Then I made a big deal of the fact mine wouldn’t close like theirs did. I had to hold mine together and theirs were all over lapped. I never did see one of them that I felt like I needed to be there for, so I turned my attention to going back to the oncologist office and visit with one of the patients that I had made plans to meet with this particular morning.

Her name is Mary and I met her during chemo. I didn’t know until the next to last visit that she was also blind. I had shared poems with her and someone read them to her. I made her a book of my poems all in protective covers. I had put a total of 52 in it and added some extra covers for ones I had given her. I went in and sat with her for about 30 minutes while she was hooked up and chatted. Her name is the same as my youngest daughter. I thought that was so neat.

I had given all the nurses a copy of 5-6 poems that were newly written. Also to the ladies that were in the lab drawing my blood. As I was leaving, with my original copies, I notices a lady that I met the last day of my own chemo. She was there for her second round.. While she waited she was making quilts for future grandchildren. As I spoke to her, she said that she had just told the lady next to her about my poems and I knew I was to give her the last copies. She handed them to the lady and told her to read them and she would read them later. It was very uplifting when I thought about the titles of the ones I had passed out.

The calmness I had felt through all of this was remarkable. The emotions were all in tact. There was not any worry about myself, just something I had to do that the situation called for. Two days later all the calmness was confirmed by both my test coming back with an “all clear”.

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This article has been read 594 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/20/07
Oh, this touched me! I wish I'd had someone like you when I had a similar scare a few years ago--I was anything but calm.

A few typos in the last couple of paragraphs jumped out at me, but all in all this was a wonderful picture of grace amidst the storm.
Joy Faire Stewart09/21/07
What an extraordinary and compassionate person you are; this also shows in your writing. I'm glad you shared this experience. I'm sure you have ministered to others with your writing. God has given you special gifts.
Janice Cartwright09/22/07
If only we could view every trial with such an attitude and your wit. Laughter and concern for others can turn a bad situation into a blessing. Who knows how far and wide the ripple of your poems may spread to bless others?
Dee Yoder 09/22/07
Quite encouraging and a good example of the strength the Lord gives us when we have these kinds of moments. Inspiring!