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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: Mass Hysteria
By Cheryl Harrison


Good morning, Lord ...

I rubbed my eyes and squinted into the early morning light. The gentle rain shower against my window set the rhythm of my day. My cell phone vibrated. The digital display indicated that at least eight emails awaited my attention. I ignored the phone and crawled out of bed.

The aroma of fresh coffee lured me into the kitchen. The steamy cinnamon fragrance reminded me of Christmas. I carefully poured the hot liquid into a coffee mug. While it cooled, I slathered a bagel with cream cheese. I balanced the bagel on top of the mug and carried it into the living room.

As I ate breakfast, I leafed through my prayer journal; pausing on a page that referenced Psalm 139. This passage always warms my heart. I find sweet inspiration whenever I revisit my praise reports, and I can't help but smile at my notations.

~ I am grateful that God made me waterproof because I love to walk in the rain.

~ I am glad that God placed my ears and nose in the perfect place because they hold my eyeglasses on my face.

I remembered this entry. I added it on the day I purchased my first eyeglass prescription.

~ I am thankful that God engineered my arms to bend at the elbows; otherwise I would starve to death.

I laughed aloud. “I must have been hungry when I wrote this praise report.” The sudden sound of my voice disturbed the cat's morning nap. He briefly opened his eyes, yawned, and went back to sleep.

I slid a pencil from between the pages of my journal and jotted down a new entry.

~ I am relieved that God gave me two kidneys.

I prayerfully recalled the traumatic events of last summer ...

My first appointment with the Urology Oncologist was on a Tuesday afternoon. It was a typical summer day—hot and humid.

The emergency room doctor from the night before had sent me home with a lot of unanswered questions. His urgent instructions to see a urologist left me uneasy. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night.

Early the next morning, I received a call from a radiologist. His matter-of-fact news stunned me.

"We found a solid mass on your right kidney," he said. "Don't miss your appointment with the urologist."

Later, that afternoon, my anxiety increased as the urologist reviewed my CT Scan results. He agreed with the radiologist's report. My mind reeled as he explained my situation, "There is a ninety-percent chance that you have kidney cancer."

I cried.

As it turned out, this appointment was the first of many. During the next thirty days, I endured a myriad of tests—MRI, X-rays, cardiac clearance, and lab work—all prerequisites for surgery. After which, the doctor determined the best treatment would be a radical nephrectomy; the complete removal of my right kidney.

I was terrified.

One month later, I sat in a different waiting room; this time with my family. We tried to lighten the mood with jokes. Laughter is the best medicine.

"Make sure they take the right kidney," my husband teased.

"But then, I'll only have one left!" I giggled.

Soon, a hospital volunteer escorted me to the surgical unit. Six beds, divided by pale green curtains, lined each side of the room. All were occupied, except the one reserved for me. I changed into a flimsy hospital gown, and the nurse inserted an IV into my right hand.

A few minutes later, the surgical staff surrounded my bed. The anesthesiologist asked if I had any questions. At that point, only one question came to my mind ... "Are you good at what you do?"

"I'm the best!" His easy smile seemed to soothe my nervous stomach.

The nurse adjusted my bed, and together they wheeled me into an adjoining operating room. The doctor injected anesthesia into my IV, and I performed the obligatory countdown from ten. I don't remember how far I counted.

Before surgery, I wondered if I would dream and I worried that I might die. I did neither. The cancer vacated my body along with the diseased kidney. Now, after a slow, difficult recovery, I am almost back to normal. I have five years of follow-up appointments in my future, but statistics indicate that I will remain cancer free.

Renal Cell Carcinoma tried to rip me apart, but God tied me back together. Praise the Lord! I am a cancer survivor.

Author Notes:

True testimony.

Psalm 139:13-14: You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful.

Scripture copied from The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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This article has been read 419 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kelli Hunt03/08/13
This was a blessing to read. God bless you!
Ruth Neilson03/08/13
Thank you for the boldness of sharing your testimony, it took me a few minutes to see where the topic was tying in, but when I did, wow!
lynn gipson 03/08/13
You have no idea how this touched me. I too, am a cancer survivor of 4 years. Still fighting and winning with our Savior.

I was so happy to hear the ending, and loved the line about being happy God made you waterproof. I think he made us both that way.

Excellent writing tnis wonderful story.
Virgil Youngblood 03/08/13
The title was a clever clue to the story that followed. You offered much encouragement to others who may someday follow in your path. Well done.
Lillian Rhoades 03/08/13
You couldn't have chosen a better title! When I read your opening sentence, it reminded me of another phrase, Good Lord, its morning (just a side issue):-)
A tiny bit of red ink...There's a missing little detail between your getting up and smelling coffee. Had you made it earlier or did someone else make it? I also noted a mix of present and past tense in one passage:
Perhaps, "always warmed..." and then transition to the present with a word like, "Today," or "This morning I find inspiration as I revisit..."

Thanks for giving us a window to look inside your heart as you faced a very challenging time in your life.
Lillian Rhoades 03/08/13
Good Lord, it's morning. :-)
Noel Mitaxa 03/08/13
Clever title, and courageous story, with enough humour and honesty to keep the faith and the dangers in perspective.
Excellent work.
Danielle King 03/09/13
Psalm 139 always warms my heart too. And I love the clever title. What an experience you had and you retold it so well. This will give hope to others who are facing a similar situation. Good job.
Bea Edwards 03/09/13
Lovely testimony and tribute to your faith!
Allison Egley 03/09/13
Oh wow. Great job with this.

My ONLY suggestion would be to make the topic a bit stronger and weave it in throughout the story, rather than just tying (haha) it in at the end.

I'm glad things are going well for you! Nice job with this.
Lois Farrow03/09/13
Brave of you to write so openly about this. Very well done.
Alicia Renkema03/09/13
Allison's suggestion is my only suggestion as well. This is excellent writing. You had me totally fooled starting out so light hearted at the beginning. I really didn't see a big personal testimony coming. I praise the Lord that you are cancer free. What a wonderful testimony for others to read who will be / are facing the same thing. I have never had cancer but I have had numerous surgeries and could really relate to your MC's anxieties about going under, it is a very "jump off the cliff" type of experience. Thanks for sharing and I really enjoyed the inner dialogue of the MC. Blessings...
Judith Gayle Smith03/10/13
Thank you for writing about this. I have developed Renal Insufficiency and your courage makes this bearable. It's the "not knowing" that is so frightening - and those who know not our Savior, I cannot fathom how they handle such challenges. Great job on your entry and terrific news of your remission. Hugs to you . . .
Myrna Noyes03/12/13
Wow! Awesome testimony of how God worked in your life and how you responded to the situation! Your story really kept my interest, and I am so thrilled with your happy ending! :) Great job!
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Congratulations! God Bless~
John Huckstep03/14/13
Congratulations Cheryl, This hits so close to home for so many of us. What an excellent testimony you have. God bless you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/13
Congratulations on placing 3 in level three and ranking 15 overall!