Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)
- TITLE: Mass Hysteria
By Cheryl Harrison
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
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."
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.
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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