I really don't know how to start this. It's a continuation of the last blog, so I'll start assuming you have read my prior entries.
I'm not freaking out any more. I chose life. No, that's not a misspelling or misuse of the past-tense verb “chose”. I mean it. I chose life. Last night.
And no, I wasn't contemplating ending my life.
In order to move forward, I have to slip into “flashback” mode. Several months ago, I made some statements to God and to some friends. The first one was, “I have lived a full life. If I were to die tomorrow, I'd have no regrets – nothing I would want a 'do over' for. I'm ready to go and not afraid of it.” The second statement was, “God, I'm so tired.” The third was a response that came up in a conversation with some of my high-school classmates, all in their 50's.
“If I found out that I had cancer, I wouldn't fight it.” Then I repeated the first two statements.
On Wednesday I went to the doctor for a scheduled colonoscopy. During the consultation that followed the procedure, my doctor said that she was 99% sure that there was no cancer. Nevertheless, she wrote me an order for yet another battery of blood tests. All of them cancer markers except for a repeat of the amylase and lipase enzyme levels. On top of that, she said that her personal review of my CT scan with a colleague of hers confirmed that the head of my pancreas was “prominent”; therefore, we would need to set up an endoscopic ultrasound to investigate it. That will happen on Tuesday.
We went to Quest on the same afternoon of the day I had the colonoscopy. They are the lab that draws blood for the tests and reports the findings. This time we included Julie's fax on the orders so we wouldn't have to wait for the doctor to know what the results were.
On Thursday I was pretty distracted when I first got to work. I was anxious about the new tests and about all the work I have missed since starting four weeks before. What's good was that I had lots to do at work, so the day passed quickly and I didn't have time to worry.
Thursday night, Julie and I went out to our local hangout so I could sing some Karaoke and stayed for a couple of hours before heading home. Here's where things got really interesting.
On the drive home, all the memories of the statements that I had made several months ago came back to mind. I was reminded of how ready I was to “go home” and then this thought “hit” me: “It's your call. You can choose to go home or you can choose to stay. You decide.” When we pulled into the garage, I told Julie what I had sensed. She started sobbing and wouldn't let me hold her, then she got out of the car, went into the house, fell on the floor, and cried bitterly. You see, she is one of the people that I had made the statements to several months ago – when we were just friends and I was sharing my heart with her as friends often do. She was so afraid that if I were given the choice, I would elect to go home to see my Savior instead of enduring any more.
Several months ago I would have chose to go home, but not now. I am happier than I can remember ever being. I have more hope and energy than I have had in years. My friends have seen the change in me and have expressed delight at how much Julie has changed my countenance these past months.
I told her that I choose to stay. If it's really up to me – if God is giving me the option to go or stay, then I will stay. There's too much to do. He put a call on my life when I was a child that I cannot shake, and it has yet to be fulfilled. I chose to stay last night.
And I'm here. The labs came back today and confirmed. No cancer. I will be here for many years to come.