|art via found on pinterest|
On Friday the husband and I ventured to the hospital for a routine colonoscopy. The husband has had Crohn's disease for the past 13 years, and colonoscopies come with the territory. He's been without symptoms for the past several months, and we were both hopeful going into the procedure that everything would be clean since he's been blessed to feel well for a while.
As we went back with the pre-op nurse, she inquired about his lack of medication listed in his history. The husband has always struggled to be compliant with his drug regimens, and because he's been feeling fine he went off his medication. She chided him and threw out a horror story about her friend who went off their maintenance medication and died of colon cancer at 31. It was definitely not the kind of story you want to hear when going in for a procedure to determine if you may have the same fate, but we let it roll off our backs and talked and laughed together in pre-op after the nurse left.
I brought my primary stuff to work on while he was in surgery, and I cleaned out my big bag and tried to get organized. Time continued to pass and I could no longer focus. Things were taking longer than usual, and I began to worry. Finally they brought me to recovery and he began to wake up. I got him some ice. He was joking around, and he seemed more alert than he has after past colonoscopies- a nice change.
The doctor came in and the husband joked, "Am I in trouble?" The doctor replied seriously, "Yes, you are in trouble." They removed several polyps, one which was incredibly worrisome because of its abnormalities from typical inflammatory polyps common with Crohn's. They also found a new area of inflammation for us to be concerned about. I began question after question, but many of them were put on hold as the doctor said we'd have to wait until Wednesday when the pathology report would be finished. He threw the possibility of cancer on the table and then left.
It has been several stressful days. We entered into the can't eat/can't sleep cycle as the worries crept in. The days have felt incredibly long, the nights longer. The doctor's office called the husband at work yesterday to schedule a time for us to come in and meet with them. I wondered if they already knew things and tried to track down an answer, but my efforts were futile. I jumped every time the phone rang, wondering if it would be the news we were waiting for. The hospital called and my heart began to race, only to find they were calling to follow up and make sure the husband was feeling ok post-surgery.
This afternoon the call came, thankfully a little earlier than we expected. "The doctor wanted me to tell you that your husband dodged a bullet," said the chipper nurse when I picked up the phone. I confirmed, "So, it's not cancer?" Not cancer, and not pre-cancer. Words that were hoped and prayed for.
I feel a huge weight lifted. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who watches over our family and answers prayers. I also feel incredibly introspective. Staring the possibility of cancer in the face has spurred me to think about my priorities, about my faith, about how I handle trials. I hope that much personal growth comes from what was thankfully only a scare, only a few bad days. I can't express how blessed I feel that this wasn't the beginning of something more serious. But even if it was, this has taught me about the invaluable support of family and friends. It has reminded me of my love for my husband and family. It has opened my eyes to the abundance I enjoy. And it has confirmed once again the peace that can only be found in my Savior. I am so grateful for these blessings tonight.