Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My sister found a lump on Natalie's back the day after Christopher's wedding. We were putting the kids in-and-out of swimsuits and pools and trouble - the quarter sized protrusion next to her little spine caught my RN-sister's eye. Luckily, at just shy of four-years-old Natalie was young enough to not mind the staring eyes, wondering what it could be?
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The next week brought tests and doctors visits and second opinions and sonograms. Fast forward to last Friday night. The doctor called with results - and the request that sweet little Natalie see an Oncologist first thing Monday morning, with a suspicion this could be cancer. Cancer? No. Not Cancer? Fast forward to nerves and tears and the longest weekend imaginable.
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Natalie is Julia's bestest friend. Though shy, she lights up with cousin Julia - and Julia also has a very special place in her heart for this forever-friend only five-months her senior. Sometimes I imagine the beautiful women they will grow to be; rooming at college, standing with each other at their weddings, play-dates when they have littles of their own. I never imagine hospital visits... it's unimaginable... I could throw up... Monday come quickly... God go before us, below us, above us, on our left, and our right... be in this God... we need you.
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Sunday night I talk to my sister. She's holding it together. But then she says it... "I'm terrified". My sister endured her husband's year-long deployment in Iraq with three little ones under four - the same year we lost our Grandma so unexpectedly. She is an ICU nurse who saves lives daily. She's seen a lot in a short quarter-century of life. And "terrified" is the only word that could accurately describe the toughest girl I know enduring every mother's worst nightmare.
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We pray before bed on Sunday night. I haven't said much to the girls. Out of the blue Julia asks if we can pray for Natalie, and we do... and Natalie stays in that prayerful part of my heart the rest of the evening. I try to doze off, with the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call looming, and I can only wipe away warm tears as the minutes tick by. I can't imagine what my sister is thinking... and then I look at the girls peacefully sleeping and I start to imagine what she's going through ... and then I think I'll throw up. Around 2:00 I finally doze off, its a fretful night. I can only imagine how Emily and her husband are sleeping... or not.
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Throughout the morning I get short texts from Emily. "MRI was a no-go, she couldn't do it". "Waiting to do more blood work". "Heading to the Cancer Clinic now."
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Friends and family text, too. "Praying". "Have you heard anything?" "Been thinking about little Natalie today."
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I am prepping myself for the call that could come at any minute. If its bad my sister will be a wreck. Can I stay composed or will I lose it. It's not really about me now is it? But it could be a bit embarrassing to sob in front of co-workers... I know from experience.
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Finally right around 4:00 I got the message I'd been waiting for, "The doctor has pretty much ruled out cancer, still concerned about the lump and how close it is to her spine though." The sigh heard 'round my tiny piece of the world... with the caveat that more must be done. But, its not cancer, and that was worth a round of drinks, if I was the drinking type.
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Thursday she'll report back for tests, so we're still praying. If you're the praying sort, you could ask for wisdom for the doctors... that's what I'm asking for. But mostly I'm resting the lungs of my soul that had been screaming out to Him all weekend to PLEASE keep her close to Him no matter whatever... which he always does... but I had to remind myself.

4 comments:

Tracy said...

Prayers, hugs and hope you can feel God's presence for you and your family!

Brooks said...

Lots of prayers headed your way!!

Stacy said...

Sending good vibes...

Kari said...

Thinking of you and your family!