October is breast cancer awareness month.
Thanks to a series of odd circumstances, I’m alive today to tell my story.
On February 8, 2011, I loaded up my car with as much as I could, to start a new life in Florida. Because my lungs were getting bad, hubby and I decided I should not try to go through another North Country winter. He could not retire for another eighteen months, but he felt I should blaze the trail ahead of him.
As I backed out of the driveway, I slid into a snowbank. “It’s a sign,” my husband said as he dug me out.
I filled the next year with writing tasks, a temporary part-time job, house hunting, and a move into our new home. I didn’t have time to see a doctor, though a bout with bronchitis in the fall made me seek one out for antibiotics. I signed a release to have my medical records forwarded.
However, the records seemed to be lost somewhere.
“They’re sent,” my old doc’s office said.
“Never received them,” my new doc said.
Spring arrived, and I decided I’d spend a few weeks up North with my husband as he made preparations for the final move. I visited my old doctor’s office and insisted they give me a copy of my entire medical record, and I brought it back with me to Florida.
I dropped it off but still didn’t make an appointment. Busy, busy, busy. Even with acute pain in my knee.
June came and hubby settled in and insisted I see a doctor about my knee. A referral was made for physical therapy and a surgical consult, but she was more concerned that I hadn’t had a mammogram in two years. She made me promise to get one. And I did.
I wasn’t the least upset when the radiologist recommended I see a surgeon as soon as possible. I’d had benign cysts before. Besides, I still wasn’t done with my physical therapy.
In July, only a few weeks after my husband had moved down, I had my biopsy and then the shock. “You have the garden variety of cancers. Not quite stage two. It has invaded surrounding tissue, but it hasn’t reached the lymph nodes.”
“Welcome to retirement,” I said to my husband.
We settled on a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation. My doctor said I was lucky. “Your cancer, though aggressive, was found as early as possible. Your chances for complete remission are about 100 percent.”
Some folks might have cried, but instead we went out to celebrate. The news could have been so much worse. When the manager learned what we were celebrating, he gave us our dinners on the house.
God’s timing amazed me. Had I kept to schedule, the cancer would have been too small to detect and would have had another year to grow before found. The lost medical records and then the knee pain brought me to a doctor at just the right time for optimum treatment.
Oh…amazingly, my knee pain went away without intervention. God allowed a pain in my life to prevent a bigger one.
God is in our convoluted delays and crazies. We can get very frustrated in mistakes that slow our progress. We sometimes think God simply doesn’t understand our need for expediency.
Sometimes, even our lost medical records are actually God at work.
Have you ever had an event where God stalled you, only to be glad later?