Went into work before our appointment that held the results of the biopsy. Told John and Amy D. that I’ll be back in the office after the appointment, since I was going in believeing it was benign. Even though I wasnt looking forward to it, I knew my next step would be to schedule a surgery date to remove the mass. As I left the office I said with a smile “I’ll be back, if I’m not, it’s bad news, but I’ll be back!”

I picked Jason up from work and we drove across town to the appointment. We actually argued about something during the drive, I dont remember what. I know sitting on the couch in the waiting room, sitting beside him I was miffed at him for some reason, who knows what. We were led back, I was asked to slip into my gown. Jason sat in the chair across from me as I sat on the table. The doctor came in, who told me few weeks before that he didn’t know what this mass (from the ultrasound and mammogram) was. The nurse who I had interacted with each visit also came in, holding a black bag. I remember wondering what the black bag was for.

Pretty much as soon as the doctor sat down in his chair he said “Well, I have bad news.” Even then I didn’t think that meant cancer. He was talking, but my heart and mind must have known something was wrong because I remember nodding my head and maintaining eye contact with him but I don’t remember what he said. Jason asked questions. He asked the doctor “Is it malignant?” and the doctor said “Yes, it is.” As the doctor was to check my biopsy spot, Jason said “I feel really light-headed.” and I watched Jason pass out right in front of our eyes. I wasn’t scared until that moment, that felt like forever waiting for him to come to. I needed him to be here as we faced this together. Thankfully he did come to, after about 15 seconds (but felt much longer to me) and we sat in the shock of all that just happened together.

Realizing it was probably best that neither of us drove, I texted our friends Michael and Hannah to come pick us up. They quickly came to us, Michael taking Jason to his doctor to make sure it was just the shock of the news and nothing else was wrong. Hannah took me home with her sweet kids, not leaving me alone. The black bag the nurse had brought in held a notebook full of information for me, a newly-diagnosed cancer patient. I spent the afternoon calling my parents, telling them the news at work. They of course responded just as I thought they would, lovingly and supportive. My Dad prayed for me and said they were going to walk through this with me. I never doubted that for a second. I texted a few people who knew we had the appointment who had been wondering how it went. I called my friend Kari, who had already talked to Jason, and was on her way to my house. I suddenly realized something I already knew, how amazing my friends are. Both had dropped what they were doing to come be with me. They saw the importance of just being with me in these first hours, not knowing what that looked like.

Kari arrived, Hannah took her kids home to nap. Kari just sat with me, in this fog that I was living in. Jason came home a few hours after me, all of his tests came back clear. He was worn out, so he went to take a nap. Shortly after that, Mike and Atticus came to join in the responsibility of keeping me company and I was so thankful. Children can bring such joy to a sorrowful state by just being themselves. Hannah’s kids, Piper and Watts, did this, with the sweet innocence of not knowing what was going on. Piper making Watts laugh in her sisterly way, bringing a smile to my face. Atticus with his shy smile, curly bouncy hair peaking through my curtains, eating cheese warmed me.

The rest of the weekend we made calls and sent emails, and tried to process what was happening to us, what we thought our life was going to look like this year, suddenly changed dramatically. Nothing and everything seemed to bring tears to my eyes. Jason close by to comfort me. Our realtionship had shifted in a good way, we both felt it. We prayed for answers to come quickly, as we did not have many at that point. We didn’t believe God gave cancer to me or that He has something to teach us. We do believe God is good and Jesus is here with us. The Jesus I know loves me and cares about me and is hurting with me. This is what we cling to, even in the doubting and the questions that are very present and that are to come.

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