Ironically, I am hopeful that this feeling of steadfast endurance mixed with great relief and resiliency... will carry over to influence my current health issues.
I visited with a local rheumatologist this week, who examined me thoroughly and extracted more blood samples. She asked me many questions and performed an office test to determine if I had dry eyes...really? Trust me, you don't want to know what this feels like.
When she finished her exam she explained that she could not diagnose me with lupus. The symptoms I was experiencing, she believed, were too nonspecific. I did not possess many of the more debilitating symptoms like the classic rash and disabling arthritis She strongly recommended that we perform the biopsy.
I was disappointed that I could not explain my swollen gland issue with a lupus diagnosis and must now face a greater risk that I may indeed be diagnosed with lymphoma.
My primary doctor telephoned me the next day. I am thankful for her quiet intelligence, her calm spirit and her steadfast determination to uncover my hidden ailment. She was calm and supportive. She had spoken to both the lymphoma specialist and the rheumatologist to create a plan for moving forward.
Kinda fitting, huh?
Later in the day, I received a telephone call from her secretary, Ellen. She was a kind, gentle woman. She told me I was in very good hands. She said the doctor was both a compassionate woman and an excellent surgeon and had performed a biopsy on Ellen herself. I felt immediately comforted.
My biopsy is scheduled for Monday.
My primary called me again to check on the date and time of my procedure. She reiterated that the lymphoma specialist wanted me to be clear that if I do receive a lymphoma diagnosis it is not aggressive and we have caught things very early.
I do not know what I am facing.
I am nervous and scared.
Hubby however, reminded me that I need to take my own advice and trust in my life. He reminded me that this challenge is being presented to me at this moment.....for a reason. It is too soon to understand why, but instead of resisting the lesson, I need to submit to it. I need to rest my body and prepare for the battle that may lie ahead.
Trust me when I tell you, submission is not a word I use in my vocabulary.
I had to laugh. My husband knows me well. By comparing this situation to a battle....I can relate. If you are a reader of my blog, you know I have often used soldiers and superheroes as a description of my role as a special needs parent.
Perhaps once again I am being reminded to replace this image...
With an image more like the old shepherd woman, strong and resilient, and yet gentle and wise, bending like a reed through adversity, only to straighten again once the winds have subsided.
photo by Leyla Alyanak: The Many Faces of Albanian Women
This photo is a more reflective representation of my heritage. This Albanian woman looks almost exactly like my 90-year-old great grand mother, Constantina, who was born in Albania and emigrated to the United States with her son in the late 1920's.
This woman is also in her 90's and I can't help thinking that it is no accident that she and my great grandmother enjoyed long, healthy lives.
Please keep us in your thoughts and I will keep you all posted.