Friday, March 11, 2011

"Don't worry," said the doctor.

That is about as clear and concise as I am able to share, to those quietly as well as noticeably eager to hear my news!

The doc left me with his own repeated beliefs that this was probably a small benign ovarian cyst. I have the requisition forms to get another appointment, this one to tango with a hospital-based ultrasound team (hotter gear), a mammogram and a CA-125 blood test. The older ultrasound gear he had in the office, he said, would tell him no more than he learned by examining me manually; pressing here, pushing there. He explained a number of things: One, 2.5cm is not a size to be concerned about. "Many menopausal women can have 5cm cysts. The important thing is that after your hospital ultrasound with 'doppler studies', to repeat these tests every 6 months. We want to watch you." I kept pressing him with my need to walk out of his office TODAY knowing FOR SURE whether this little thing was cancerous or not. He said fairly straightforwardly, "I cannot tell you that for sure today, neither can the equipment that I have. What I can tell you is that I am not worried. And I don't want YOU to worry. Now these are our next steps...."

I can become excruciatingly AR wanting to KNOW! Just hand me the damn certificate stating without a question of a doubt that Everything Is Great! This reminds me of a poignant scene from the movie Ghost Town where the lead character survives a near death experience (following a colonoscopy which I am also being advised to arrange, akk akk!), against all odds, miracle of miracles... only to step in front of a bus. So I didn't leave the doc's office today knowing with unerring certainty that I was 150% as fit as a fiddle. This doctor is not a kid (which I prefer in a physician - a kindly demeanor, intelligence - genius, in fact, warm heartedness and gray hair). My insides say that I can walk away with FAR more hope than the curt wording on the CT report which made for just a FEW nerves....

"Don't worry," he said after explaining next steps once again to my prodding. "Don't worry. Go home and have a good night's sleep."

Sunset was near as I drove north over the Golden Gate Bridge from the City. I exited at Sausalito and took the winding road to the Marin Headlands. I wanted to SEE the ocean. Not the bay, not a stream - the expanse of the sea, oddly calm. I thought of my Dad and growing up in Venice Beach. I thought of the devastation in Japan and sighed another prayer.

I needed to breathe the ocean air.

Contrasted with oncologists who exhaled muted doom, this physician was almost reassuring. I will know more after more tests. Yes, I know that the CA-125 - a blood test for ovarian cancer - is riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies. "Benign tumors or cysts of the ovaries can also cause an abnormal test result." Yeah, check THAT out! Warning to worrisome self: Do it and don't freak.

"Don't worry," he said.

Philippians 4:6-7 (New International Version)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


  1. It's amazing what a balm that ocean air can be, especially when it's rooted in childhood memories. It just sweeps all of the doubt and other nagging little things away with that salty breeze.

    I would venture to think that your ultrasound, coupled with your recent scan seem to be very good news indeed. And although it's easy to say, "Don't worry," when the doctor says it too, I think it carries more weight.

    Don't worry. When you find yourself fretting, take a deep mental breath of that sea air and let it wash all of it away, scrubbed clean with prayers to the Divine.

    We all breathe with you and hold you as close as thought, with continuing prayers for your health and well-being.

  2. Bless you again, mystery friend with the kind heart

  3. Considering all the possible responses one could receive from a Doctor in that situation... "don't worry" is not too bad. And... in fact, it sounds like that's as good as you could have gotten at this point. So... that's good news.

    I suppose there are people whose faith is so strong that waiting for tests and test results is not worrisome. The best I've ever done is worry, but not lose sight of God. So, my prayer for you Diane, is that whatever worrying you need to do in this situation you do it without losing your vision of God. How about that...worrying in His presence? And if His presence is large enough, the worry has to get smaller. Yes, I know, it says, don't be anxious... and TRUTHFULLLY, there really is NOTHING to worry about. NOTHING AT ALL! We have all the assurance we could ever need. But, that's never stopped me from worrying, and if I can sorta hold on to Him while I worry, it's not as big of a roller coaster ride. How many times does God have to say "Fear not." Answer: Many.