Monday, November 22, 2010

Another Day, Another Doctor

The past week has been filled with bathroom renovations (yes… still), preparations for the upcoming holiday, corporate layoffs (luckily, not me or any of my close friends), taking care of Sadie, family, friends, exhaustion, and… a cancer scare.

JD had to get a physical done before he can start the police academy.  He called me on my desk phone Friday, asking me to grab my cell phone and call him back once I was outside.  I knew this wasn’t a good sign, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for what he was about to tell me.

“They found something on my chest scan.  There’s a mass in my lungs.”

It was one of those moments where you feel your entire world shift.  I took a deep breath and tried to stay rational.

“Okay, what does that mean?”

“It means I might have cancer.”

Then came the tears.  JD smoked for a year (quit when he started dating me because that’s a deal-breaker for me) and spent 4 years in the Marine Corps inhaling jet exhaust.  Still, he is a strong, healthy 24 year old.  Cancer was not something either of us were prepared to face.

“What else could it be?” I asked, reminding myself not to worry because we didn’t know anything for sure yet.

“It could be just be scar tissue from pneumonia,” he said, although he’s a “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” kind of guy, so he didn’t sound convinced that’s all it was.

I was calm, reassuring, and level-headed on the phone with JD, because I felt like he needed me to be those things for him, but as soon as I hung up with him, I dialed my mom, and began sobbing uncontrollably.  The first few minutes of our conversation consisted of me bawling into the phone and her gentle responses of, “Honey, I can’t understand you.”  Once I calmed down enough for her to comprehend me, it was her turn to reassure me, telling me that she’s experienced the “worst case scenario that turned out to be nothing,” several times before.

We were fortunate to get JD scheduled for a CT scan today, and they were kind enough to analyze the results immediately, because he’d been so worried.  He called me as soon as he got out of his appointment, “I don’t have cancer!” he announced excitedly. 

“See, I told you,” I smiled into the phone, relieved.  “Did they say it’s just scar tissue?”

“No, they didn’t see anything.”

“What?!  There was nothing there?!”


That was an entire weekend of worrying, an entire weekend of trying to comfort a man who couldn’t sleep because he thought he might have lung cancer, and it was all because of something that wasn’t anything at all.  Still, I’m thankful that he and I are both healthy, that he will finally start the police academy this winter, and that sometimes, doctors are completely wrong.

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