I don't know why but it seemed fitting that on the last appointment of 2012 there was a slight hiccup to the normal "all clear" with a small bit of something showing up in the ultrasound of my palm near some nerves.
For a few minutes there they were talking about biopsy right then and there with a needle. As the potential concern was right around the most sensitive part of my hand I was not particularly excited.
Luckily they relented and consulted with my primary physician, deciding to wait and monitor it. Upon reaching the actual meeting with my doctor later, she recommended continued observation with a smaller period between appointments at first to make sure it wasn't growing rapidly (if at all). Still somewhat unsettling, it was better than jabbing a needle in my palm.
I was asked if there was any tenderness or pain in the area, of which, aside from what I'd consider normal bruises and natural side effects from a bunch of nerves that were separated in the area, there was not. Dr Lewis related that what they were seeing was probably a neuroma which is common after surgeries. An appointment was set up for mid January and life went on.
So that was the end of 2012.
Needless to say, this revelation prompted much consideration of the possibilities that lay ahead, both positive and awful. Had the probably inevitable happened already? What would they chop off next? Would this be the time I get a taste of chemo or radiation? Of course it could be nothing... or it could be something that just heals miraculously. Who's to say what could happen?
Uncertainty is a killer in its own right, if you let it be. There were (and are) so many things that demanded commitments and answers, yet there was this potential wrench in the middle of things that could foil any and all future plans I was working toward. That is perhaps the most challenging part. Not knowing, not wanting to panic, and not wanting to take it too lightly either. With a tough year for my business wrapping up and debts needing to be paid, I needed to find a way to right the ship, potentially take a second job, or just find a new primary one. But if cancer was back, if surgery was coming up, new employers would probably take a pass even they were interested at all. What could I actually do?
I'm sure these sorts of issues are exactly what many people with illness or injury face so I'm not under any illusion that this was a special situation. That said, it seemed a little early to have to start considering wellfare or disability. Frankly I'd rather be more useful for a short period of time than a burden for years to come. Perhaps that's my youth talking. but considering where I was at being pretty fully able, the prospects of further disability were not great-looking. But there was (and is) hope. Regardless of how things played out, things would ultimately (in the long run) be alright.
A song by the band Needtobreathe called "More Time" came up and has the following resonating bridge:
Needtobreathe - More Time
Yeah, the road gets harder
But it's not much farther
It's gonna be alright
You know that it ain't easy
Please believe me
It's gonna be alright
Then there was also a song by LeCrae that had some parts that stuck in my head too...
Change off the album "rebel" that basically talks about that drive and need to change when you see how broken things are around you and within.
These two songs really painted a the battle of desires that was going on. ...at least the more productive and progressive ones.
The tumult and uncertainty, as mentioned before, is a killer.
So quotes like this come in quite handy:
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I fear no evil, for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Just knowing that the world as you know it is temporary and that your trust is in its Creator is a huge combatant of getting lost in the muck. Trying to plan your way out of circumstances you can't control can be an exercise, but it's not the end game.
So there was 2012 wrapping up. Eric with a C?