January 8, 2009 was a turning point in my life. That morning between 10 and 10:30 my doctor's office called to tell me the test I'd had two days earlier showed a "suspicious mass." They wanted me in the office that afternoon for a CT scan and then a visit with my doctor.
I called Greg, who was still in Joplin after the holidays, and he rushed back, arriving while I was sitting in Dr. Wesley's office, but before he had come in. My doctor spent a long time with me that day, delivering the news that there was an ovarian tumor and no way to know if it was malignant until surgery.
I'm guessing it never gets easy for doctors. Here's a man who is generally seeing me through sniffles telling me I'm destined for surgery that may indicate my life will be ending soon. Of course he didn't know, any more than I did, what was really happening. Although, thankfully, he had done a CA125 level, which was normal, and that was a comfort. I could not have asked for a better guide through the process.
More doctor visits ensued and I found myself in the incredibly capable hands of Dr. Horbelt in Wichita, who operated Jan. 27. I knew when I visited with him the first time that this was the man I wanted working on giving me a future. Late the next day I got the word it was benign, which we decided is one of the most beautiful words in the English language.
So, yesterday marked a year since I found out about the tumor. It was on my mind all day as it started the last year's journey. Over the next couple of weeks this will no doubt be on my mind, particularly on the 28th - the day I got the word that it was benign.
I'm big on marking time with beginnings and endings. Yesterday felt like a day for closing the door on the difficulties of the last year. I went back this morning and read the blog entries from that time. In one of them I'm talking about how we never know what gifts come in disguise. I have certainly learned a lot in the last year. And there have been some real high points, too.
Life is a journey. Like all journeys, it has a beginning and an end. But 2009 wasn't my end.