Surely this must be the most magnificent word combination in all the English language! Not malignant. Benign. No cancer found. Clean.
These are words that sounded like music to our ears sitting in the doctor's office yesterday.
Our testimony actually begins with a visit to his office on July 14th. (Yes, I do mean nine short days before the wedding.)
Kristin (our first-born) had been having some real problems with her throat since late spring. We ran through the usual treatments. Sore throat? Chloraseptic is the universal cure. But this time, it did no good.
Sooo, we "treated" post-nasal drip. Nope. She endured voice rest. Still hurting. Herbal remedies. Nothing.
Finally, we found a good ear, nose, throat specialist. He concluded that she had no nodules on her vocal chords. (Always a concern for singers.) And wrote a prescription for a serious antacid.
But before dismissing us, he started massaging her throat and looking at the corner of the room in that "Dr. Pondering" way. It meant little to us.
He stepped back, made a few notes on the computer, then casually said, "I feel a small node I can't identify. I'd like to have you come back in for an ultrasound. Let's find out what this is."
The ultrasound passed uneventfully and on the 14th we returned to his office. Kristin and I talked and laughed about all that was going on at "Wedding Central" while we waited for the doctor to come in.
Fifteen minutes later we were sitting quietly. Completely attentive to every word. Trying desperately to keep our heads from spinning in order to process what he was explaining.
The ultrasound revealed three nodes on her thyroid. The center one had calcification typical with cancerous growths. His nurse would schedule a biopsy. A needle would draw tissue from each node for testing..................
He is a good doctor; thorough; competent. But it sounded to us like he was reading from the menu for the evening dinner choices.
Our reeling minds struggled to comprehend what we could not comprehend. Kristin and I looked at one another dumbfounded.
Did he just use the words: "cancer" "biopsy" "Kristin" all in the same paragraph? Unthinkable!
Life offers enough drama that must be navigated. (And with a household heavy on the estrogen side, we've always worked hard at not being overly dramatic people. Smile.)
We asked questions in low, deliberate tones.
We dried a few stray tears and gathered our purses.
We stepped into the nurses' office to schedule the biopsy.
We walked into the waiting room like zombies.
We drove home and shared what we had heard in unemotional terms.
When she regained her composure, Kristin made a simple statement. "I believe this is going to help me defeat the fears that have been tormenting my mind. I really believe this is going to be the end of fear for me!"
Frank and I agreed.
There was a wedding that had to move forward. Guests were soon to start arriving. Last minute details needed our attention. Besides, what more could we do?
But I assure you, hardly an hour passed without our prayers for healing going heavenward.
On Sunday, we did exactly what the Bible instructs in such situations. We asked the elders of our church to meet us in the office immediately after service.
We explained what the doctor suspected. The upcoming biopsy. Our own concerns. Our need for prayer covering and support. The desire to keep the situation quiet.
(At a time like this, we believe it extremely important to speak life. Sometimes, well-meaning people can talk more about fear and death and negative experiences than they do about hope and faith and belief in what God is able to do.)
The precious elders we've come to love and trust anointed Kristin with oil and prayed for her healing. They also prayed for grace to cover us as we walked whatever journey the Lord had planned for us.
We put it all aside and marched on into the wedding week full of joy and confidence that God orders our journey. Frank often says, "God is faithful and you can trust Him." It was time to act on that.
Tuesday morning following the wedding, we went together for the biopsy. Then we waited.
Kristin flew back in yesterday from doing a kid's crusade in NC. Several children gave their hearts to Jesus during the crusade and she was full of great stories.
At 4:00, Frank and I drove with her to the doctor's office. While waiting for him to come in, Frank held Kristin's hand and once again spoke simply to our Father. "Thank you for being with us. Give us grace for whatever is ahead."
You already read the end of the story in the title: Not Malignant.
We all three calmly listened to the report. Asked questions for clarification. Discussed the follow-up plan.
We walked to the car and quietly thanked God together for the marvelous report.
Then Kristin and I finally cried.
Frank felt it best that we stop at McDonald's for ice cream! Ah, the heart of the Daddy! Smile.
I asked Kristin for permission to write about our latest testimony. She agreed that it needs to be told. God has truly blessed us!
And that fear issue? Pretty much gone completely.
"All the earth declares His greatness!" And so do we. So do we.