Expectations. That’s what it boiled down to for me. It wasn’t what I expected.
My doctor had set up a schedule of doing some type of follow-up every 3 months and this was the kick-off appointment. In my mind this was an easy, quick “scope thing” to take place in her office. I wasn’t worried about it at all.
I have to pause here and say… why does it seem I so often write those words?
My good friend, Janet, decided to tag along as we rarely have large chunks of time to talk. The drive to Stanford was an easy, smooth one (hopefully Janet would agree… if anything, I drove too slowly for my speedy friend) and we were able to chat about everything. I think she was surprised at how chaotic the underground parking was and how long my little hike to the cancer center is. Gotta love a bit of sympathy!
I was quickly checked in, leaving Janet to enjoy the music of an amazing guitarist in the waiting room.
First stop— the dreaded scale.
Thankfully, the weight registers in kilograms and as the nurse began to convert it to pounds, I assertively held up my hand and instructed him to NOT say another word. No reality check desired.
He led me down the usual corridor, BUT walked right past the usual room. I hesitated, but obediently followed him, wondering why we seemed to be off the anticipated script of this appointment. The nurse swung open a door officially labeled, “Procedure Room” and one peak inside set off an internal alarm that I, again, had under-estimated this appointment.
He took my vitals, and my blood pressure was much higher than normal. Anxiety was getting the best of me! He then asked if I had done the prep for the procedure.
My response, “Wait. WHAT?”
No one had mentioned anything about a prep.
Hmmmmm. A conundrum of sorts. He left to consult with the physician’s assistant with my parting words trailing after him, “Plead my case. I don’t want to do it!”
Within minutes the assistant arrived, armed with the prep. It wasn’t optional.
I will spare you the details of THAT ordeal— just know it was extremely awkward and SUPER NOT FUN!
My supposedly-less-than-invasive-procedure went okay until the end when my doctor stated she found something needing to be biopsied.
She’s hoping it’s just scar tissue, but was unable to say for sure… thus, the biopsy.
It was over and I wanted to escape before I fell apart. At the front desk checking out, I was biting the inside of my cheek, trying to distract myself enough to not cry as the receptionist scheduled my next appointment.
Janet was chatting with the guitarist (as only my sweet, friendly, musical friend can do) and I made a bee-line out of there, signaling to her that I would meet her outside. As we stood in the sunshine, I tearfully gave her the play-by-play.
I stood there wondering why everything affects me so much. Why do I cry at every appointment? Why can’t I be tougher and have the much needed attitude of “let’s just get ‘er done?” It’s really not that big of a deal, yet my emotions are always so heightened.
I know I continually fight the thoughts of what a cancer diagnosis could mean. I have the history of watching my mom pass away at the young age of 46 along with my own 2 year battle through it. It’s a tender, scary piece of me that needs constant re-alignment, which brings me back to my opening word: Expectations.
Expectations are a set-up for failure and disappointment. For example, I have such HIGH expectations of Ed, probably because he can do SO many things SO well. I’m notorious for leaving long to-do lists of what I want to have accomplished. I need to offer LOVE without a to-do list.
The focus of my expectations in all areas of life has to be God.
I can expect God to walk with me through EVERYTHING.
I can expect His love. God loves me without a “to-do” list. The ONLY thing I need to do is accept His love
I have never felt more loved by God. It’s like I have a new understanding of how much He loves me.
I Peter 5:6-7 (narrated by Me) says:
“Humble yourselves therefore (accept God’s love for you. Allow Him to love you and direct your life) under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you (lift you out of your situation or encourage you in it) in due time (in HIS timing). Casting all your care (worry, anxiety and… even EXPECTATIONS) upon him for he cares for (absolutely loves) YOU.
You can expect God to keep reaching out to you in love. It’s who He is!
You can expect me to continue being high strung and dramatic about every single doctor appointment. It’s who I am. Hah!
And… just for fun… THIS was my favorite recent text from a favorite friend of mine: