They Found a Mass . . .

Make no mistake about it, even a perky voice can be cold. My first response was anger. Couldn’t you have found a better way to tell me?

But anger wouldn’t change a message delivered like a sunny weather report. “They’ve found a mass on the left side, densities in both, things that didn’t show up on the last tests. You need to go back in . . . ”

I said thank you. Kissed my husband and sent him to work. Called the number the nurse had given me. Waited while they kept me on hold. Made an appointment that wasn’t for now. Answers wouldn’t come now.

My mind spent the first hour alternating between a stunned blank and a race through a variety of thoughts I struggled to squelch. Don’t jump to conclusions. I couldn’t focus on the edit I’d been working on, or my own manuscript–or the damn dishes that take no thought whatsoever to return to their shelves.

I spent another hour wondering who to call. This kind of news shouldn’t be delivered to Mom over the phone, especially since I didn’t know anything. My best friend is facing the one-year anniversary of her husband’s violent death. I couldn’t dump this on her. The kids? No, not until I knew something.

Part of me, the Pollyanna part that believes in silver linings and half full and everything’s gonna be all right, wanted to believe just that. Everything’s going to be fine. There are a dozen things this could be.

Name one, said the other part–the one far too aware of my family’s medical history.

Pollyanna was effectively silenced.

The next few days, I hid in fiction. My book. Steven James’s book. Movies on TV. I was handling it.

Until this morning. For some reason, my stomach had tied itself in knots when I woke up. I finally broke my code of silence and wrote a few friends–my solid-gold cyberpals–and requested their prayers. I called my BFF, who, in spite of her own pain, was able to boost me a bit. I was better when we reached the clinic, but the knots returned and stayed through the second series of X-rays and the ultrasound. While we waited for the doctor’s verdict, I clamped MSB’s hand at least as tightly as he was grasping mine. We’d both been exchanging words of encouragement all week. “It’s going to be okay. Everything’s going to be fine.” I guess that means he’s a Pollyanna, too.

Well, sometimes Pollyanna is right, and today turned out to be one of those times. I go back in six months just to be sure, but all those ominous words little Miss Perky spewed at the beginning of the week turned out to be nothing. The “mass” is a cyst. Everything else is just nothing–at least not anything to worry about.

I don’t know whether I’ll tell Mom about my false alarm or mention it to the kids. I’m ready to resume my life and my plans without this hanging over me. I don’t want to think about it again. Ever.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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26 Responses to They Found a Mass . . .

  1. Dana Pratola says:

    I’m so glad you’re okay. I have cysts too and have been through that exact scenario. In fact, I haven’t been in for my checkup since I lost my insurance. But God is great =-)


  2. Diane Graham says:

    Praise God!


  3. Kat says:

    So glad to hear of the news, Linda! I had the same thing happen last year; multiple masses – both sides.

    Wrote an article on it: (if you want, ou can remove the link off your post, but if you get a chance, do read it)

    My ob/gyn told me to cut out coffee and chocolate. I did pretty good with the first one and totally and willfully ignored the second directive. One year later, all masses gone! 🙂

    Hugs to you, dear cyber-friend!


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Wonderful article, Kat. Thanks for linking it. Judging from my stats, I’m not the only one who checked it out.

      They didn’t tell me to cut out coffee, much less chocolate. Heaven help me if they had!


  4. Alex Adena says:

    Oh my goodness I’m so glad it turned out okay.

    It’s trials like this that really make you re-evaluate what’s important and who the important people are in your life.That’s about the only upside to an ordeal like this one.

    I pray that we will soon find a way to cure cancer so that today’s little girls can grow up not having to worry over false alarms on a medical image.


  5. Lorna G. Poston says:

    Glad you’re okay.


  6. That time in between? I would have been spending it with Mr. Google and reading all my old nursing textbooks. Even though I know better.

    I guess the upside of all our advanced techniques is a few scares along the way.

    I guess.

    So grateful it all turned out good.


  7. joannesher says:

    Had a time like that not terribly long ago. And yeah, mine was a “false alarm” too. And I’ve heard it about my man as well – and the news wasn’t quite as good. God got me through both. And I hated both. And I grew through them. Wish I could grow like that through the hearts and flowers. SO glad you’re fine. And tell if you want – or don’t.


  8. jeannemt says:

    I’m relieved for you that things turned out to be “nothing” so to speak. I went through something similar a year ago. Mine turned out to be a problem with the original images, but that waiting between the not-so-happy news and the test that confirms or denies the worst is difficult. May the Lord restore your joy and give you grace as you move forward from here. Sooooo glad it wasn’t anything tooo serious.


  9. I’m relieved for you, too! I’ve been through that whole sha-bang, even under the knife because the doc wanted it “out” with my family history and all…It was clear. But the time between discovery and the “all clear” were rough days…


  10. This is so scary! The fear of the unknown is always such a lonesome fear. Praise the Lord on the report. In 2000 I had a large painless, but bothersome lump that felt kind of rubbery and was easily moveable within the right breast tissue. I mentioned it to a new lady doctor I had. She got excited and sent me for a mammogram. It turned out to be a large FIBROADENOMAS, benign (not cancerous) lump. I was surprised they could also also occur in men. I know, that’s dumb thinking on my part. I did not know what it was until after I had surgery to have the lump removed and received the pathology report about the tumor. It is scary. I’m the only man I know to have a mammogram and have a lump removed. I had a golf ball sized cyst removed from the back of my neck this past June. It still hurts and I have a two inch scare from the surgery.


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Wow, Jimmie–that really must’ve been rough on you! Glad everything turned out okay. Sorry about the cyst from your neck. You’d think since the surgery was in June it would stop hurting now. It’s past time!

      Anxious to meet you at ETBU!


  11. Pegg Thomas says:

    Been there – done that – TWICE! It’s just as scary the 2nd time, so be prepared if it happens again. {hugs!}


  12. Walk says:

    Sounds like to me your cyberpals are some strong prayer warriors. Tickled pink that everything checked out good.


  13. Lynn Mosher says:

    I’ve had those silly cysts for years! Praising the Lord that’s all it is. He is so good! /


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