Thursday, June 27, 2013

Calm Amidst the Storm

There is a lightness today, a feeling I hadn't known for awhile. Two weeks and two days to be exact.  My daughter had surgery to remove a tumor from her femur on June 10. Since then it has been a waiting game. Waiting. It is the worst. Especially when cancer or no cancer is in the balance. And the person at the center of it is my child.

The surgery went well, and the surgeon was able to remove the tumor by arthroscopic means. She has 4 small holes, and since there was no incision her recovery will be relatively short. The surgeon advised  us the tissue would be sent to pathology and we would have the results in 3 to 5 days.

By Friday, when I hadn't received a phone call I called the office and spoke to the surgeon's assistant. I learned the results from the pathology had come back and the pathologist and the surgeon agreed it needed to be sent to The Mayo Clinic for further evaluation. I'm not going to lie. It was like a kick to the stomach. Not what a parent wants to hear. I felt panic rise like heat from within.

But then a strange thing happened which surprised even me. I was able to pacify myself and did not fall apart. This is quite a revelation as in the past I have been known to fall apart at the slightest provocation. But today I am stronger. I find that I am able to take things as they come. I've finally been able to adopt the attitude of "why worry before I know something concrete". Today I deal in facts and not "Oh my gosh, what if?"s. This means freedom, as worry is nothing but a burden. I put the unknown in God's hands.

This morning we heard from the doctor and were told the tumor was completely benign. Even though I hadn't been a worried mess, a huge sensation of relief washed over me. Only then did I allow myself to feel the gravity of the situation. And then I let it go. It was replaced by sheer joy that my baby was completely fine.

It feels pretty damn good to have faced a seemingly earth shattering event at face value.  I put facts around it.  And, unlike my former self, instead of focusing on the possible gloomy outcome I focused instead on being positive.  The surgeon believed from the moment we met with him that it appeared benign. In my mind I acted "as if". In my heart the tumor was benign. And I set my intention to that unless I was told differently.

What will be will be.

Taking this stance allowed me to be a calming influence on my daughter instead of a basket case.  She didn't need a frazzled mom.  She needed a mom to tell her everything was going to be alright. So I believed it was all going to be alright and that's what I conveyed to her.  She believed.

Hand in hand our family walked gracefully through this event.  And through it all we grew.  I saw her brother show genuine love and caring for his sister. None of the usual sibling bickering occurred. And her Dad softened.  Patience was the emotion du jour. Love was abound and we all rallied together.

My daughter is pretty amazing.  And pretty healthy.  And we are all extremely grateful.

She returns to work tomorrow morning.  6:00am. Guess who's driving her there?!  I'm trying to get into gratitude about that and my 5:30am wake up call.  I suppose this is my cue to say goodnight.

Peace xoxo


  1. Michelle, I'm so happy to hear this wonderful news. Your attitude through this whole ordeal was exemplary, but the crucial thing of course is that your daughter is healthy. What a great way to start the summer!

  2. Michelle, I'm so glad to hear that Kendall's biopsy was benign; I know that was a huge relief for you. It's amazing how an emotional roller coaster ride like this can pull a family apart or together. You rolled with it marvelously by letting go of the situation, tapping into your inner strength and courage instead. That calming peace kept you reassuring and supportive, and your kids benefited from that in SO many ways you'll never know. I love that saying about life being the art of drawing without an eraser. So true!

  3. Michelle, I am so happy for you, Kendall, and your family. Excellent news about the results. “Completely benign,” have to be the best two words you’ve heard in a long time! Kendall is a beautiful young lady and so brave the way she faced it all. Your courage and positive attitude were a guiding light of strength for her. It’s wonderful the way her brother rallied to her side with love and caring too, and the way everyone pulled together in such a positive way. I think Kendall should now get more ice cream sundaes like the one she was eating in that Facebook picture!

  4. YAY! I'm so happy for your daughter and you....It was a roller coaster waiting for those answers, but she got the best diagnosis there is!

  5. So glad all went well. Hope the recovery is drama-free.

  6. Brilliant news Michelle. That's just what I hoped for. I can just imagine seeing the huge weight fall of your shoulders when you heard the results. And now you're on the other side, you can see exactly why it wasn't worth having a breakdown about it then hearing such good news afterwards. A lesson I need to learn sometimes.

    Situations like this also knit a family together even closer with a deeper lifetime bond. Good news post, Michelle.

  7. I'm so glad to hear that the surgery went well and that your daughter is going to be just fine! (((Big Hugs!)))