Friday, January 10, 2020

Into the Unknown

A picture I unknowingly took before things went south. 
         Wow. I did not think this would be so hard to write about. As a matter of fact, I don't really want to write about it at all, I'd rather just pretend that it wasn't happening, that I wasn't suspended in the terrible "unknown" where the good is as likely to happen (maybe even more so) than the bad, but that is exactly where I am.

    You may be wondering what exactly is going on, well, I would like to know that, too, but I will tell you the little that I know. I want to write it all down, every detail, because regardless of how it turns out, I already know this is a memorial stone. So here is all I know.

   Monday I made (or thought I did) appointments at the eye doctor for the kids and me. Wednesday, the day the appointments were, I called to double-check the time. And was informed that I did *not* have any appointments. There had been a mix-up. A little frustrated, but I was able to reschedule for Friday. We ended up seeing a new optometrist, and he wanted to dilate the kids' eyes. Jocelyn wears glasses, but Carson has 20/20 vision so I thought it was a little odd. But the optometrist felt it was a good idea to do it every few years and Carson has never had it done, so we went ahead. I have had my eyes dilated sooo many times, so I knew exactly what to expect. Which is why when the doctor repeated part of the exam I felt my stomach drop. He asked Carson to look up and to the right with his right eye. And stared. And then asked him to do it again. As soon as the doctor finished looking he said he wanted to "get a few pictures". Again, not the norm. He led him to a machine in a different room and I knew for certain something was off when he could not seem to get a shot of a very specific something. When I saw the images come up on the monitor in the area, even though I am not well acquainted with how the back of an eye should look, I was well aware the large black dot on the image was not right.

      The doctor was wonderful. He informed me my intuition was correct, the chorodial nevus, the official name for the black dot, was not normal. It is like a mole on the back of your eye, and while they are not rare, it isn't something they want to see, because like a mole on your skin, they must be monitored and are often the first sign of cancer. Never something that a mom wants to hear. I was trying not to panic, and I know it seems like there wasn't much at that point to be concerned about, but as soon as the doctor mentioned that they need to be monitored to ensure they aren't cancerous I flashed back to over 10 years ago, to the last time that I was hearing a doctor mention the possibility of cancer in my son's eye.  And, then the doctor proceeded to tell me that this particular chorodial nevus did not have the halo they like to see, or the white dots, in other words, my son might have a common condition, but it was presenting in an uncommon, or concerning, way. Kind of like if a mole has irregular borders, or is growing.

     I did manage to find the presence of mind to ask about the concerns we had when Carson was little-could it be possible that issue had anything in common with this one? Instead of allaying my fears, the doctor immediately started taking notes on everything I said. He did assure me that he was directing us to the best specialist he knew, and that it was important to convey all that information to the doctor at the referral. He did mention cancer, again, and the importance of catching and treating the type of cancer that can be caused by this type of thing as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, much of what he said was kind of fuzzy around the edges, because I just kept hoping he would say, "But I'm sure that is not what this is." He didn't say that.

     And that is where we are. I'm waiting for a referral appointment to find out if my son has cancer. In his eye. Which if he does, he will lose. And cancer that can metastasize and be fatal. I am *really* trying not to think about that. Why do I want to remember this pain, this uncertainty, this feeling of someone holding me by the upper arms, pushing me down? Because God is good. In this place called the "unknown" He is very much known and knowing. I firmly believe that our appointments on Wednesday never materialized because we needed to see this doctor, today. He was the one who would strongly urge dilation, a procedure that I would have declined, except for his gentle insistence. And I have no idea if Carson has cancer, only God does at this point. But the thing is, this memorial stone will be there either way-and I don't want to forget that God is the same, whether my son is healthy and whole, or if he is at this very moment headed towards a painful medical ordeal. I don't want to forget that I need to cling to Him every moment the way I am clinging to Him right now. When the end of this particular chapter of my testimony closes, I don't want to dismiss it as "nothing". God is working here, He is working now, He is working always. And while I can't see how this will turn out, He can. And when He puts the finishing touches on this part of the story I don't want to forget any part of it, because all of it is in His control and He is working it all together for my good and His glory.

     I picked a word for 2020 a few weeks ago. It is "flourish". I always base my word on the Scripture I choose, this year it is Jeremiah 17:7-8:



“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in Him.


They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

     I don't know if this is a year of drought. I don't know if the heat will come. My frail human spirit prays that it won't. But I do know that the unknown is the very best place to trust, and confidence in the Lord will never be misplaced. I know because He always keeps His promises. 

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