There’s a Shadow on the X-Ray…

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OK, there are some things you don’t want to hear your doctor say…

Among those things you DON”T want to hear is this list provided by Roger Sampson:

1. Oops.
2. Wow, never seen this before.6092538994_9edd40d36c
3. Your wife will still love you.
4. This is really, really going to hurt.
5. Three enemas a day for a month ought to do the trick.
6. I think I can help you but your insurance won’t cover it.
7. It’s either a broken leg or an ear infection. Hmm, tough call.
8. Congratulations, your wife just gave birth to a boy, at least we think it’s a boy.
9. You know those pills I gave you last week and told you to take 8 every hour? Silly me, I meant one pill every 8 hours.
10. For this next procedure, we’ll need payment up front, in cash.
11. E.D. is quite common with men in your situation, trust me, I’ve seen your wife. 
12. We’re going to take your temperature the old fashion way today.
13. Nurse, I’m going to need a mess of towels, a vacuum pump, a Philips head screwdriver, some super glue and get my lawyer on the phone.
14. Our Father who art in Heaven….
15. Wow, that growth I removed last week has grown back twice the size.
16. At least you’ll still have one left.
17. I could have sworn they had an antidote for this.
18. I know this Pharmacist in Tijuana.
19. This is the first vasectomy I’ve ever performed. Let’s get started.
20. Now this is one hell of a needle!
21. Because of the rareness of your illness, I want you to take this experimental drug. Don’t worry, the success rate in the monkeys we gave it to wasn’t half bad.
22. Whoa, two aspirins and a call to me in the morning ain’t gonna do it this time.
23. You do know how to use a suppository don’t you?

Now, although that list is hilarious when it involves someone else, I found out recently it’s not so humorous when it’s YOU the doctor is talking to.  Following an X-ray of my esophagus as he was looking for a possible hernia, my doctor reported back that he had good news, and not so good news.  The good news?  No hernia!  The not so good news?  There was a shadow on one of my lungs, and he wanted to do a CAT scan to check it out.

For some of you, maybe that wouldn’t be so scary.  But for a guy who has lost both of his parents to lung cancer in the last 4 years, it was more than a little unsettling.  Now the rest of the story.  There is a nodule, but it’s benign.  Doc says, “We’ll CT it again in 6 months, but for now it looks fine.”  I gotta say, the relief I feel is more than I can put into words.  But as I reflect back on the last few weeks, some important lessons jumped out at me.

  • Transparency is the best indicator of Intimacy & Trust.  It’s interesting who I didn’t tell, who I told, and who I told how I was really feeling.  I shared it with my family, with my church group, and with a few other close friends too.   But one person I didn’t share it with is my baby brother.  Due to some family conflict, he’s removed himself from our family for now.  My other 3 brothers are some of my best friends in the world, and among the first I let in on what was happening.  It left a void to not be able to share it with my youngest sibling.  But it doesn’t matter if you are brothers, co-workers or next door neighbors, if there’s no transparency in the relationship and events of life, it’s most likely because the intimacy and trust is just not there.   Ask yourself, “Who do I trust the most, and who do I struggle with trusting? Why?”   It may highlight some relationship issues that you need to work on.
  • It shouldn’t take a major health scare to force you to evaluate where you are in life.  I turn 50 this year.  Half a century.  Dang.  Where did the time go?  This event caused me to slow down the crazy, hectic pace of my life and survey the landscape, both behind and in front of me.  In the rear view mirror I’m forced to ask, “Do I like where I’ve been?  What I’ve accomplished?  What I’ve become?”  As I look forward, I consider “Given the time I have left on this earth, how do I want to make it count the most?  What’s most important that’s still left for me to do?  What changes do I need to make in my life in the days ahead?”   Are you brave enough to ask yourself these same questions?
  • Faith, Hope and Love are still the most powerful forces in our lives.   I’m honest when I say I was a little bit afraid of what the doctor might find.  I’m just as truthful when I say that I was OK with whatever he found.  My faith in God is not just built on a set of ancient rules and weekend activities.  I have personal relationship with Him, and it’s His grace that has brought me safe this far, and as the song goes, “His grace will lead me home” someday.  I share a Hope with millions of other believers who know God in a personal way, and that Hope is not just in an afterlife in Heaven, but a hope based on God’s intentional and passionate pursuit of me everyday.  I know He wants what’s best for me, and whatever the circumstance, He will see me through it.  I Corinthians 13 says, “Faith, hope and love, these three abide, but the greatest of these is love.”  I’ve known and been shown tremendous love recently from my wife and kids, my pastors and church small group members, my co-workers and friends.  I’ve truly felt God’s love for me in a new way as well.    These three- faith, hope and love- are the pillars of my faith, my inner core, my journey through this life.   How are you doing in these areas?

Maybe you’re doing OK in life right now; you might even say fantastic!  But if the storm hasn’t come, trust me, it will.  When it does, will you be ready for it?   Synergy is about the combined efforts, energy, strength of the many, coming together and the end result being much greater than just the sum of these individual parts.  It works that same way has you face the challenges in life.  Don’t be an island in the midst of the storms of life.  The Lone Ranger had Tonto, Batman had Robin, even the Skipper had Gilligan.  Surround yourself with people that you can support and encourage, and invite them into your journey to do the same for you.

How can you be more transparent with those you love?  Or with those that you need to love?

What is there in your life that needs to be evaluated, changed, revamped or scrapped?

If your faith, hope or love need to be stretched to include someone new today, what are you waiting for?

One thought on “There’s a Shadow on the X-Ray…

    Kathy Davis (@davisfnp) said:
    January 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    #23 is good to clarify – I’ve had a patient eat them instead of insert them. – threw up in less than 1 hr. Glad to hear things look good on CT. Very scary experience. Yay for 50! Me 2. Colonoscopy time. You might hear #23.

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