Today my daughter gets a biopsy done on a tumor. How does a parent deal with something like this? It isn’t the first time she had a tumor, either. A benign tumor in the same spot was successfully removed seven years ago. It peeled miraculously off the nerve to her left arm, and hundreds of tentacles relaxed to allow the whole thing to be pulled from her body. But another grew in its place.
The first time she got a tumor was while she was in massage therapy school. She didn’t tell her parents about it for six months, until she was graduating. She named the lump, “Squish-Squish.” The doctor I took her to see said that the marble-sized lump, above her collar bone, was a fatty lipoma. I went with her to see a surgeon to remove it. Under local anesthetic, the surgeon probed with his gloved hand into her body. As he kept probing, I put my head between my knees, because I suddenly realized he wasn’t finding the end of it, and I could feel my daughter’s discomfort from his finger poking into her un-anesthetized body. I felt nauseous, anxious. She was sent to get CT and MRI scans.
Last week she got another MRI scan. Just last year, she was a new bride. The next month, another tumor appeared. It was egg-sized, below her left collar bone. I wanted her to go see a doctor right away. It can be frustrating to be the parent of an adult child, wanting the best and encouraging but knowing they will do what they want. I waited while she made her decisions and focused on her schoolwork. She got her Associate degree in December with a 4.0 GPA. She finally saw a doctor in December.
Meanwhile, the tumor grew. This one she named, “Lumpy.” It grew to about baseball size, a lump above her left breast. This one had more substance above the skin–the last tumor grew mainly inside the body, where doctors worried it would encroach on her heart. Hopefully “Lumpy” is all above the body, or mostly, and easily removed. My hope is that this one will also be benign, will also peel miraculously from the nerve to her left arm with no stress to the nerve, and that the tentacles will ALL relax, as before, and allow the entire mass to be pulled from her body.
The only difference I hope for in outcome, is that there never be any other mass to take its place. That this is the end of the tumors in her body.
Right now, she is waiting for the doctor. He’s putting her under anesthesia during the biopsy, which is very wise. Like her mother, medical procedures make her nauseous. Even getting her ears pierced as a young teenager, she got sick to her stomach and we had to cancel our planned lunch celebration.
I think one of the hardest parts of having a tumor is the waiting, the not knowing. Trying not to imagine the worst, but still wanting to be able to face whatever will happen. I am learning faith through this experience. Faith to me means exercising my thoughts to believe in the very best outcome, that this will turn out well. That this will go as well as last time. And that this is the last time.