Last week, I went through a whole bunch of testing to see if there was any sign of a return of my cancer. I did not only a mammogram, but also an MRI - not because their were any signs of something to worry about, but just as an extra precaution.
I hated the MRI. It was uncomfortable, I felt claustrophobic, and the first attempt at my IV was the worst I've ever had, which is saying something. I still have a 3 inch long deep bruise on my arm from where it failed.
Anyway, I had my mammogram after that, and after getting that done, went to a waiting room with other people who are also waiting either for results or to be dismissed (as a former cancer patient I always get mammo results right away at my radiology place).
It's the room where all the "what if's" run through your head in an overwhelming flood. It's the room where you wait to see if life can go on like normal, or if everything is going to go into a tailspin again.
It's the room where I promised God for the umpteenth time that wether I was ok or not, I would praise him. But even as I prayed, I was not prepared for how God would test me.
If everything is ok, then the tech that took your mammograms comes back to get you and dismiss you. Or possibly come get you to take more images. If something turns up and it doesn't look great, there's another level of personelle that comes for you. And if it's truly bad news, the Head Radiologist comes for you personally.
So I was sitting in that terrible room, waiting for someone to come for me and praying for the strength to praise God no matter what, when the Head Radiologist came into the room. She looked right at me, and said, "Kelli?"
My heart fell to my toes and it seemed like everything was kind of spinning. And in that moment, I thought the cancer had come back. And very quietly, in my heart, I praised God, and cried out for help to keep following the doctor, to have the strength to face steps that would follow.
"Kelli......is it Shawnee*?" she asked as we walked down a long, dim hallway.
"Well, it's pronounced Shay-knee, but spelled Schon-ey, so that's close enough."
"Wait...."she said "It's not Shawnee? You're sure??"
I nodded yes.
She quickly showed me the top portion of the chart she thought was mine.
It was not my name on that chart, but it was shockingly similar (Also, for the record, I am NOT 45 years old). The very surprised doctor took me back to my seat in the waiting room, and called the woman who had been sitting across from me instead.
There were only 3 of us in the waiting room at the time, and Kelli Shawnee was sitting right across the small room from me.
I sat there in shock for a bit, until my tech came back to the waiting room with a smile on her face and gave me the good news that my mammograms came back clear.
I also went to my surgeon this week to get the results of the MRI. Good news there too, which was great to hear.
However, I haven't be able to get the other Kelli out of my mind. I can't help but wonder where she's at right now, and whether her life has been thrown into that awful tailspin that cancer brings. I keep praying and hoping that she's ok, but I suppose I'll never really know. For those of you who pray, perhaps you could do me a favor, and say a prayer for the other Kelli.
I'm hoping and praying that if she's not ok, and that if she does have cancer, that she experiences the love of Christ, and His saving grace. It's the only thing that got me through my battle with cancer.
I'm incredibly thankful that God allowed my tests to all come back clear. I have learned a lot about thankfulness over the past few years, and I truly was ready to thank God in all circumstances. However, I am thrilled that God allowed me to be cancer free. I'm now two and a half years out from my diagnosis!
*Name changed slightly for the privacy of the actual patient, but the name I was called was just as shockingly similar to my own.