A few weeks back I posted about the lump I found in my mouth. I didn't really have the nerve to post what happened after that first bit as things got a little bit bumpier around here . I guess today though its time to catch you all up. After the first go round with my dentist I went back ten days later for the follow-up. The little lump was still there. It took him all of 4 seconds to decide I should have someone else take a look. Probably an oral surgeon.
"Its probably nothing, but you might as well have it checked out just to be sure."
GULP I answered with my biggest smile.
When I came home that night I decided I would ignore the good doctors advice. Hey, it was probably nothing anyway right?
Well, a few days later the lump started to grow. Lickety split I got on the phone and made an appointment with an oral surgeon for the following week.
So on the Ides of March I went in for my consultation. ( You do remember the whole "BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH" thing from High school don't you? Julius Caesar got whacked "Et Tu Brute?")
The nice oral surgeon came into the room. His name; Dr Zwack. ( You just can't make this stuff up folks)
One strangely reassuring thing for me was that he was short. Short men make me comfortable. My Dad was short, my husband is short, I think I just like the the efficient packaging of a short man. They know their business and they aren't all puffed up. I know there are plenty of good tall men too,feel free to think well of them for me.
So, Dr Zwack asks me why I was there, and I give a brief explanation. He begins to tell me it is probably a blocked salivary gland, sort of like a kidney stone in my mouth, and says its probably nothing to worry about. He then tells me to open my mouth.
Peering inside He says "No- thats not it"
and then he uses the word "BIOPSY" and suddenly I am the dog Ginger in the Far Side Gallery cartoon who can hear nothing at all save that word.
I make my appointment for the following week and return to the waiting room.
Fred asks how it went. I respond "I'm glad he is short"
Fred gets offended. We argue about how tall he actually is. I repeatedly tell him I like short men. Did I mention the BIOPSY word yet?
We go home. I convince myself I already have cancer. I try to figure out what food I ate that actually gave me cancer. I make up my mind that it's a toss up between the diet coke and the carcinogenic popcorn. Blast that popcorn!
I tell Jesus if he'll just cure me of this cancer, I promise I will never eat popcorn again and I will swear off all forms of diet coke forever too. I decide that particular prayer is a bit shallow,even for me, and quickly scrap it until I decide on the right prayer formula to make God change his mind.
We pack for North Carolina. We go on vacation.Before leaving I tell a few folks and quietly ask for prayers. The trip was a wonderful distraction except for the fact I know I will have to have a BIOPSY on Monday when I return.
I decide to pray a bit more. The second round of prayer goes a bit better but I continue to barter with God. "If I can just have ten more years which would make Sophie 11-I think I Fred could handle it at that point."
I figure out that the problem with wrestling with God is he always has his hands occupied on the cross. This should make a deeper impression on me than it does, but of course I am thinking too much about my mouth.
Monday comes and I go in for the BIOPSY. It takes all of 5 minutes.
I eat only soft food for the next 4 days. On my way out I ask when I'll have the results. "lets see" the secretary says "you can come back in 11 days, on April 1st!" a perky smile spreading across her face. My own face is stuffed with gauze and as I smile back I drool on her desk.
Not only do I have to wait 11 days, but my results will come in on April Fools Day? This is beginning to feel like a conspiracy.
I go home and pray some more.
This time I realize God is not a divine vending machine. I do not pull a lever and get the answer I want, nor do I kick and swear if an item gets stuck and then beat on the glass till it gives me what I wanted. He is also not out to get me. Neither is cancer.
This time when I pray I realize he loves me.It's that simple.
I have a father in heaven who loves me.
At some point I stop thinking about my mouth and actually ask how He is these days.
Turns out that whole "Not my will but yours " is a pretty important part of prayer.
This morning I woke up nervous- but not terribly nervous.
When I got to the office no one looked at me funny or whispered as I walked by. I figured that was a good sign. Dr. Zwack came in smiling. He told me it was benign.( not cancer)
Apparently, there was some trauma to my mouth and one of my glands needed to be removed. Nothing serious but it wouldn't have healed on its own so it was a good thing he did the BIOPSY anyway.
I breathed a sigh of relief, genuinely.For all of you who prayed and who care, many heartfelt thanks.
On the way out Fred said we should celebrate and asked me what I'd most like.
Naturally, I asked for a diet coke and some popcorn.