Someone Needs You To Show Up

I have lumpy boobs. They are filled with cysts and thick tissue that make it difficult for doctors to give the all clear sign after routine mammograms. I always get a call back to schedule more testing, because, “the doctor has one minor area of concern, nothing to worry about really.  By the way, could you come in tomorrow?”

These calls used to rankle me in to a frenzy of worry. Having gone through this numerous times though with thankfully no bad results, the gift of indifference now wins out over fear. I know I need to get triple checked and I know the possibility of something bad turning up is there, but I also know the chances are slim and I refuse to get worked up about it anymore.

This always lasts right up until I arrive for the appointment and settle in for my name to be called.  Then my anxiety kicks in shattering my bubble of calm rationality. “What if they find something?” “What if I not only have cancer but it’s the super aggressive type?” “How could I be so stupid to think I’d breeze through this?” “What if I DIE TODAY????”

Thus I recently found myself again in this situation as I sat waiting to be summoned back by the technician. The familiar obsessive thoughts started up so I reached for that gateway to the blissfully mindless world of social media, my cell phone. Something stopped me cold though and soon I was watching my hand flip my purse back open and slide the phone in while a new thought popped in to my head, ” No phone today.”

Huh? But I want to look at cat videos and get upset by obnoxious political postings…… Again another thought, more forceful, ”NO PHONE, “SOMEONE NEEDS YOU TO BE AVAILABLE!”  Ok, I get it.

So I sat there pondering my sanity, when suddenly a woman wearing the same pink gown as me walked in.  She was obviously upset; her hands clutched in to tight fists and her body visibly shaking as she sat beside me. I looked her in the eye and out tumbled her words.

She couldn’t understand why her doctor sent her here instead of her local place, with no explanation. “What could be wrong and why are more tests needed? How come I had to come in so quickly? Does this mean I have cancer? Why can’t my husband understand how freaked out I am?”

This poor woman was completely uninformed, afraid and alone.  She obviously had no one to turn to for emotional support.

Except me. I knew exactly what she was going through and could not only sympathize with her worry but also alleviate some fears. I shared with her the many harmless reasons why secondary testing would be necessary and the countless times I’d gone through it with good results. I also knew about the high quality of doctors and equipment this particular center employs and reassured her she was in the best of hands no matter the situation.

We swapped stories, laughed a little, got a bit teary eyed. In other words we connected as human beings doing life together.

Was I helpful? I like to think so. At the very least I distracted her enough for her voice and body to stop shaking and to smile as we wished each other good luck while parting ways. And you know she helped me too, as a reminder of how difficult these things can be. My repeated retesting experiences have left me a bit calloused to the emotional trauma that can occur, but others going through it for the first time don’t have that perspective and need support.

This was a divine appointment I believe for both of us. I was the perfect person for this woman to talk to, in exactly the right place at the right time and all that was required was that I be available. Had my nose been buried in my cell phone, my head lost far in the land of self-absorption, our conversation never would have happened. I shudder to think how many other encounters like this I’ve missed.

Oh, and my results came out fine.  I so hope hers did too.

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37 Responses to Someone Needs You To Show Up

  1. Sean Mungin says:

    This is an awesome reminder of the need to connect with others. I’m writing this as I am surrounded by others engaged in watching a netball tournament. Basically doing the same thing you just mentioned…it’s sad how engrossed we are in our own little bubbles, isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a sweet story! I love it. You made me laugh with your first sentence, because, well boobs are funny and I also have dense breasts as they call it. I too have never had a mammogram go well and have always had to have a follow up. It is indeed, anxiety producing. I have since learned to relax and to have faith. Also darn doctors, they often do this to women on a Friday or something or make them wait two weeks for a follow up. Don’t they know we think we’re going to DIE??! Who wants to spend two weeks dying??

    I’m laughing at myself, but honestly I feel for women who go through this and I think it is just the sweetest thing that you heard that Still Quiet Voice and listened. What a blessing it is to be a reassurance for someone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      So true IB, always on a Friday or right before a holiday as happened to me last Thanksgiving! It is funny if you’ve been through it enough but yes, still a very serious thing

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wally Fry says:

    Well…rather odd conversation here…but a great post as usual Tricia. It does make a point that perhaps we are allowed to endure certain things so that someday we might be able to assist another one who is also.

    FYI, you fell out of my reader, so don’t be alarmed by the follow you just got.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      LOL Wally! A bit of an minefield topic I guess for men to comment on so I’m all the more appreciative of you adding yours. You’re so right, we all have areas of experience that someone else can benefit from and I think God creates these divine appointments for us to connect with the right people. My problem is keeping myself open enough to listen!

      WordPress reader is so strange. You fell out of mine a couple weeks ago too, I had to re like. Aargh!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ColorStorm says:

    Nice tricia-

    Funny- sensitive- encouraging-

    It appears the spirit of God hovers at these places 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dennis says:

    Great thoughts Tricia. Never having had a mammogram I can’t comment on the ritual you go through having to be checked several times for each annual check up. However I can relate in respect to the “waiting for results” dilemma. Waiting for the results of blood test for PSA test can sometimes be nerve racking also.
    When you wrote about “what would have happened if you would have had your nose buried in your cell phone” a thought occurred to me. How many of us think we’re on top of everything and connected to everyone just because we have a cell phone and can call them anytime or search the web? Is that what we now think of as “being connected with people”? Back in the day you were connected when you visited with people face to face. You had to make an effort to connect. Now in most cases it’s too easy to fool ourselves into believing we’re connected with those we love because we a have a few minuets of conversation a couple of times a day. You don’t see the joy or the hurt in their eyes over a cell phone. Face to face is the best way to be connected.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      “You don’t see the joy or the hurt in their eyes over a cell phone. Face to face is the best way to be connected.” So true Dennis and you’re right too when you say it’s so easy to feel connected just because of your phone but really we are headed the opposite direction towards isolation.

      I can’t imagine waiting on PSA test results is any less stressful than a mammogram, guess we all have our trials. Thanks for your comments!


  6. La Sabrosona says:

    Bravo Tricia. That’s a real gift y’know – really seeing/hearing someone. To feel like someone truly “saw” you, into your soul, is a very validating experience. It’s the nourishment that keeps us going. That’s why I’d like to be a professional coffee sipper/soul-conversation-connector at lovely, comfy cafés.

    All my friends tell me I should have been a counsellor/therapist, lol. That was an easier version of being present for someone (in your case). It’s times where we don’t agree with someone or something someone’s done that becomes more challenging to be present. It’s harder to be there for someone, to give undivided attention when what comes out of someone’s mouth we don’t want to hear.

    I hope everything goes well with your results 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      It really is a gift as you say to see and hear someone, and for both parties I would say. Hard to do in today’s “constantly on” world,it takes real effort. I love your coffe shop therapist idea, I can totally see you doing that! You definitely seem like the perfect person for listening to others and helping.

      Liked by 1 person

      • La Sabrosona says:

        Lol “coffee shop therapist”, I should register that as my business name 😉 I think I was born empathizing with almost everyone so it’s hard not to feel for others. I’ve had to toughen up over the years actually. The meds I take help that too – induced callousness – yippeee.

        Thanks for compliment 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      My results came out fine, thank you! I meant to put that in the post, whoops….

      Liked by 1 person

  7. archaeopteryx1 says:

    A couple of years ago, I had the lenses in both of my eyes replaced – fortunately, one at a time, otherwise my driving would have been a lot like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman – “Hoo-ahh!”

    When I went in for my one-month check-up, to make sure that everything had gone well, I overheard a woman speaking with her husband, it seems she had just been told she would need the same procedure I had gone through a month earlier.

    Now I’m not racist in any sense of the word, having been quite active in the Civil Rights movement, but I have to remark that both of my eye surgeons (each eye was treated by a different surgeon) had been of Asian descent. Someone once said that an “A-minus” was an Asian “F” – whether or not that is true, I don’t know, but I DO know that both operations were entirely painless – none whatsover, and that included recovery! Those guys were great!

    I told the lady of my experience, even recommended which brand of lens to ask for, and when I had finished, she was greatly relieved. Now I didn’t hear some divine voice in my head, instructing me to do this, I simply did it because, as a Humanist, that’s what you do for your fellow human when you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Indeed, whatever directs you to do good by your fellow man is no matter as long as you follow through. Nothing like those brilliant Asian docs! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • archaeopteryx1 says:

      Side-note: As a result of the operations, I was able to toss glasses I had worn since my teens, in the trash. I’ve since had people remark that they hadn’t recognized me without my glasses – I guess Clark Kent had the right idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. archaeopteryx1 says:

    I learned long ago, in one of my Lit classes, that a good opening sentence is the key to getting and holding a reader’s attention: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is certainly a classic example, but I have to admit, that “I have lumpy boobs,” ranks right up there near the top —

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It really was a divine appointment Tricia. God had you there to help this lady who was distraught, even the fact that you did not have your cell phone with you.

    A great reminder to me, that there are many people out there who are struggling and may need that personal face to face word of encouragement.

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      Thanks Carl, I appreciate your comment. And yes, there sure are a lot of people suffering out there, sometimes ourselves eh? There is a famous quote that I can’t remember who said it but it really gets to the heart of it with “Be kind to one another, you never know what someone else is going through.” Blessings to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Precious, T. What you did for her was invaluable. Medical ProFeSSionALs aren’t very good at communicating to us like we are intelligent human beings who need to be both informed and comforted. Rebounding would be great for you (jumping) to keep the lymph moving. And dry brushing…I’m hard pressed to find a brush I like, though.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia says:

      We’ll thanks Diana, I appreciate those tips and kind comments. And I agree with you on medical professionals. I know some outstanding ones by the way and most are very good at what they do. Some though just don’t have that human touch.

      Wasn’t really me acting that day, just decided to pay attention for once.


  11. irtfyblog says:

    This was a very sweet post and made me think about all the times that I may have missed an opportunity to connect with someone because I bury my head in my cell phone or tablet while waiting for an appointment.
    Thank you for reminding us that we need to get away from technology and back into reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ekpreston says:

    That was really nice of you to comfort her and to explain that retesting isn’t always negative. Sometimes, health care professionals do things that they think are routine, fine, or not a big deal, but they forget to explain that to the patients. They forget that we’re people and not lab rats.

    I’m glad that your results turned out fine, and I hope that they always will be. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Good Me, Bad Me | Freedom Through Empowerment

  14. madblog says:

    I’ve also marveled at the divine appointments abounding in my life. Many times I had no idea there was one until much later, and someone much later tells me how important my little insignificant (to me) conversation was. I thought it was just me talking.
    And yes, the very purpose of our lives are the relationships, even fleeting ones like your example. God is all about relationship…it’s really the whole point.

    I deal with a chronic condition with lots of sometimes scary symptoms too. And it’s been a great gift to get over the worry because many alarms turned out to be nothing significant.


    • Tricia says:

      Yup, it’s all about relationships like you said. Sorry you also deal with some scary health issues, they sure do make life and people much more interesting though eh? Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

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