Over the past 10+ years, I have dreaded going to the doctor.
First, I hated going because I was always told that there was “nothing” wrong and my symptoms were “all in [my] head”. Therefore, there was nothing the doctors could do, no medicine to prescribe. I simply had to “live with it”.
But then, the cancer was discovered and all of my symptoms made sense.
Honestly, I was relieved we had finally found “something”.
What I didn’t realize, however, is that now any “new” symptoms would be blamed on chemotherapy treatments and there would be “nothing we can do about it” yet again. But as a cancer patient, I was always treated differently and never truly helped. I always seemed to end up back at some doctor, specialist, imaging lab, etc every few months as new “symptoms” emerged.
This cycle has led to depression and me trying to “manage” my symptoms. Well, it’s not working.
So, I made yet another doctor appointment and went to see my primary care doctor. I was completely prepared for him to do one of two things: refer me to a specialist or tell me there was nothing we could do.
He did neither of those things.
He listened to my symptoms, took time to think (quite literally…head in hands, thinking of what could be going on), and then we made a plan.
He ordered a bunch of bloodwork to be drawn and explained why he was doing each test. He also reviewed what the next steps were depending on the results of the blood work.
Then he did two things that were completely unexpected.
First, he asked me if I was ok with this plan of treatment. SAY WHAT?!? A doctor who actually takes your opinions into account? YES!! It was so liberating to share my concerns about the treatment plan and be able to actually talk it through with him.
Most importantly, HE POINTED ME TO GOD! He reminded me that while he desperately wants to help me, he may not be able to and no other doctor may be able to either. Doctors are human and finite understanding and ability to heal. He shared how we may get certain answers from the test results, the ultimate healing belongs to God. He reminded me about how Paul prayed 3 times for God to remove the thorn from his flesh but God wanted it to remain there so that Paul would experience God’s grace THROUGH the thorn. He pointed out that there may be no earthly solution for my symptoms and asked if I would be ok with that. He PRAYED for me and for himself…for acceptance, for wisdom, for answers, and for grace.
I left that appointment with a pricked arm and a heart full of hope.
I don’t know if my symptoms will be explained (extreme fatigue, depression, weight gain, hair loss, sleeplessness, heart palpitations, eyelid fluttering, etc). But I do know that my doctor is doing EVERYTHING he can to help me because HE’S PRAYING FOR ME!
Thank you, Doctor, for restoring my hope and faith, for listening to me and trying to help.
Thank you, God, for being the Great Physician who is in control of EVERY aspect of life and for giving me the grace to get through TODAY.