Let’s Be Hopeful

February 19, 2012

That’s what my dad said to me when I told him the news. Somehow it’s just so much easier to tell your spouse, and your coach then to tell your parents. As a parent the last thing you want to hear is that anything might be wrong with your child. As a child the last thing you want to do is cause them that feeling. It’s such an interesting experience when you become a parent yourself. You look at your own parents so much differently.

Yet in three words my Dad did what my Dad always does. Acknowledges worry, fear, terror…. and helps you look forward with your chin up.

My doctor found a 4 cm by 4cm mass in my abdomen on Friday. When you find that there are two thoughts that go through your mind: incarcerated hernia or giant tumor. If you are in the medical field you know all too well that knowledge is power but in this case it’s power in a bad way. You scan your doctor’s face for a reaction knowing full well they won’t show anything. How many times have I known a child has a brain tumor before their parents do and come into the room and act like nothing is wrong (because the doctor hasn’t told them yet).

And since I do so much for Cancer and am a nurse….. I am supposed to have a free pass past Cancer, aren’t I?

Then you go to schedule your CT scan and the secretary looks at the giant hand written ABDOMINAL MASS on the requisition and rolls her eyes, because of the type of insurance I have. She motions to the wall behind her and sighs “They just have SO many phone numbers.” She said resting her head in her hand. Now my situation isn’t dire but honey……  don’t act like that requisition is for you. I am more than happy to call the 1-800 number on the back of my card and get this show on the road.

To make a long story short…. and less dramatic than it needs to be… right now we don’t have any definitive answers. I know too many people in this town and field to make me feel better however. Worse than the internet and Web MD are friends who are doctors and nurses. There is a possible  A, B and C diagnosis but nothing for certain just yet to give an answer in any particular direction. And it is a weekend. And Monday is a holiday. We know in healthcare weekends are when things get lost and missed.

It all becomes one giant mental f*ck.

What do you do when it’s you in question? what do you do when it’s you these questions are swirling around? You control what you can control. You have a Shamrock Shake (when did they start putting whipped cream and cherries on shamrock shakes by the way?). You notify those closest to you of the situation. You decide whether to write about it, decide not to, then decide to because it’s more for me than it is for you.

I brought my bike up into the living room this morning and Luc played the wii while I rode. No heart rate, no power, no fancy computrainer. Just the sound of many of the 1,8000 songs on the iPod and watching him fight Darth Vader with incredible eye hand coordination. I am not the biggest fan of these video games but man they sometimes intrigue me. I get such joy out of just watching this kid. I think about the odds he’s defied and the lessons he’s taught me. And I draw upon those lessons.

You control what you can and let go of what you can’t. Or try to. You remember that if it was anything terribly serious you’d be in the emergency department right now. You show off your abdominal mass like it’s a stupid human trick on Letterman.

And you vow that if these results come back and indeed I do face this smoke monster… that I will tear it’s goddamn head off. Most masses like this found in this manner are completely benign. And that’s exactly what we are looking for.

Until then….. as my Dad said … Let’s be hopeful.



  1. Good lord, WTF? How did you get to see the doctor on Monday anyway? Did you have a routine visit scheduled? Symptoms. Please keep me posted, I am hopeful as well and yes the medical field pisses me off at times as well. Lots of love my friend.

  2. You are now at the top of my prayer list Mary. Remember that and that “patience is a virtue desired by many and practices by the few.” See you on the mat soon!

  3. Mers- keeping you in our thoughts. If you need another to call 800 numbers… I’ll help too.

  4. I like what your dad said – be hopeful! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. Don’t you be writing any end to this story!!!!!Sending a warm hug, love, hope and prayers!

  6. Sending good thoughts your way, Mary. If anyone can kick this things a$$, it’s you!!

  7. whatever the answer ..it doesnt have a chance against Mary Eggers..you will kick its ass …Love Ya .

  8. I know in my heart that whatever it is you will overcome it! You have overcome so much since I met you when we were 11, this doesn’t even have a chance!!!

  9. Mary, there is a reason you were born so tough. Whatever this is, it will test you, but you will come out on top because of the type of person you are. I am sending love and positive thoughts your way. xoxo Jeanne

  10. I’ve got some hopefulness I’d be happy to share with you.

    Be well.

  11. Glad you posted Mary…going through something similar, yet different, right now…keeping you in my thoughts.

  12. Sorry Mary…too soon to tell anything…keep us posted…and I don’t think this DLROW is done with you yet! : )

  13. Oh Mary. I’m sorry. As you said, so hopeful it will all be benign in every way, but want you to know I’m thinking of you. You are amazing – stay strong and keep us informed. Oh, and if you need anything, please just say the word. Im gimpy but good for some things! Hang in there wonder woman – you are amazing and strong in every way! Sending love, strength, peace and good vibes…

  14. Sending you lots of hope and love!!!!!!!Be strong and remember whatever happens you are strong and you have lots of strong people to support you.

  15. Your Dad is right. Let’s be hopeful!

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