Fighting the Fear of a Bad Report

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Dabney Hedegard
Dabney Hedegard has battled nine life-threatening diseases and has had four near-death experiences.

I dropped my head a little lower. The way I’ve been feeling, so fatigued and cruddy lately, heaven does sound glorious. I’ll get to see my dad, and it would be the ultimate answer to Jason’s promise from so many years ago—that the second half of my life would be better than the first, because I would be in paradise.

The door opens wider and Jason walks in. I tell him what the nurse just told me, about “I know this is tough ... ”

He says he's scared too, but he’d just got done talking to the kids and asked them all the times that God had shown up. The answered prayer with our house and his job and mom’s book, and just after he told the kids that he believed I’d be OK, his phone vibrated. It was his boss announcing to the staff that Jason had just received a promotion at work. The kids don’t know this yet. He’s waiting to surprise them with a nice dinner out when everything officially clears.

As he’s telling me all of this, the doctor walks in.

“So, how are you feeling?” My oncologist sits and crosses his leg over his knee.

I explain how I’ve been to the ER for a CT scan and then back to his office to see his partner for antibiotics for this cough since he was out of town, and then I told him how I thought I broke a rib from coughing and the whole ordeal with Urgent Care and a second CT.

“Well, you have pneumonia," he says. "It’s gathered on the left side of your lung, right were you’re feeling the most pain.” He proceeds to ask what meds I’m on and adds a few more days of antibiotics.

And I finally can’t take it anymore. “Do I have cancer?” I blurt.

He brow creases and he shakes his head. “No. Your scan looks the same from 2005. You’ll always have radiation scars show up, but nothing too unusual.”

“Uh,” I sigh and then tell him I thought that’s why he called me in to see him so quickly. “Don’t do that.”

“You called me," he says. "I was just trying to squeeze you in. And because when you have pneumonia, your health decreases rapidly, especially with your compromised lungs.”

“Oh,” is all I can get out.

“And stop going to Urgent Cares and always come see me from now on, all right? I’ll fit you in every time.”

“Not if you go on vacation.” I tried a joke, my emotions finally settling down. He laughs at this but makes me promise to always see him first. My health depends on it.

Praise You, God, this was just pneumonia. Praise You for this reminder to enjoy my kids and my days for as long as I can. You’ve given me the gift of a little more time. I pray I don’t waste it. Help me to know what I can do to further Your kingdom.

Jason tells me later, “You know what Madison said to me in the waiting area?”

I shook my head.

“She told me that she prayed and asked God, ‘If mom has cancer, will you take it from her and give it to me?’”

My mouth opens a little and I crushed my body into his. Lord, help me to at least live long enough to make it to her wedding day. This child is such a gift. Praise You for all of my precious children. They are the ultimate blessing in my life.

OK, I guess my husband is too.

Dabney Hedegard is the author of When God Intervenes. Visit her at or on Twitter @dabneyland.

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