Bowl of Life Seriously Shattered

A few days ago I posted the poem “Broken” where I likened a bowl that cracked at work last week to the suddenness of a traffic accident. Last week I learned there’s more than one way a dish can suddenly split in half.

On the 13th I came home from my shift at the Villa resolved that I was going to finally have a physical checkup to see why I’ve been so fatigued all winter, why my thinking seems at times so fuzzy, why I get so out of breath and my nerves burn so much. I put in a normal shift at work that day and my upper legs hurt all evening, somewhat like a bad sunburn.

I’ve been telling myself all winter I need to be more active, cut out coffee, etc., but Tuesday I decided these problems stem from something deeper than a sedentary lifestyle. So I phoned and made a doctor’s appointment, fearing MS, fibromyalgia, or some awful thing like that. Thursday I saw the doctor – a new one at our clinic – and he gave me forms for blood tests.

Because we had other things to do that day, I ended up putting the test off until last Tuesday morning. Wednesday before 9am I got a call from my doctor’s office. “The doctor wants to see you about your test results. Can you come in for 11:45am?”

I was surprised he even had the results that fast. “ Could I rather come in tomorrow?”

“He really wants to see you today.”

“Oh, dear.” Do I have an infection? Has he discovered I’m diabetic?  He was going to test my B12 levels. Has he discovered that I’m seriously anaemic? Or is my white blood cell count too high, which would be indicative that my body’s fighting something? Like cancer?

I scolded myself. “Don’t imagine the worst right away.”

My daughter was going to town that day so I caught a ride in with her and looked after her two youngest children while she shopped. And she waited at the doctor’s office with me. The doctor told me my white blood cell count was extremely high. I knew he was looking for tumours when he checked my lymph glands, liver and spleen, but said everything feels normal. He wanted to repeat the blood test for confirmation. He’d ordered one other test done, he said, but he couldn’t find – or didn’t have – the results yet.

Then we went to have dinner and while we were eating he phoned me. I could forget about that repeat blood test; he’d located or gotten the results of the last test. And he told me I have leukemia.

He told me he’d already called a blood doctor and that fellow wanted me to have an ultrasound of my innards to see if there was any sign they were affected. I should come pick up the form at his office.  When I got there the receptionist said the doctor had told her it was “urgent” so she’d booked it for the next morning. (Around here that’s amazing!)

CLL is what he wrote on the requisition form. We’ve read that Chronic lymphocytic leukemia – if that’s what it turns out to be – is a common kind in older people and it progresses very slowly.

So I’m sitting tight and hoping for good news from my doctor tomorrow once he has the test results. Then I’ll likely need to visit this haematologist – and maybe the Cancer Clinic – to find out where to from here.

On Friday I told my husband I feel like I’ve been blown out of the water and landed in a giant marshmallow where everything’s fuzzy and I can’t think about anything yet. But since then I’ve gone from “This isn’t happening” to “No big deal. I could live another 30 years” to “Shriek! I’m dying!” to “So what else is new?” I’m sure the picture will clarify after a few more doctor’s appointments.

So the bowl that holds my sweetness has cracked in half; in one way nothing has changed yet everything has changed. Funny thing, though: the sweetness isn’t lost; God is pouring it into everyday life all around me. The beauty of nature, the affection of my family, the laughter of my grandchildren – each thing tastes sweeter now. When you lose sight of tomorrow, everything you see and feel today can be so precious.

In the midst of this I’m preparing my manuscript; I’ve been giving it a final edit before publication and choosing suitable illustrations. So my posts may be sporadic for awhile but I want you to know your prayers and moral support at this time mean very much to us.


22 thoughts on “Bowl of Life Seriously Shattered

  1. Christine, If I try to write something now my words would come out all a mess. So as you know I shall not forget you I will be at our Abba Father’s throne. Prayer is not something I do prayer has become who I am. Love you my sister, James


    • Thank you so much, James. I’ve always appreciated your sincere affection and I know the Lord will answer you on my behalf. As it’s written: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”


    • Thank you. It’s a time of honest soul-searching, that’s for sure. (Hebrews 4:11-14) Last night I stood outside looking into the sky and asked myself –and the Lord– am I really ready to die? Is there anything standing in my way, anything I should take care of or talk over before I must leave this world behind?


  2. Reblogged this on Antiquarian Anabaptist and commented:
    I guess I still feel a little numb from hearing my wife’s diagnosis. I was thinking today that the poem read by King George VI in his 1939 New Year’s message fit our situation. Europe was facing war, there were dark and unknown times ahead. The poem says:
    I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
    Give me a light that I might tread safely into the unknown.
    He said to me: Go forth into the darkness and take the hand of God.
    That will be to thee better than light, and safer than a known way.


  3. You have totally touched my heart today. I want you to know that of course, you have my prayers! I imagine that all those emotions you have and are feeling are just a big soup of what if’s, how, what to do, and holding tight to family and God. You have such a wonderful attitude. . .and in my mind attitude is EVERYTHING!!! Don’t ever forget that.

    I loved your description as falling into a “big marshmallow”. . .very good!!!

    May you be blessed,


    • Thanks so much for your encouragement! I think the soup has simmered down now.

      I saw my GP last week Monday and finally have an appointment with the specialist on the 17th. (I was supposed to have one within that first week but I never heard a word–and in this case no news was good news.) I hope to have this diagnosis confirmed; if it is CLL as they think, it can just “grumble along” says my doctor, for fifteen or twenty years with minimum effects and no treatment. My arthritis may actually cause me more pain & trouble.


  4. Dear Christine, your post has touched my heart. I notice that it’s been awhile since there’s been a posting on this particular page. I pray that the Lord has and will continue to carry you throughout this new journey in your life. A journey that may have changed the course of your days; but has and will never change the course of our Saviour. He is in control. He is immutable and He loves you dearly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s