Moving Headlines

My sweet friend, Monica, described it perfectly the other day during a phone call. She said something to the effect of, “There are some things in your life that are footnotes. Things that happen to you in the story of your life that have helped shape and define and mold you. But they are things that you hardly think of, or go days, months, years, without thinking about. Then there are the headlines. And I think cancer and other suffering must be one of those headlines. Sure, it might move further back in the paper, maybe to page 3, but it’s always a headline.”

My headline is moving away from the front page.

After a very helpful appointment with my oncologist on Monday, I am finally gaining some understanding and feeling more peace about all that the specialist I saw a few weeks ago is putting me through.

The best part about my visit with her? She understood. She looked at me, and as I was explaining all that’s coming before me, I saw her eyes fill with compassion. “You must feel like you’re back at the beginning and having to face all the what if’s again. It’s like you have to walk through the whole panic, grieving, anger, acceptance all over again.”

I wanted to hug her.

Instead I just nodded and said, “Yes!” a bit more forcefully than I needed to.

Then she gave me some options for Bri and me to consider. One of them is to NOT do the centi-mammography scan. You know, the one that has me having nightmares and panic attacks and sob-fests because of the IV in my foot. She basically said (without actually saying it) that if she thought I needed it, she would have ordered it for me. The specialist is being careful and proactive, but the scan is not necessary; however, the scan does show cancer on the cellular level which is a good thing.

Then she put her hand on my knee and said.

“You need to hear this. You’re not back at the beginning. You are done.” She smiled. “Hopefully, you are done forever with cancer. Don’t get bogged down by the high risk of recurrence. That’s what I’m here for. I’ll keep watching you to make sure we catch things early if they do come back. But you are done.”

My headline is moving to another page.

During my iron infusion the counselor from the cancer center sat down next to me. She had some free time before an appointment and wanted to see how I was doing. We talked for thirty minutes, and she gave me more to chew on. And she asked, “Will you have more peace of mind if you get the scan? Or are you okay with where you are?”

I really don’t have an answer for that. I get so bogged down with the panic of the process, I can’t see the end result.

Then she told me, “I’m not minimizing your panic here. God knows I’m not. But remember, you can do this. You’ve done it before. You’re no less brave if you don’t do it. But you can do it.”

But as she left, she patted my knee, too. And she smiled and said, “Just remember. You are making choices to fight this so that you can be around longer for those precious children you tell me about. But don’t forget. You are done with cancer.”

My headline is moving to another page.

So now Bri and I have to figure out whether to do the scan or not. I’m making mental lists of pros and cons and trying to see past the panic. I’m working hard at not beating myself up if I run from the scan out of fear.

My oncologist was right. I needed to hear that. I needed to hear from people who knew and understood the medical and the emotional aspect of all of this. I needed to hear that they believed in me and in all I’ve done to fight this.

I needed to hear that while all I have to go through is not over. I am still done.

My headline is moving to another page.

8 responses to “Moving Headlines”

  1. Emily Massengill Avatar
    Emily Massengill

    Praying for wisdom for you as you try to make a decision. Proud of you either way, because both choices are brave, just in different ways. Glad you have found comfort and encouragement in a variety of places these last few weeks. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU SOON!!!!


  2. Melissa Bruining Teeter Avatar
    Melissa Bruining Teeter

    You are done. It is finished. Amazing how hard to grasp, whether we are talking about cancer. . . or the cross. . .

    Love you so much!! So thankful for God’s grace through your oncologist and the counselor. Wonderful blessings!


  3. I’m so thankful that God blessed you with the gift of compassionate doctors who understood what your heart needed to hear.


  4. I am praying you will know what the right decision is. I know He is directing you because just like our Danica all your days are already written! I hope you will rest in this comfort today. I’m excited to see what the new headline will be in your life, because God is making you more like Him each day and writing your story perfectly. I love you!


  5. Avatar

    My sweet Angie,

    God’s grace is abounding to you. His peace is their to welcome you when you arrive. To God be the glory!!!

    You are always in my prayers.

    Love and blessings,


  6. Prayers for clarity and peace as you make your decision.

    I am so grateful your headline is moving to another page. so. grateful.


  7. Tears formed as I read this! So proud of how you have fought and am honored to call you friend!

    Prayers continue in earnest as there are things to still be done and decisions to still be made.

    Praying for God’s leading and direction in the moments and days ahead. And for peace… peace that passes all understanding. Peace from Him alone.


  8. To another page sounds really really good. And I totally understand your fear, lady. You will know. You just sit with it for a while, and I’m confident you’ll do the right thing. Because…well, that’s just what you do. Unless you’ve totally tricked me. (that was a joke)

    P.S. I have good news for you. My Dad? Cancer free. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Much love to you.


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