Autumn Winds: doctors, scans, and diagnosis

Dear sir

I have news. I had my normal severe period pain last week. It lasted for three days. Except, I don’t have my period. Went to the doctor. Blood test showed I have low haemoglobin so he gave me iron pills. Urine test shows I have infection so he gave me antibiotics. Then doctor ordered a full abdominal scan. So I went for an ultra sound. It was turning out okay, until the radiologist asked the nurse to call another doctor. I asked the nurse what’s the other doctor for, she said he’s the one who’s an expert in reading ultra sound. The other radiologist came in and they started talking in Urdu. I heard pancreas and CT. Is there something wrong, I asked. Don’t worry darling, we’re checking. She called me darling. That’s when I knew something’s wrong.

I have a mass near the head of my pancreas. She didn’t tell me about the cyst in my ovary. Yesterday I went back to the doctor’s. General practitioner said I needed to see a surgeon for the pancreatic mass. For the cyst I needed to go to an OB-GYN, I told him I’m already seeing one in the 5th floor.

So I went to a general surgeon. He looked at my ultra sound and asked some questions – where’s the pain, how’s my stool, how’s my appetite, do I vomit, do I drink, then he examined my belly. He said it’s very unusual that I have this mass. I need a CT Scan. I already new that.

I met my OB-GYN. She read the report, told me to lie down, and scanned me again. She focused on the pelvic area and upper right abdomen, just below the rib-cage. The gel was cold.

I asked her if there’s a mass. There’s definitely a mass. But from my side, you’ll need a pelvic MRI.


You need surgery.


Don’t worry. For now we just need the MRI.

After the doctor’s, I went to the mall across the street and cried in the bathroom. I called mama. But once I heard her voice, I couldn’t find mine. So I dropped the call. Tried calling again, but I started bawling, silently, so she would’t hear. It lasted ten seconds. Summoning my courage, I called her again and willed myself to speak. Told her that I have a mass in my pancreas, and cyst in my ovary. OB said I need surgery. If I’m seeing a general surgeon, then most likely I’ll also undergo procedure for my pancreas. Two surgeries. What is this?

I’ve seen ten seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. And right now it’s not doing me any good.

Funny, ever since I found out, Matthew 6:25-33 kept popping in my head, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink, what you will wear, look at the birds to the air…and the lilies of the field…are you not more important than they?…O you of little faith”

To be honest, at this moment I’m not high on faith. And I’m not responding properly. Instead of turning to Jesus, I opted for self pity and worry. Right now I want mama. But she’s far away. I feel everyone is. Clinic/hospital waiting rooms are pretty tough, especially when you’re alone, and especially if you’re an overthinking emotional wreck. I was on the metro yesterday and asked, you’ll be with me right? You won’t leave me? And Hebrews 13:5 popped in my head, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” duh.

I’m swinging from trusting God, to accusing him and making tampo. But what’s the point.

This morning I was having a mental conversation, “Are you going to trust me completely on this?” Do I have a choice? It’s as if I have somewhere else to go. I know. That’s an arrogant response. Full of pride.

If this is His version of tough love. If this is His way of bringing me closer to Him. If this is Him way of revealing Himself more. Then I will submit. And I will call upon His name.

It’s autumn now. Pam is even asking Hazel to bring back pine leaves and spruce from Tagaytay. She wants to smell the autumn breeze. Everything here is sand.

A.W. Tower once said that there’s a quiet strength in the fall, “…a repose after toil, a gracious tapering off of our fuller powers, a kindly preparation for our longer would be good indeed if the autumn winds could preach to the lost soul of the brevity of life…A true Christian will not be saddened by the winds that herald the approach of winter…who knows that everything is well with him and that he will be among the blessed in that day when the breath of Jesus, like a breeze of spring, shall stir the sleeping dead to life again after the long night.” I was reading that in the waiting room, before Dr. Raani told me I needed surgery.

This life surely feels brief now. And every other human concern that doesn’t echo to the next life seems petty.


Winter is coming. And I have a perfect excuse to be philosophical or sentimental or existential.

Whatever. It is well with my soul. Right?


– written Monday, Sep 18th, 2016
Gloria Jean’s Coffee
Dubai, UAE


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