Angel Kisses

Stepping up to the desk I watched as she noted my name and birth date.  Placing a wristband on me, and snapping it shut, she smiled while handing over a questionnaire to complete.  Answering questions about family history and trying to remember past surgical dates I stopped and looked up. Looked around.  At the others there.  My age, many older, a few younger.  All women.  Most alone, some with a friend or a husband, all sitting quietly …  just waiting their turn.

Heading back, I changed into a gown and felt a shiver, like a kiss, on my shoulder.

I took my seat in the internal waiting room, smiled at the other ladies gathered there and glanced around. Hoda and Kathie Lee blathered on, I answered a few emails, and glanced at the women’s magazines laid out for us.

Someone new called my name and I followed, stepping into the room with the machine looming.  Asking my last name and birth date, and checking my wrist band, we exchanged pleasant banter as she explained why I’d been called back today.  See there was this area they wondered about, and I really should have it checked further, and so here I was.

I’d nearly rescheduled the appointment just days before.  The test isn’t even covered by insurance.  My job is so full right now, etc.  I don’t have time. But something, something stopped me from doing that.

trust your intuition

We started through the test, one side of the gown dropping away, my arm draped around the top of machine, the other shoulder trying to relax.  It pressed down, the whirring of the imaging doing its job, followed by her soft words of encouragement.  Wrapping up again, off I went to wait.  Wait with the others.

She came back again and pulled me aside to say they’d ordered further tests and that I’d be staying for a while and would that be OK?  Sure I said, not really thinking about it.  Then, with her hand on my arm, this question “Is anyone here with you?”  And a look.  A look that your soul can only recognize as one of concern and when I saw her expression change, I felt concern, too.

Going back to the waiting room, I looked again at the magazines waiting, and laughed at what was on top. “Guideposts,” a spiritually rich periodical that I used to read with Hubbs’ Mom.  I remembered sharing issues with her and both of us dog-earing our favorite stories to talk about later.   Taking that as a sign, I smiled through several stories of faith and inspiration.  Fear receded.

Another called my name and led me down the hall and round the corner for an Ultrasound.  Now the only ultrasounds I’ve ever had were years ago when pregnant with my boys so I knew this wasn’t any big deal.  The Technician was friendly, with a pretty smile and bouncing brown curls, and she put me at ease immediately.  Again, the same routine, confirmation of my name and birth date, a check of the wrist band, and we were off.  But in the soft light of that darkened room, I let myself go there.  To those thoughts that anyone would have when they realize their life might be changing in a very big way.  A tear rolled down my cheek and I muttered the same words to myself that Sissy did during her heart attack this spring: Well this is b.s.  The same ones Mom said when she went in the hospital 49 days ago. Then I took a breath and smiled at her as she covered up my chest with a warm blanket and an explanation that the Radiologist would read the results right now. However, she added, he might come in and do more testing himself. Would I be all right with that? Did I have any questions? She smiled as she waited.  “Yes,” I said.  “Is he good-looking?”  Tipping her head back we laughed together.  Out loud and hard.  I explained how I used to watch daytime “programs” with my Grandma and that she fancied this one particularly handsome Doctor.  We giggled like we’d known each other more than 40 minutes and again I felt a shiver, like a kiss, on my shoulder.

Soon she left the room and I lay there, quietly singing one of my favorite Gospel songs, thinking about how things can go from zero to sixty and how life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. I went from scared to mad to making promises– how I’d take on less, I’d exercise more, and maybe I’d even give up potato chips and then the door opened and there he was. Smiling down and explaining what they’d seen didn’t warrant a specialist or further tests and how they’d just been extra cautious because my type of tissue is hard to read and stuff can hide in there.  Then he said these words: “come back in 6 months for another test and you should be good to go.”  Tears clouded my vision as he shook my hand, smiled and left the room.

And then I breathed.  Really breathed.  Like I must have been holding my breath for 3 hours breathed.   She walked me out, I got dressed, and checked out at the front desk. We made that 6 month appointment and cut off my wrist band.  Before heading to my car I stopped and bought a coffee and smiled at the potato chips winking at me from the checkout line.


I’ve narrowed my kiss givers to four loves no longer here with me: Nana, Grandma, Hubbs’ Mom, or my Dad. Or maybe four took turns, I don’t know.  See, I lost count of the kisses, but not the feeling that remains.

 * * * * *

How about you? Have you had a health scare?  Did your reaction surprise you? Have you ever experienced an Angel’s Kiss?  Who do you think it was?

breast cancer awareness

Yes, I’m aware. You?

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Joy, Life Lessons, Mom, News, Opinion, Personal, Self Discovery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Angel Kisses

  1. I’m so glad you got the “come back in six months” invitation. I can’t remember my reaction to the “let’s have a hysterectomy, shall we?” invitation, but I suppose it’s a good thing that that memory’s faded. One of these days something is going to show up — no way around that — but I hope it’s still far down the road.

    • I’m happy for the 6 month invite, too, and hope that’s the last of it. I felt relief when my doctor finally agreed to the Hyster – it made all the difference for me. And yes, it feels like something could turn up at any time and I don’t particularly care for that feeling. Have a great day!! MJ

  2. This so paralleled my own experience (except my ending was different) that I got a chill. It was 12 years ago and things were a little different. It took 3 trips — mamo, mamo redo and (the most horrific) biopsy before I got the final diagnosis stretched over a month. Now they do things quicker and use ultrasound and MRIs to verify. I remember coming back to work after the diagnosis, walking into my boss’s office and totally losing it. He was a decade younger but had just lost his sister to breast cancer. My version was not very aggressive and caught very early — the best of all worlds (except for not getting it at all). However, that diagnosis has changed my world in ways I couldn’t imagine. You better go back for that 6 month checkup!

    • I already have the appt and will definitely go back. Wow our stories really do parallel each other; I’m glad that if you lost it at work it was with someone who would understand the fear and anxiety. I do think Hubbs’ Mom and my Grandma were with me that day, and that is very comforting. ❤ MJ

  3. I’m very happy your story ended the way it did. Whew. I was getting very concerned and I think I was holding *my* breath.
    Yes, they asked me back after looking at my tests last year. Did the ultra sound thing and then the doctor came in to read the results directly to me. I was very thankful that day they don’t make a girl go home and wait for an answer. Sounds like they didn’t with you and that’s such a relief. Especially when it’s good news.
    (Bag of chips winking at you…very funny)
    Have a beautiful day!

    • Thank you and yes very very grateful that they didn’t make me go home and (not sleep) wait. I’m glad your situation turned out well for you!

      I do believe those chips were winking, pinky swear! 🙂 MJ

  4. Oh, this is so familiar. Several years ago, I had a “recall” for a second mammogram. Since hubby’s first wife passed away from breast cancer, I didn’t bother to tell him about it. As I waited in the waiting room, I was so afraid, I thought I’d pass out, and wondered why in the world I hadn’t told him, so he could be there with me.
    I also had good news – but a little quicker than yours. They did the test, then, as the handle of the door turned, I knew I’d either have very good news or scary news. Thankfully, it was good, and in tears, I hugged the technician. She said she knew that she’d get a hug.
    But I also thought about all those who don’t get the good news….
    Loved your angel kisses and so thankful that your news was good!

    • Aww and you know MM would have been there for you in a heartbeat. Mom always says that when you let others help you, you bless them, and don’t deny their blessings.
      I’m so glad you were able to hug the Tech with joy and that everything turned out OK.

      And I’m still shivering at the angel kisses – I think it was Hubbs Mom (guideposts) {when I told him he gasped} and my Soap Opera watching Grandma. Whomever it was they comforted me and I knew He wouldn’t let me go through this alone, xo MJ

    • Yes, you should have told your husband. I didn’t tell mine either because I wasn’t expecting anything negative and when I did get the bad news, I had trouble walking. Every time I took him along the news was good. For a long time after the treatments I made him come along for the checkup results just in case. He was my lucky charm. So glad that your result was good. No one should get it!

      • That’s true, Kate. I realized later that I definitely should have had him along with me. I’m glad you’re doing well.

  5. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    So thankful your test came out OK, MJ. I have no doubt the Lord sent you a angel or two to give you comfort to get through this. ❤

  6. Pingback: Random 5 Friday – Stew Leonard’s, gift cards, and happenstances | Emjayandthem's Blog

  7. Thank goodness I’ve never had a health scare like that. And thank goodness your angels were there to kiss you. However, my son was delivered unexpectedly early, and there was concern for him because his heart rate had been decelerating for unknown reasons. You see, I’d been home and noticed that I hadn’t felt him kick all day. My rational mind tried to put off getting checked out. But something beyond this realm kicked in and made me feel like a tiger in a cage, pacing back and forth, driving me into action. Nine hours later, they cut me open and took out my son, who just reached 33 weeks gestation. When they did it, everyone was very busy concentrating and not talking. Then I heard a squeak. Took a moment, but I realized it was my baby trying to cry. In that moment, I vividly remember a feeling washing over me that let me know he was going to be fine. And he was. After a 19 day NICU stay, he came home. I’ve asked a clairvoyant friend about that moment, and they saw an angel with me, comforting me.

    • Oh wow, what an experience for you, and so grateful it all turned out as it did! The squeak did me in, just reading it!!


  8. So glad you got a good report. It’s good you had a laugh with the ultrasound technician, it probably broke through a wall of tension for both of you. I have an ultrasound coming up next month, only mine is for abnormal spotting. My hubby, who never goes to appointments with me, volunteered this time.

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