Chapter 9: The Diagnosis
Lou was working at her desk when her secretary told her that Dr. Pugh was on the phone. Taking a deep breath, Lou exhaled and picked up the phone, "Dr. Pugh, how are you doing today? Do you have some results from my test?"
Dr. Pugh, "Lou. I want you to come in so we can run some follow up tests. There are some markers in your blood and we need to discuss your mammogram results. Can you come by today?"
Lou, "Yes, sure, but can you give me a little heads up?"
Dr. Pugh, "I would rather you come in and we can discuss the results. You might want to bring Peter along with you!"
Lou, "Dr. Pugh! You are scaring me!"
Dr. Pugh, "You guys come in and let's discuss this. The sooner the better, ok!"
Lou concludes the call and gets up and walks into Peter's office. "Peter, you know I went to the doctor for an exam several days ago and when I was there, Dr. Pugh ran several extensive tests including a mammogram. He didn't like what he saw on the reports and wanted me to come in. He said I should bring you along!" Lou breaks down and begins to cry. "Peter, I am scared. What could it be?"
Peter, "Honey, don't over think this. Let's go to the doctor and see what the problem is. Then, we can determine our course of action."
Lou, "Peter, I am scared!"
Peter, "I will be there with you. Let's get your things and we can go up there right now!"
Lou gathers her things and goes downstairs to an awaiting Peter in the car. It was only a few minutes to Dr. Pugh's office, but to Lou, if felt like an hour. Lou, now visibly shaken, grabs hold of Peter's hand and looks out the window. As they arrive, the receptionist says, "Hello Mr. and Mrs. Morris. Why don't you guys follow me to the doctor's office and we can wait for him there."
Lou and Peter are sitting quietly now in the office when Dr. Pugh comes into the room. "Lou, Peter, thanks for coming over so quickly. Let me get right to the point. It appears, Lou that you might have cancer. Cancer in your uterus. Your blood work, the pain and the testing all support my diagnosis. I would like to schedule a biopsy as soon as possible to know what we are dealing with. I have some time tomorrow morning and I would advise you to make that appointment. I want you to know that the science and efficacy of the treatments today increase the survival rate tremendously. Also, your mammogram was negative for Breast Cancer so there is no need to worry there. Do you guys have any questions?"
Peter looks at Lou who is sitting quietly with tears coming down her face. Grabbing Lou's hand Peter asks, "So doctor, can be more specific about the cancer. Is there radiation, chemo, what about the genome therapy that I have read about?"
Dr. Pugh, "Guys, I want you to understand that if you do have cancer, We will know more once we do the biopsy , but for now, you need to prepare yourselves and your family. I am sorry. I don't sugar coat this. It is better to face this head-on instead of giving false hope."
Lou, "So after tomorrow, you should be able to give me a better diagnosis and treatment options."
Dr. Pugh, "Yes."
Lou, "Then, we will see you tomorrow." Lou stands up and takes Peter's hand as they go out the door.
Lou and Peter are walking to the car when the phone rings. Peter says, "Lou! Let it ring."
Lou, "Peter, it is Amy. What am I going to say?"
Peter, "Why don't you get that? It might be good for you guys to talk."
Lou picks up the phone. "Amy." Before she can get another word out, she begins to cry uncontrollably. Peter takes the phone and says, "Amy, do you think you could meet us back at the house. I think Lou might need your support right now."
Amy, "Peter! What happened? Is Lou alright?"
Peter, "Just come and we can fill you in on the details."
Amy hangs up the phone and gets her things. As she is coming out of the house, she crosses Ty who is coming in from the barn. "Ty, there is something wrong with Lou. I need to go over there and find out."
Ty, "Want me to come with?"
Amy, "Can you? Grandpa can watch the kids!"
Ty, "Give me a second to get my things. Meet you in the car!"
Jack is coming out of the house wondering about all the commotion. "What's going on?"
Ty, "Something about Lou. Can you watch the kids? We are going over there now!"
Jack, "Sure. Let me know the minute you find out!, ok?"
Ty, "Will do!"
Amy has pulled the truck up and Ty jumps in and they head to Lou and Peters.
It takes about 10 minutes to get to their house and Ty takes Amy's hand and says, "Babe, it is going to be alright."
Amy, "Ty, Lou couldn't even talk to me. Peter took the phone and asked me to come over. It must be bad!"
Ty, "Let's not get ahead of ourselves here, ok?"
Lou and Peter are sitting at the kitchen table discussing the doctor's prognosis. "Peter, I just don't understand. I eat right, I exercise, I do everything possible to keep healthy and now I have cancer. What was all that for?"
Peter, "Lou, please, honey, Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We don't know the extent of the cancer, heck we don't even know if it is cancer."
Lou, "Peter, please. You heard the doctor! It's cancer! They just need to see how bad it is!"
Peter, "We don't know that, yet. You need to settle down. Look, here comes Amy up the drive. It looks like Ty is with her, as well!"
Lou gets up from the table and walks out the door to greet them. As Amy walks up to her, Lou immediately begins to cry and hugs Amy. "Amy, I have cancer! Amy, I don't know what to do. I don't want to die. What about the kids and Peter!"
Amy is now hugging Lou and letting her vent. Ty looks at Peter and then puts his hand on Lou. Peter and Ty go into the house leaving Amy and Lou outside. Ty says to Peter, "So what is going on?"
Peter, "Lou hasn't been feeling well these past few weeks so she decided to go to the doctor to see what it might be. Well, the doctor put her through some tests and today he called us in and told us he suspects cancer and wants to do a biopsy tomorrow."
Ty, "Wow! She told me the other day that her stomach was upset, but this! Wow!"
Peter, "Thanks for coming. She can use some family support now."
Ty, "Sure. So how are you doing?"
Peter, "Not sure. It was really a surprise to me that Lou was even ill. You know, I can't think of a time that she was. She has always been so healthy!"
Ty, "I know when Lisa got ill, it was real sudden and she had been healthy most of her life. Wow, Peter, I am so sorry! That is not the example I wanted to use!"
Peter, "No worries. I was thinking of her when we came out of the doctors. You know Lou and Lisa were very much the same type of women."
Ty, "You are so right!"
Amy and Lou come into the house and they all go into the living room. Lou, "Does anyone want some tea? I think I will make a pot."
Amy, "Lou. You come and sit. Let me do that!"
Lou, "No, Amy, I need something to take my mind off of this. I will get it!"
Amy goes over to Peter, "How are you doing with all of this?"
Peter, "A bit overwhelmed, but OK? We really won't know anything until tomorrow. This waiting is the worst part of it."
Amy, "I know. Believe me, I know!"
Amy, "You know Peter, when I am faced with life situations like this, I turn it over to God. I pray and ask him to take it over and direct all the outcome. That releases me from the worry. I make sure I follow the advice that is given to me by those He uses to get me through my obstacle, but I try not to say "steer the wheel". I just let it go and let God!"
Peter, "Sounds like good advice. I just wish your sister had a bit more faith and could not try to take control of the situation."
Amy, "I will talk with her, but now for you, I want you to know that Ty and I will pray to give you strength during this time."
Ty, nodding his head, "And if you need anything, and I mean anything, you can count on me to be there. And I am sure Jack will be there too!"
Amy goes over to Peter and gives him a long hug as Ty gets up to go outside and update Jack. "Jack, this is Ty. Well, it looks like Lou might have cancer. She and Peter went to the doctor this morning and Dr. Pugh wants her back tomorrow for a biopsy. Don't know much more than that, but Lou is pretty upset!"
Jack, "Well, I know that walk! Both with Lisa and Lyndi. You tell them both, Peter and Lou, that I will be praying for them and that if there is anything, and I mean anything I can do, they need to let me know!"
Ty, "I have already told them that we could be counted on for anything!"
Jack, "Well, that is good!"
Ty, "We will be home later when things settle down. All well over there?"
Jack, "Kids are fine. You guys do what you need. I got things covered over here!"
Ty, "Great. Talk with you later."
Ty goes back inside and Lou has joined Amy and Peter in the living room. Ty, "Well, that was Jack, and he said if there is anything he can do, to let him know. Also, that he was going to start praying specifically for your health."
Lou, "Man, I just don't understand. I have made it an effort to be healthy and fit. When have I ever been sick, when! I know that I am under a lot of stress sometimes, but I never get sick."
Amy, "You are strong Lou! That is why whatever this is, you should be able to defeat it!
Ty, "You are strong, but Lou, you need to turn this over to God. He needs to be in your daily life to take the worry out of this. You know Amy and I have been through some very tough times. We have learned that the first thing you do when life situations come up is to turn it over to God and let him sort of "Take the Wheel". You know what Lyndi says, "Let Go and Let God!" Well, that is the best advice she has ever given our family and I think it would be good for you to do so as well!"
Amy, "Lou, and let your family be your support. I know you try to emulate Grandpa, and be the rock of the family, but now let us be your rock! Ok?"
Lou, with tears in her eyes, "Ok, Ok. I will take your advice!"
Ty and Amy leave and Peter grabs Lou by the hand and looks her in the eyes. "You know, they are right. This problem is way bigger than us. Would you like to pray and ask God to take this over?"
Lou, "Peter, you know I have never really done that. I see how Lyndi has brought God into our family and each person has their own testimony of how He works in their lives. Even Georgie and Katie put God first in all their endeavors. But I never have. I have always thought that God did not participate in our daily lives. We could pray to him if we needed someone to talk too, but pretty much we were on our own to work out our lives."
Peter, "Lou, God is much more that that! I really have never discussed this with you, but when we were going through our separation and divorce I spent a lot of time talking with God and asking for advice. Not until Georgie's win at the Olympics did I see how God can, and will affect, every life event. Sometimes for good. Sometimes not. But God wants us to incorporate him in every decision and life situation that we face. I have to tell you, there is a peace that comes over you like you can't explain when you let go and let God!"
Lou, "What do I say?"
Peter, "How about letting me say the first prayer, then you can take it from there!"
Peter and Lou go into the bedroom and kneel by the bed. Peter says a prayer asking God to take over this situation and to provide the doctors and nurses with the right information to diagnose and treat Lou's cancer. He prayed for Lou, then the family and closed the prayer.
Lou, clutching Peter's hand, says, "Thank you Peter for taking such good care of me! I don't often say that, but this was so sweet. I hope God heard us?"
Peter, "Not only did he hear us, you will see that he hears our prayers and loves the fact that you came to him for help. We need to do this every night. But, you need to incorporate prayer every time you feel defeated. If you go to God when things get tough, or you are just feeling down, you will find that he will lift you through those times and your joy will be returned. Even as we face down this terrible disease, you can count on God to return the joy."
Lou, "I need to remember that!"
Peter, "Yes you do!"
Lou and Peter decide to go for a drive and get some fresh air. On the way home, Lou says to Peter, "I think we need to loop the girls in on this."
Peter, "Why don't we wait until we get the results?"
Lou, "I prayed about this and I feel strongly that we should include them now. Good or Bad! They are old enough to understand and I think they would be upset if they were not included!'
Peter, "You prayed about it! Well, who am I to object to God's advice!"
Lou, "Yeah! You know, this praying thing. I see what you mean about the peace that overcomes you. I really feel that God is listening and it is funny, I don't hear him talking, but I just seem to have a thought pop up like this!"
Peter, "Yeah, it is crazy! But crazy good! I see how the kids interact with God and it is really cool to see their Christian maturity as they handle situations."
Lou, "So let's have them over tonight and tell them, ok!"
Back at Heartland, Amy and Lyndi work looking through some of Marion's journals when Amy begins to cry. Lyndi comes over to consult her and says, "What is wrong, mom. Why all the tears?"
Amy, "Lyndi, I have been waiting to tell you until we knew all the facts, but Lou might have cancer. She is going tomorrow for a biopsy to see if there is any cancer!"
Lyndi, "Mom, you don't need to keep these things from me! You know that I pray intercession for people as one of my ministries. I could be praying for her now!"
Amy, "I am sorry. I didn't know!"
Lyndi, "Come here. Tell me what is going on!"
Amy begins to update Lyndi about Lou when she says, "You know, I have never seen my sister sick!"
Lyndi, "Mom, I am so sorry that you guys are facing this. I know how much your sister means to you and I want you to know that I am here if you ever need to talk. Please mom, not only am I your daughter, but I can be your friend as well!"
Amy, now hugging Lyndi, "I am so glad that you are my daughter. You bring me so much comfort and joy."
Lyndi, "I love you, too, Mom!"