The Diagnosis-The Day Life Changed
by Jeff Osborne
It was Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, and it looked like it would be a typical good day. I was refreshed
from the three-day weekend and ready to take on the day. I was in an all-day strategy session when I looked
down at my cell phone vibrating on my hip. I saw it was Pam but planned to call her back at the next break.
Suddenly, Joe stuck his head in the conference door and told me I needed to call Pam right away, sounded
urgent. My heart rate grew as I dialed her number. She had taken Hailey to the pediatrician to find out
what might be the source of her early morning vomiting she had been experiencing lately. Pam and I were not
overly concerned, just more agitated by not being able to find the cause of the vomiting. For the past
several weeks we had tested for allergies, sinus infection and now the doctor was exploring acid reflux. As
Pam answered the phone she told me the pediatrician wanted her to take Hailey over to get an MRI of her brain.
"An MRI!, how did we go from acid reflux to a possible brain tumor?" I said. Pam was not terribly upset on
the phone as she noted that Dr. Kaus needed to have the MRI done so we could eliminate the potential of a
brain tumor. She had seen three brain tumors in the past several months. Pam explained that during the
doctor visit Dr. Kaus had given her a few packets of Zantac to try in the event Hailey did have excess
stomach acid. Then just as they we getting ready to end the visit, Dr. Kaus began processing her thoughts.
"You say the vomiting is every morning at the same time?" Pam replied, "Yes, like clockwork for the past
two weeks." Dr. Kaus then asked Hailey to stand on one leg so she could she her ability to balance.
Hailey was extremely wobbly and unable to hold her stance. It was so bad Pam thought Hailey was messing
around. She wasn't.
I met Pam and Hailey at the Radiology lab for the MRI. I sat next to Hailey and rubbed her leg while the
MRI was taking place. I stared at her with intensity as she was lying inside the large chamber. Praying
God would not allow there to be anything show up on the scan, I grew anxious. I considered looking the
MRI technician in the eye and seeing if I could sense the outcome through his expression. I chose not to
for fear of the answer. We drove home and waited for the phone to ring. I decided to drive to the voting
site to drop off our primary ballots. The phone rang, I saw it was Pam. She was crying, "It's not good
news, it's not good news. She has a large mass on her brain." I shouted, "No, no, not my baby. This
can't be happening." I trembled with unbelievable fear. Horror had struck, tragedy was at my doorstep.
I immediately called Mom and Dad. Mom screamed and cried, Dad then got on the phone. He told me it
would be okay, he told me he would walk with me through this valley. I drove for the next few miles
until I reached my driveway. I walk in the door and saw Hailey sitting on the couch watching TV as if
nothing was wrong. I dashed up the stairs and closed the bedroom door. I grabbed Pam and we hugged
like never before. For the first time in our 11 years of marriage one was unable to comfort the other.
We were helpless in the moment. Life stood still in an instant. I remember feeling separated from
everything...Pam, Hailey, God, myself. I wonder if this feeling of momentary separation and loneliness
is a slight resemblance of what our Lord may have felt when He hung his head on the cross and for an
instant, when He took on the sin of the world, and was separated from His heavenly Father. I am so
thankful that even when we feel complete loneliness and despair He is still there, close as ever,
regardless of what we feel in the moment.
Even the moment our lives changed forever.
God is near.