Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The day my world stood still

For the last 34 years, I have have taken my life for granted.  I have gone on about my days cleaning, cooking, being a mother and wife, stressing, worrying, laughing, and loving.  I worry about money.  I worry about whether or not I am making the right choices for my children.  I worry about my health and constantly wonder when I will commit to making a healthier lifestyle change for myself and for my family.  I say I want to do it, but I don't ever really commit to it.  I have taken for granted every blessing given to me from God and not truly appreciated just how lucky I am.

I think that this kind of attitude is very normal.  One goes on about his or her life, busy, busy, busy, until the day something happens to them that puts everything into perspective.  The important things in life are suddenly made so clear.  The petty little things that you spent your days and nights worrying over, or arguing with your spouse about, simply vanish into thin air.  I call it the biggest "Reality Check" you'll ever be given.  I had no idea something like this would ever happen to my family.  I wouldn't wish something like this on my worst enemy, yet at the same time I consider it a blessing from God and believe from this point on my life, and my family's life will be better changed forever.

The Day My World Stood Still:

Wednesday, May 18th began just like any other ordinary day here in the Beeno household.  I woke at 6:00am, began getting ready for work, fought with the athlete about getting out of bed and getting ready for school.  I welcomed the daycare children into my home one by one and dealt with the princess who was staying home from school with a belly ache.  I helped the coach get his things in order for work, touched base about his day,  kissed him goodbye and went on about my own day.

Before the coach had left that morning we were drinking our coffee and chatting about his plans for the day when he suddenly remembered he was supposed to have fasted that morning because he needed to go in to have some routine blood work done.  He had been to the doctor's on Monday because he didn't feel like he had fully recovered from the pneumonia he had several weeks before and wanted to see if the antibiotics had fully cleared it up.  As part of his exam the doctor had ordered a chest x-ray as well as the blood work.  It wasn't a big deal.   He would simply just wait one more day and stop by the lab a day later for the blood work.

Several hours passed and I believe it was close to noontime when my phone rang.  It was the coach calling which wasn't unusual.  He normally called around this time to simply say hi and see how my day was going.  I answered and joked with him for a moment then asked how his day was when he very calmly told me he just got off the phone with his doctor and that they had discovered a "mass" in his left lung close to his spine on his chest x-ray.  He needed an  immediate CAT scan  that day or the next.  That was the only information he was given.

At that exact moment in time, everything going on around me just ceased to exist.  I didn't speak at first because I was trying too hard to fight off the panic coursing through every vain in my body. When I finally spoke, all I could do was ask questions, questions that my husband could not answer.  I was desperate for more information. The doctor must have told him more, something along the lines of, "It's probably nothing to worry about, I just want to be cautious and rule anything out."  But no, it was just that one statement.  "We have found a mass in your lung, and you need to have a CAT scan".  My husband knew nothing more than the words he had just uttered over the phone.

What are you supposed to do when a bomb is dropped on you like that?  I couldn't say anything to fix the situation.  I couldn't do anything to make it go away. I did all I could think to do for my husband at the time.  I stayed calm and told him that we would get the scans done, and I was sure it would be nothing serious.   We just have to get through the scans and wait.

Easier said than done.  I could never truly empathize with people when they said they were awaiting results of a biopsy or MRI or catscan.  I didn't know what that wait was like for them.  After going through it, I think the "not knowing" part is worse than the results.  Your natural tendency is to think "What if"  and then go through every worse case scenario you can think up.  It happened to me and the more I thought about it,  the more panicked I became and the less I could function.  I thought, "I could lose the love of my life, my best friend, the father of my children". To keep sane, I surprised myself and refused to let my mind wander into unknown territory. I repeated the mantra, "I will not panic until I have something to panic about", over and over in my head.  Every single damn time that fear tried to creep it's way into the forefront of my thoughts I beat it back down.  I kept  plugging away.   I also prayed every moment that I was alone with my own thoughts.

The next morning he went for his IV catscan.  He went by himself.  I offered, his mother offered, his brother and sister all offered to go with him.  He said no to us all.  My heart ached for him as he walked out the door that morning.  I knew he would not receive the results after the scan but I still asked him to call me when he was done anyway.  I needed to hear his voice and know he was ok.  He was told the doctor would contact him the next day with the results.  He left the doctor's office and drove straight to work.  Even though I knew we were not going to learn anything that day, I still jumped and lost my breath every single time my phone rang that afternoon.

The coach left work early that day.  He came home and we continued on as if nothing were wrong.  It's strange but I was afraid to be around him.  I was afraid I would say the wrong thing, or not say enough.  I didn't know what to do, how to act, more importantly how to fix this.  I felt helpless.  I left him alone in our bedroom where he was working on installing a new TV  that just days before we had both been so excited to finally purchase.  I can tell you that at that point, I didn't give a damn about that friggin TV.  But I think the coach needed something physical to do, so he continued on alone upstairs while I sat in the living room listening to our kids blissfully unaware of what was really going on around them.

I remember thinking to myself, at least the athlete has a baseball game tonight.  That will help take our minds off things for a couple of hours tonight, when I heard our bedroom door open.  (I hadn't realized that the coach had shut it or that his cell phone had rung.)  He never addressed me, he just calmly spoke, "It's all set."  I thought maybe he was referring to the TV and said, "What's all set?"  That's when I heard him loud and clear.  "My scans came back clean.  That was the doctor's nurse.  They didn't want me to wait another night to find out that there is absolutely nothing on my lungs.  The nurse said is could have been a shadow or something on the lens when they took the initial x-rays."

I ran to him so fast, embraced him tightly, and broke down in tears.  I hadn't cried the entire time and suddenly every emotion I had held in check broke free.  I was in a state of disbelief. Could I really trust what I had just heard, "completely clear"?  Secretly I had been hoping for something like, it's a benign nodule, or scar tissue, or some sort of massive infection.  I didn't even entertain the idea that it could be absolutely nothing!  It was a better outcome then I could have ever hoped for.  That was when the coach came clean and told me every fear that had been going through his mind and I realized just how frightened he had been during the whole ordeal.  He was breathless.  We celebrated a few minutes together, and walked out of our bedroom two brand new people with a new leases on life.

We went to the athlete's game that night and we cheered and we socialized and we smiled at each other the entire time.  We didn't let on to anyone what we had just gone through.  We simply enjoyed the evening, deeply grateful for the blessing we had been given.  We still seem like the same two people, but inside we have changed so much.  I am not the same wife and mother as I was before that day.  I have had my eyes ripped wide open to what truly matters in life. I plan on making the most of everyday that I am given  here on this earth with my loved ones.

It is amazing to me how something you hope will never happen to you or a loved one, can in the end, be something you are grateful for experiencing because it has transformed you into a better version of yourself.

I participated in Shell's Pour Your Heart Out link up today.  You can read all of them here:


  1. OMG..I just got chills...tears...the whole nine! How scary that must've been. I'm SO glad to hear Coach has a clean bill of health! XO

  2. I got chills reading this! I'm so glad that he is okay!

  3. Ugh... what an awful scare Y'all had...
    I can't even begin to imagine how terrible that must have been, I was upset just reading about it. I am SO glad everything is OK!!!

  4. wow. that is awful. so glad he is OK!


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