Thursday, October 14, 2010

Guardian Angels

I believe in Guardian Angels.

This week I had my yearly mammogram. It reminded me of that time fifteen years ago, when a host of real-life Angels guided and protected me on my path, as I became a breast cancer pilgrim.

We had just moved back to the US, after years of living in Europe, and I had gone alone to get a mammogram. Right on the spot I was told that they had found a possible cancer.

The first Angel appeared the following day, my new ob/gyn. He viewed my mammogram, and while doing a physical exam, found another suspicious mass, (not the one on the films). Immediately, he arranged for me to go into Boston, to meet with a surgeon colleague of his. The surgeon reviewed the films, examined me, and declared that it was "Nothing!", and said to come back in six months.

Relieved, we drove back home, were just about to pop open the Champagne, and toast our good fortune, when the phone rang. It was Dr. #1, he was certain he had felt something, and he wanted me to have a biopsy of both places. The subsequent biopsies revealed that what the X-ray technician had found was not cancer, but what Dr.#1 had felt was. In addition, a follow-up test also found a tumour (not related to my breast cancer) in my lung. So Dr. #1 probably saved my life!

During the next months other Angels of comfort included: a new circle of friends and neighbors who drove me to every radiation treatment; Arlette in Belgium who lit a candle for me in the Leuven Cathedral; my daughter who flew across the country; my son who came from China: and my husband. Though he formerly fainted at the sight of blood, he bravely sat holding my hand through every chemo session, never failing to tell me how beautiful I was.

And then there was the Angel Raphael. After my lumpectomy, I had surgery to remove a lobe of my lung. Every day for a week, I was visited by Raphael, a kind and gentle hospital technician who would take my daily chest X-ray. (Ironically, I recently learned that in religious mythology the Angel Raphael represents "God's Healing Force"). One year later, I was back at the hospital for an appointment; and while walking the halls, I encountered Raphael. "Hi Raphael", I said. "Hi Marjorie", he said - followed by "I remember you in my prayers every night." Not only did he remember my name after all that time, but he contimed to pray for my health!

All this was fifteen years ago. My mammogram this week was fine, so I am still being carried on the wings of "Angels."

Counting my Blessings, and Praying for you too! Marjorie

P.S. I knew I was getting better when I wanted to get out and go antiquing!


  1. Dear Marjorie
    You're story brought a tear to my eye.. I'm so glad that those angels were looking out for you and brought you to us in blogland,,...

    I had a little scare this year.. $1000 later issue... I guess it was worth the money... but really there is nothing more important than regular checkups and drs and technicians that go the extra mile.. as your's did...

    Take care and celebrate your victory.. xxx Julie

  2. What a beautiful post. Your angel helped your write this. It is so inspirational. Although my faith is at time questionable, I respect these beliefs, and struggle along. Your words give hope and optimism.

    Saying a prayer for you and all those other "pilgrims" as I write. A cliche, but so very true that such setbacks in life really put in perspective those things which are important. Don't sweat the small stuff.

    I am reminded of one of my favourite hymns, "The Angel Gabriel"

    Dominus Vobiscum

  3. Oh Marjorie I'm glad you stopped by today. I had stopped by your blog yesterday and started leaving you a comment but got interrupted in the middle of it. I meant to come back so in my lame excuse here I am.
    I was so moved by your story. Your doctor really was your guardian angel and your technician Raphael a messenger of hope.

    October being breast cancer awareness month it's so important to remind all of us to get examined. I made my appointment today that I was putting off along with an ultrasound.

    Thank you again for your story,

  4. I too believe in angels. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I really appreciate your kind, kind comments! XX!

  5. Thanks for stoppping by today Marjorie and thanks for sharing your story. I believe in guardian angels and I believe in regular check-ups. Mammograms are given from 40 onwards in France, we're lucky (it's 50 I think in the UK).