Still Waiting: A Life on Hold

Happy Tuesday ladies. Several weeks, (or was it months ago?) ago I mentioned I was having some health challenges and awaiting a few test results. Several ladies have written to ask how they turned out so I thought I would give you an update.

Let me start at the beginning.

Last year…oh crap, this is going to be a long one…I had a CT to check the health of my lungs. I’d been a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker for many years when I was young and dumb. It seemed like everyone smoked back then, but I smoked a lot. Remember when tennis tournaments were sponsored by Virginia Slims? How crazy is that?

I have three friends who’ve had lung cancer and one who started a fantastic lung cancer foundation so I asked my doctor to schedule me for a CT. They discovered a tiny, and I mean tiny spot. Nothing worried the doctor so they decided to just watch it. This year, my doctor suggested I find an oncologist closer to where we live to monitor it because this was out of her field. I went to see the same top-notch oncologist at UC Davis who is monitoring my husband’s lung spot for any changes.

He ordered a follow-up CT to see if it had changed. One week later, he phoned me. Gulp, how often does that happen? He said the small spot on my lung had not changed so not to worry, they would just continue to watch it. Whew! But… they did find a small tumor in the center of my chest, between my lungs, in front of my heart. He was referring me to a thoracic surgeon because it had to come out.


After scraping myself off the ceiling I googled everything I could about this type of tumor. It’s on my thymus, called a thymoma and conventional wisdom says it needs to come out. OK, I’m on board with that. If we have to, we will and deal with the consequences.

I couldn’t get in to see the surgeon until we got back from our trip to Palm Springs. It was a long and stressful wait. I upped my daily walks, meditation and kept on keeping on because what else can you do? Every time I found myself going down the dark hole of worry I would shift my thinking to something positive.

The current health crisis was just ramping on the day of my appointment to see the surgeon but there was no way I would miss this meeting. So hand sanitizer at the ready, we went. The surgeon told us she thinks the radiologist may be mistaken and it might just be a cyst or lymph node. I sure hope she’s right. She’s ordered an MRI but of course, no one wants me to go near a hospital right now, so everything is on hold and I wait.Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life in front of mammogram machine

A few weeks ago I also got a call back about my mammogram. Apparently the radiologist saw something they didn’t like the look of so they rushed me in for a diagnostic mammogram, followed by an ultrasound. The waiting was nerve-wracking, and I was not alone. The room was filled with nervous women, sitting quietly, lost in her own thoughts. I did notice that every other woman had put her purse on the floor. I never do. Do you?ladies handbags on floor in hospital waiting room

The radiologist finally came in to tell me they’re still not happy with what they see so they’ve requested a breast MRI. I’m currently waiting for my insurance to approve that one. Right about now, I’m sure my insurance company is regretting they ever heard my name:)

It feels like our lives are on hold while we wait for this nasty situation to go away. I know I do.

I’m not going to lie, this is tough. I’m trying not to obsess over these upcoming MRI’s because I’m a huge believer in the power of positive thinking. In fact, I’m on my third fourth viewing of this movie, and will likely watch it again just to bolster my mood.

In the scheme of life these days, I know I am blessed. I can’t control many things these days, but I can control how I dress, whether I put on lipstick and what things I allow to fill my thoughts. I know many of you are also dealing with things that had to be put on hold. The best we can do is support each other, encourage positive thinking and be kind to ourselves and those around us.

Please we well and remember to wear what makes you feel confident. Our wardrobe, cosmetics, and perfume may seem frivolous to some, but I believe they are powerful tools we can use to keep our spirits up when life gets tough.






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  1. Penny L. Luckenbaugh
    April 10, 2020 / 3:42 pm

    All good thoughts and vibes sent to you. I know you are dealing with this with strength and grace.
    My favorite quote:
    “In the depths of winter, I found within myself an invincible summer.”
    Albert Camus, Nobel Prize winning writer and hero of the French Resistance.
    Your summer is there and blooming.
    Best wishes;

  2. Rose Thron
    April 9, 2020 / 9:27 pm

    I enjoy your blog very much and appreciate the time it takes to share your good fashion sense and other helpful information with us!
    So sorry to hear of all you are dealing with; keep the faith and stay positive. You will be added to my prayer list.

    • Jennifer
      April 10, 2020 / 3:26 pm

      Thank you so much, Rose

  3. Lori
    April 9, 2020 / 7:31 pm

    You are in my prayers. I had a breast needle biopsy quite a few years ago and it turned out to be nothing. It is hard to wait. My husband just completed his 20 daily raditation treatments for Lymphoma and we are grateful he is finished with the treatment. I will continue to pray for you.

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