So Long, Pedro.

(I apologize ahead of time for the icky pictures of my radiation-wrinkled upper chest, but merely describing this thing wouldn’t make as much sense. And yes…I did circle my bump with a pen to see if it was growing in size each day.)

Meet Pedro.
Yes, we’ve named him.
We kind of had to. The alternative would have been a weeping mom for weeks while we figured out why a golf ball-sized bump emerged from my upper sternum. I’m not going to lie, this growth was freaky-weird, which pretty much explains my medical journey for the last 20 years, so I guess this means I shouldn’t be shocked by now, right?
Pedro popped up on a Friday, the day after I played volleyball for 10 minutes with my 15-year-old daughter.
(Can I just admit…I’m out of shape, ya’ll? I haven’t huffed that hard in years from chasing so many missed balls.)
In case you didn’t know, I have wires that protrude a tad from the center of my chest from where my heart surgeon sutured my ribcage back together after my aortic valve was replaced. Since then, I’ve always had a teeny bump that juts out from the wire. On Friday, August 30, 2018 a round bubble formed over this pointy nub, and by Sunday, the bump had morphed into the size of a golf ball. This was when I became a tad worried, but not worried enough to run to the ER like any other sane person.
I mean, the bump didn’t hurt and I was already creating my Dabney-isms for why it had appeared:

  1. The wire broke
  2. I fractured a rib in the center of my chest from the amazing volleyball moves I placed on my teen
  3. Maybe my body was creating a barrier around the wire from all the agitation?

But there was no pain, and I hate the doctor’s office. If I could finagle a way to avoid such a place, I would. Instead, I decided to call my cardiologist the following week…you know, just to keep him in the loop. And that’s when his office insisted I visit the following Thursday.
My cardiologist quizzically examined me. “It’s too hard to aspirate the growth,” he gently pushed against it. “I recommend a CT scan.”
“No, please,” I begged. “I just had one three months ago from a weird pain I was having, and it ended up being nothing.”
“The only way I can properly diagnose you is with a CT.”
I bit the inside of my cheek. “Ok,” I relented.
For seven days I examined this oddity, praying this thing would shrink, and I could cancel my test.
That didn’t happen.
After my CT, my cardiologist concluded, “It’s a cyst. We can do one of two things. Drain it, or wait it out…”
Before he could finish, I blurted, “I’ll wait! Pedro can shrink on his own. I don’t need another needle sticking me.”
He looked at me funny.
“Oh,” I pointed to the bump. “My kids named it Pedro,” I snickered. “Sometimes you have to laugh or you’ll waste your days crying out of fear. We chose laughter this time. It’s supposed to be the best medicine.”
I drove home that day with many things on my mind. I’m honestly not trying to sound foolish, I realize that Pedro could have been a tumor. This made sense. He was in the middle of my chest right above where my mass had grown 20 years ago, but the old Dabney keeps learning new truths with each medical hiccup. This was the first time in a long time where I didn’t freak out over a medical issue, especially since I could visibly see this one. All the others were merely something I felt.
But my sickness is not my god, and it should never be an altar I bow down to.
I can’t anymore.
The alternative is fretting my days away, wasting my time and energy—two things I have very little of.
And, ironically, the day after I had my CT, Pedro started to shrink.
Of course he did.

The Lord is the Lord of my life. He’s the Lord of my health. My marriage. My children. My finances. And even the Lord of how many days I have left on this broken earth.
I can’t change that.
Deep breath in…and out.
I’m not in control. Honestly, this thought is beautifully refreshing.
I have a choice each day. I can make my uncertainties my god, or I can surrender each morning to Him and say, “You are the Lord of my life, God. Whatever you allow, I’ll accept.”
What a freeing feeling releasing control has made. I pray that it will do the same for you, too.

Peace is worth a million bucks, sweet friends. And peace like a river only comes from One source (Isaiah 48:18).
The choice is yours today, even in the midst of seemingly yucky news. Give it to God, and sigh out your release. Handing it over to Him is the most freeing experience.
So long, Pedro.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

  1. Savannah says:

    So happy that you rely on our Heavenly Father as we should, may God continue to Bless you and your family is my Prayer

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      Thank you! God bless you!

    • ruth chesley says:

      Thanks so much for your book WHEN GOD INTERVENES. Rereading it recently
      prepared me to hear my diagnosis of myelodysplasia which leads to leukemia. Thankfully I don’t have to have chemo yet. Only God knows if or when I will.
      God created me with a plan and a purpose for my life. He knows when my last day is. I’m not to be obsessed with saving my life but rather living my life. This doesn’t take Him by surprise and He’s promised to give me everything I need to live godly. This diagnosis is part of His plan to bring good for me and glory to Himself. He’s not finished writing our stories. Your book and this blog affirms this.

      • dabneyhedegard says:

        He absolutely did create you with a plan and a purpose!!! And I am crying reading your comment and listening to your faith, because you’re so right–He’s not done writing our stories yet!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh Dabney, so good to hear from you! I’ve been encouraged for years of your faith and you’ve helped me to march on, despite fear. I’m so thankful that ‘Pedro’ is shrinking and is nothing!! So amazing that you didn’t let your peace be stolen. You are so grounded in God! You have no idea how you help me to press on! I’ve been battling fear intensely for too long. Fear has been controlling, immobilizing, and I’ve allowed it to seem bigger than anything. I know the Lord wants me to face it. All things possible. Grace. Greater is Jesus in me than the liar. Fear is familiar, default for many years. Gosh, the last several weeks have been sooo difficult, not much sleep,lots of fear. I know the God is beckoning me to face it, and grasp truth, peace, joy, abundance.
    We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our TESTIMONY!!! Thank you for sharing your testimonies!! Your testimony feeds my faith to press on and of His goodness!!!! 🙌🏼💖

    • dabneyhedegard says:

      I am right there with you!! I have to push myself to choose to trust God instead of that lying voice, whispering away in my head. Why is this so hard, sometimes? We are all in the fight together! Keep pressing on!! You’ve encouraged me so much today. xoxo

  3. Marci Hedegard says:

    Love you, sweet sister! Glad all is well!

  4. Beverly Foy says:

    You are one awesome lady. Yes, we depend on God to help us thru situations. You have faith like no other I have know. We always and I mean Always keep you in our prayers. We love you Bev

  5. Heather Abruzzino says:

    Dabney,
    I’m so gald that Pedro shrunk! Love you bunches and I have always looked up to you, your faith amazes me every day!
    God is awesome!
    XOXOXO

  6. Cheryl Plourde says:

    See ya Pedro! Thank God. Great post. God bless. XO

  7. Frances says:

    Great to hear from you !!

  8. Mary says:

    Dabney,
    I needed to hear this! We need to be reminded that God is in control of every aspect of our lives. Lord, I trust in with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.

  9. Catherine Scourtis Hamilton says:

    Oh Dabney. I’m sorry you’ve been going through this, another health issue, but love your godly strength and outlook:
    “I’m not in control. Honestly, this thought is beautifully refreshing.”
    And
    “What a freeing feeling releasing control has made.”
    Truths we seem only to learn through refining. Thank you for sharing. Praying Pedro keeps shrinking as you use him to glorify our Abba Father.

  10. Barbara Behl says:

    Greg & I are praying/warring/casting out “the Pedro” or cyst in Jesus name. Thank you for the photo so we could lay hands on Pedro while we cast him out! We resist the cyst! All in Jesus name because His name, Jesus, is the only name that matters, so . . . so long Pedro, good bye and good riddens! Amen!

  11. Dennis Port says:

    Inspiring, Dabney! God bless and shield you. Dennis Port (Christa Foss’s father!)

  12. Marsha says:

    Love you Dabney and I will be praying Pedro takes a hike. Thanks for reminding me who is in control and I’m so happy it is not me, myself or I.

  13. Laura Bennet says:

    I love your posts, Dabney! They are so refreshingly honest, raw and right on (even the pictures!). I can’t imagine what you’ve been through, but I can see, even through just your blogging, how God is using your trials to grow you in amazing ways. Isn’t it the same for all of us? Thanks for sharing how God is in control and how that is the ONLY place to find our peace. Amen!

  14. Dawn Karrh says:

    Beautiful. Loved it.

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