The 3 Words I Never Thought I’d Hear

Tim McDonald
6 min readDec 5, 2020

When I checked into Bayside Imaging Monday on Facebook saying, “My first CT scan. Hopefully find out what is going on inside me.” I was fully expecting to share that I had kidney stones. On Sunday, I had gone to urgent care after after a pain in my side got progressively worse over the last few days. Their best guess was kidney stones, but ordered a CT scan to be sure and I scheduled my appointment on Monday.

As I wrapped up my CT Scan, they informed me I would have to wait for any results from the referring physician. They generally receive the results within an hour. I got home, waited a bit and the phone rang. It was urgent care asking if I would be able to come in right way. I said I could be there in 5 minutes and walked over.

When I arrived, they didn’t check me in and brought me to an office. The physician came right in and asked me to sit in the chair across from him. He looked at me with a piece of paper in his hand and said, “I have the results from your CT Scan. You have cancer.” There they were. The 3 words I never thought I’d hear.

I sat and listened, still with a smile on my face. Not a happy smile but one of contentment. I was thinking of how many people I know who had cancer and overcame it. I remember hearing on the news just that morning that cancer was no longer a death sentence. I was thinking what this would mean to me and the first thought I had was now that I know, I can deal with what I have.

He went on to explain what the results said and asked if I had any history of cancer in my family. I didn’t. He asked if I had a primary doctor. I didn’t. He asked if I was OK. I said, “Yes. If there is one thing I appreciate, it’s knowing what is happening, and I firmly believe that life is short and we need to live it while we are here.”

I had shared with him that I am not the type of person who usually seeks medical help so he wanted to accommodate my needs and said, let me find a few trusted doctors who can help. Soon he had a friend of his on the phone who asked if I could get to their office before 3:30pm. It was 2pm and about a 35 minute drive, so we had plenty of time. When he asked if my wife could come pick me up, I explained that I walked over and live in the townhomes directly behind his office. He generously offered to let her come in…

--

--

Tim McDonald

Stage 4 colon cancer survivor — AmBADASSador for @FightCRC #ColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth — Former Dir of Community HuffPost