One month ago today, I was having dental surgery in Panama during which, a marble sized tumor was extracted from beneath one of my molars. The doctor said they would need to send it to the pathologist to see if it was cancerous or not.

For the past month I’ve been on the edge of my seat waiting for the results, calling to pester the doctors and medical staff on a regular basis about my results. You see, since I was medically evacuated to Panama, the pathologist would first give the results to the oral surgeon in Panama City, who would then pass them on to the Peace Corps Panama doctors, who would then give the results to the Peace Corps Peru doctors, who would then contact me.

When I hadn’t heard anything back after the first few weeks my worry began to increase. I tried looking up the oral surgeon’s contact information myself but the only number I found listed online was out of order. I did come across her Facebook page, however, but figured I’d use that as a last result.

Exactly one month from extracting the tumor, one of the Peace Corps Peru doctors called me with my results. When I received the call, I turned off the audiobook I had been listening to, sat down and took a deep breath, preparing myself for the worst.

“We have your results” he said. I held my breath as I waited for him to continue, knowing that the words to follow could possibily change my life forever. “The biopsy came back normal” he finally said. I exhaled and a wave of relief immediately swept over me. My body suddenly felt so much lighter as if an enormous weight has been lifted off my chest. Perhaps I had overly dramatic with all my worrying but after seeing friends and relatives suffer and later die from cancer, the possibility was all to real and I had convinced myself that I must have it too.

I stood up with a newfound energy and state of peace. I did not have cancer. I sighed a breath of relief. In that moment I felt like I could do anything.