My Dress Rehearsal for Death

I’ve lived to see another year. But why? Gifts are always given for a reason.

Mitch Teemley

are_you_there_god_268x268In the year 2000 I found a golf ball-sized lump in my neck. Not having swallowed any golf balls recently, I decided I’d better see a doctor.

Dr. Yamagata was the opposite of the cold-but-efficient Asian doctor stereotype. He was friendly, laid-back to the point of “dude, what are you on?” and had a hopelessly disheveled office. He felt my neck and said “nothing to worry about,” then scheduled an MRI.

When I returned three cuticle-chewing days later, he said he wanted to do a biopsy (extract the golf ball from its hole). I asked to see the MRI Report. He said, “I tell you what you need to know,” then left the room to schedule surgery. The Report was still on the counter. I scanned it. The word “lymphoma” jumped off the page and floated around in front of me.

I spent the rest of the day reading up…

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About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir, Religion/Faith, Story Power and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Dress Rehearsal for Death

  1. Thank God you came out of it. Life is precious but when episodes like these appear in life,we learn that really there is just one thing that matters – spending time with your loved ones. Take care now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. VocareMentor says:

    This was so good to read as we start the New Year. Thank you for reposting it Mitch. You’re so often able to clearly express what is truly important. I’m always inspired by and enjoy your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tcady5 says:


    Liked by 1 person

  4. toutparmoi says:

    Oh dear. The words “I’ll tell you what you need to know,” would have made me very cross indeed. Because, if I didn’t need to know, I wouldn’t have asked the question, would I? But I’m so glad you got through your dress rehearsal without the need to throw a temper tantrum at the withholding of information about you…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Great story. Isn’t it awesome how the Lord knew your journey through the valley of the shadow of death would help you face life? They say to really take on the challenges of life, it is good to have a somber respect of our mortality. As believers we are just passing through and we can, through Christ, put up with a lot of blahhhh, because this isn’t it.

    Thanks brother,


    Liked by 1 person

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