‘Every time the needle pierced my skin, I stared at the ceiling, trying to stay breathing and conscious. My wait for results was unbearably long. Then, I announced, ‘We’re adopting a piano!’: Cancer patient says, ‘I didn’t have control, but I did have a piano’

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“In the summer of 2016, I adopted a huge piano. I really didn’t have the space for it, or any real plan as to how I’d get it into our house.

You can file this under: Stress-Induced Questionable Decisions

That time of my life was fear-filled and uncertain. Similar to how some of us may be feeling now.

In the early weeks of June 2016, I lay flat and excruciatingly still on a hospital bed while an ultrasound tech and endocrinologist painstakingly took four samples from my neck. Every time the needle pierced my skin, I stared at the ceiling, fixed on one tiny spot in an attempt to keep myself breathing and conscious.

My wait for results was unbearably long. Under normal circumstances, biopsies can take a while. But it was summer, and my doctor was going on vacation. Instead of 3-4 days, I’d have to wait 10.

It was excruciating. Some days it felt like time stood still. Not a single minute had passed. I was a walking, talking Schrödinger’s cat. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. I was filled with fear and uncertainty. Nothing felt in my control. I cried a lot.

Courtesy of Melanie Forstall

I woke up one morning with the feeling that we needed a piano in our life. Our family needed a piano! I must have wished it right into the universe because as fate would have it, someone in our neighborhood was getting rid of one. At 8:30 a.m. that morning, I announced to Brian that we were adopting a piano. Immediately.

It’s important to have people in your life who help make your dreams come true. It’s important to have people who are committed to your dreams simply because they know it’s what will make you happy. Brian had no investment in this piano except that I wanted it.

Have you ever tried to move a piano? Of course not because regular people don’t do such a ridiculous thing. You know who moves pianos? PIANO MOVERS.

Brian summoned the help of every male over 18 within a three-block radius. He enlisted the help of a neighbor who had a trailer. They pushed, they pulled, they heaved, they hoed. Not a single complaint or sigh was uttered.

My results came back and I did, in fact have cancer. I thought I’d feel better, more in control once I had my results, but I didn’t. Control is a fallacy.

I didn’t have control, but I did have a piano! A piano that undoubtedly served as a very bright spot during a very dark time my life.

The piano sparked my son’s musical interest and creativity. He has told me on more than one occasion that his mind ‘runs free’ when he’s playing. He’s created his own work and learned traditional songs. He’s performed in front of hundreds of people on a cruise ship talent show.

Courtesy of Melanie Forstall

Sure, our piano is old and has a few busted keys. It’s beautiful to look at but remains always slightly out of tune. It’s imperfect, but perfect all at the same time.

It has opened up a whole new world for our son. It was the centerpiece of one of the most selfless acts my husband has demonstrated throughout our marriage.

Proof, yet again, that sometimes the greatest gifts of our lives can come from the worst of times. Beautifully bright things can and do come from very dark places.”

Courtesy of Melanie Forstall

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Melanie Forstall, 45, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You can follow her journey on Instagram here and Facebook here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Melanie:

‘I saw a young teen publicly thanked his parents. ‘Thank you for giving me everything I want.’: Mom says ‘we have to learn not everything in life goes our way’

‘My friend started her period. I was so jealous, I could barely talk with her about it. I wore my mom’s pantie liners. Somehow it made me feel better.’: Mom says she will tell her kids things

‘I feel something.’ Not a single OBGYN had ever touched me above the shoulders. Now I am different.’: Woman diagnosed with thyroid cancer after switching doctors, ‘I panicked’

‘What’s that?’ I grumbled. ‘Your dad bought you things while you were in surgery.’: Woman diagnosed with thyroid cancer learns important lessons from father through poignant gifts

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