The word “cancer” can strike fear in your heart. Recently, my daughter was telling me about a lady who just learned she has the same type of aggressive breast cancer that I had (Triple Negative). She said, “Mom, I’m sure glad we’re over that!” I told her I would never be “over” it. There are follow up doctor visits and although I don’t worry about the cancer recurring, it is always in the back of my mind.
I’m sitting in the oncology waiting room as I write this. As my eyes scan the room, I feel out of place and am disturbed. It is obvious there are some very sick people here. After multiple visits and four years later, it is still surreal.
I’ve had a chest x-ray and blood drawn. I’m waiting to see the doctor and hear the test results. Even when I received the cancer diagnosis, I did not have any symptoms except for a pea-size lump. Now, after all the chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, my body feels the same. Because I feel physically fine, it doesn’t make sense to me that the doctor can either give me a clean bill of health or report that the cancer has returned.
How is one to cope with this? My husband used to say, “People feel sorry for me because they know I don’t have much longer to live. They don’t seem to realize they could die before I do. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I’m just more aware of it.” We may think we have a measure of control in this life, but we don’t. We couldn’t take our next breath but for the grace of God. But don’t let this scare you! Our times are in God’s very capable hands. He is a good, good Father and loves us very much. We can rest in Him and trust His best for us as we walk closely with Him. Cancer doesn’t scare God and we don’t have to let it scare us.
There are much worse things than cancer. People who live selfishly to obtain things in this life have the worst disease of all! They are missing out on real joy-filled living. I can’t imagine even getting out of bed in the morning if I did not have the love of Jesus in my heart and the assurance that His peace, grace, and mercy would cover me through the day.
Every time I come to this waiting room, so many questions flood my mind…Why did God bring me through the cancer journey basically unscathed? Why would God choose to give me more opportunities to serve Him, when I fail Him so miserably every day? Why was I spared when so many of my cancer friends were not?
As I walk by the treatment room, I would rather look away and forget, but I feel obliged to absorb the scene. I need to remember the uncertainty and fear I experienced while sitting in those chairs receiving poison in my veins. Do these people know the peace only Jesus can give during this most gut-wrenching time of their lives? They need my empathy and my prayers.
After all the questions, my conclusion is always the same… I don’t know. This is what I do know….
- God is always good.
- His way is perfect.
- He will walk through every valley with me.
- He is God and I am not.
- I can trust Him.
I know I will come face to face with God one day and thank Him for using cancer to remove some of the fog of materialism and vain distractions from my heart so His purposes for my life could be more clearly seen and accomplished.
So with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart, I am thanking God for leaving me here to witness my last homeschooler (Nathan) graduate high school, Abigail receive her college diploma, Anna and Bethany marry their awesome husbands, and for having the privilege of enjoying my little grandson, Destin. And I could go on and on.
With a broad smile on her face, my sweet doctor just reported that my tests results were great! If my life ended today, I’ve been far more blessed than I’ll ever deserve. It thrills me to know I’ll have all eternity to thank and worship my Lord and Savior for daily showering me with His gifts!
No, we don’t have to be afraid of cancer. We have a mighty God. If we know Him and find our life coming to an end here, we have a much better place to go where we will live like never before! We can enjoy the presence of God for all eternity. Don’t let cancer scare you. It can be a gift in disguise!
Keep looking up,