Below are some pictures from a fun visit to the The Wig Shoppe in January 2014. My sweet friends, Kathy Burnett and Melissa Rigney, and my daughter, Anna, went with me before I started chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.
I feel like I’m closing the cancer chapter in my life today. I had the port that was used for my chemotherapy treatments removed this morning. My surgeon said it was a day of celebration because the port is no longer needed!
With tears of gratitude, I heartily agreed with her. I completed my treatments 19 months ago and it is still hard for me to believe there is no sign of that aggressive cancer. I’m still in awe that I wasn’t nearly as sick as I could have or should have been taking the “Red Devil” chemotherapy. Nor, did I experience the extreme fatigue that is so common with thirty-five radiation treatments.
Yet, I still have so many unanswered questions. Did I learn all the lessons I needed to from my cancer journey? I feel happy and relieved it is over, yet cautious. This is why…
- I am humbled that my story has ended so well when so many times it does not for others.
Why am I so blessed to be basically done with the seemingly endless doctor appointments, treatments, and scans? Was it because I was a tough cookie? No. Was it due to my good diet and exercise? Although I did what I could, the answer would be, “No.” Is it because I had the most intelligent doctor who chose the best treatment? She was a good doctor, but I don’t think that is the answer either. Is it because I had faith to overcome? No. What little faith I have has been provided by God Himself because of His amazing grace.
Many others have had these same advantages and have had much different outcomes. I believe there are two reasons.
1) There were many precious saints of God, many who are reading this right now, who prayed for me. THANK YOU!!!!
2) Because my God, the creator of the universe, has work for me to do. Thank you, God, for giving purpose to my life!
In my mind, there are no other explanations.
- Once there is a cancer diagnosis, there is a chance of recurrence.
People ask me if I worry about the cancer recurring. I don’t worry about it, but every time I have a new ache I wonder if the cancer is back. I haven’t figured out a way around that one. Once there has been a cancer diagnosis, I wonder if one can ever completely not think about it. The doctor said as I get older I will naturally have more aches and pains, but pay attention to the ones that persist or worsen.
When I’m tempted to worry, I remind myself that my times are in God’s hands. (Psalm 31:15) At best, Job said in Job 8:9, we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow. God planned my days before I was born. Psalm 139:13-16 from The Message says it beautifully,
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God– you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration–what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.
My husband, David used to say, People feel sorry for you when you have cancer. But what they don’t seem to realize is, they could die before I do. Any of us could die suddenly in a car accident, with a stroke, massive heart attack, etc. at any time. No one is promised the next breath.
I don’t mean to be morbid, but it’s just a fact…. we aren’t getting out of this world alive, unless Jesus comes back to get us in our lifetime…which is very possible! Either way, wise is the person who plans for eternity. Everyone will live forever somewhere. Those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone will live forever in heaven with Him. Those who have not, will have to spend eternity in the lake of fire…a place where God never wanted or intended for His creation to go.
As I celebrate life today as a cancer survivor, I pray you can celebrate life as a child of God as you live out His plans and purpose for your life!
Keep seeking Him,