Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thess 5:16-18
I’ve rarely mentioned faith in my blog but nothing has done more to get me through the past two years than my faith. At times when I’ve felt as if I’ve had nothing left, when I wasn’t sure how I could go on, this verse would give me Peace.
I’m a terribly shy, terribly independent person…..God knows this about me. One of the many blessings that I’ve had over the past two years was the blessing of being alone when I learned that I had cancer. Now, for most people, that would probably be the worst scenario but, in my case, it couldn’t have happened more perfectly for me. I was house-sitting for David and Lesley at the time and I went to the ER for what I suspected might be a reaction to a new medication. Everything checked out fine but a CT scan showed that I had “a mass” in my stomach. The ER doctor was kind, she didn’t want to alarm me, and my first response was “REALLY?? Wow!! Can I see the pictures?” I was advised to see my doctor when I got home but as I drove back to David and Lesley’s that night, as I laid in my bed in my room….I knew what this meant. I was alone…..but I was not alone.
God and I had a good long chat that night. He reminded me of a conversation that we’d had nearly 30 years ago when I desperately wanted to know the course my life should take. His answer then was brief, as it always is…..knowing just what to say so that I can move on. The message was basically, you’re on the right path, I’m here with you….don’t worry about “now”. In the middle of your life, I’ll give you something to do and it will involve writing…..but don’t worry about that right now….just stay on this path, I’m here, you’ll be fine. Now….this, in my experience, is pretty chatty for God and he really didn’t say all of that but He’s better at getting his point across than I am. So I went on with my life and forgot about this conversation….until that night in October.
I have been blessed with joy and with Peace throughout this journey. I wasn’t scared for one moment but instead I had this odd, child-like fascination with the adventure that was before me. And I wrote about that adventure. My blog began as a way to keep family and friends up-to-date about how I was doing. I was flooded with phone calls and e-mails when news of my diagnosis first came out. The outpouring of love and support meant the world to me but it was exhausting at the same time. Blogging was the perfect way to stay connected but, at the same time, get the rest that I needed and focus on getting well. My blog grew to be a way to connect with other cancer patients around the world and through my blog I’ve had a chance to help so many others who have faced cancer, who have faced chemo, who have faced their own fears. I’ve tried to be very open and honest about my own experience and if I was constipated, if I was having hot flashes, if I was struggling in any way, I let you know. For those going through an experience like this, there is great comfort in knowing that someone else knows what you’re going through.
I prayed that night in October, two years ago. I asked that, if I must do this, that He would help me to do it well. Let me be an example for my daughters, I prayed. Marie’s best friend had lost her mother to ovarian cancer during her senior year of high school and Amanda had just begun her senior year of high school. Above all, I wanted to be strong for them, to be an example, to live my faith. I had lessons to learn from this experience and they would have lessons to learn, too. I am stronger for this and I think that they are, too.
Thanks be to God!