Sunday, 19 November 2017
It's never easy to tell someone that they have cancer.
That's what the thoracic surgeon said.
I wanted to assure him in that moment, it wasn't easy to hear it, either. The overnight thirteen hour episode that had led up to that point had been the strangest, most frightening, and surreal thing I had ever experienced. The hardest part though, was that he was talking about me, and not someone else who I didn't know real well. Some distant figure or face, that I could feel both sadness and fear for, but ultimately brush aside.
It was me.
And what he was telling me, that from this moment on, and for the foreseeable future, your life will be totally and completely on hold, stopped, upside down, something that you can't yet understand. He was right. It hasn't been the same since.
It was like the darkness had found me. Swirling around and closing in over my head, too far to reach and if it was up to me, on my own I would have drowned, right then and there. But somewhere in the chaos of that moment, as quiet and steady as a deep, unknowable river I knew that Jesus was with me, and in fact he hadn't left me.
He heard me cry, wail actually, and he was there.
He heard me deny, and get angry, and then cry again. He's heard me each time over the past week and a half, whenever fear, doubt, anxiety crept into my voice, or fell in tears down my cheeks. But I am with you.
I have heard him speak,
I know he is.
I can see it over and over and over.
The lymph node in my thigh that went crazy, swelled up and got painful, which isn't typical - and is ultimately what sent us to emergency.
My kind neighbor who came over in the middle of the night, the instant we called to be with the kids.
The very careful doctor who insisted on an x-ray, and the radiologist who pointed out the problem.
The fast acting system that had me in a CT scan that very morning.
My sweet sisters who I woke at the very break of day, and who jumped into action, collecting our kids, taking them where they needed to go. Providing a home for them, a piece of normalcy that was a huge interruption to their day. Bringing me the things I needed, thinking through what I might need, and anticipating my needs perfectly.
My parents who were on the road immediately, and on their way to help.
To each Doctor, Nurse, and care provider that I have encountered over the last week and a half. Their ability to give strength and encouragement, and even to help me to laugh.
My husband who has been at my side for each and every minute, hour and attempt at putting an IV in my arm with his calm, warm and gentle way.
In these instances and so many more, I see Jesus with me. This is something I am learning today, and will likely know more as the days carry on. God does not promise us a pain-free life, but what he does promise is that he will walk with us through every thing that we encounter good, bad or cancer. That I can tell you, is true. The Doctors believe that I have Lymphoma, and we continue to walk and wait to hear what the next steps will be, and whatever they are I know that they will be with Him.
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