Cancer x 3
My family has no history of cancer, but within the last several months I’ve gone from being at low risk for cancer to high risk. My mom and two of her sisters are currently suffering the devastation of breast cancer. The word “mastectomy” has gone from something I rarely ever think about to a word I feel I know much too well. If I were able to box right now, the thing I would visualize as I punched the bag with all my might would be c-a-n-c-e-r.
I’m currently in “Maginia” keeping my mom company as she recovers from surgery and prepares for a second surgery next week. Her older sister is six weeks out from her surgery, and her younger sister is about to undergo surgery as well. Although I trust God to take care of them and believe they are in good hands with their doctors, I still feel the horror of what they’re going through. My stomach is in knots, I lay down and feel like someone is shaking the bed, and the fear can be overwhelming at times. This really sucks.
My parents’ home is filled with healing Scriptures, encouraging cards, gifts, meals from the loving people at their church, and bottles of medicine. I know God is our healer, that He works all things together for our good, and that He holds our lives in His hands. I also know that sometimes the answer to our most faith-filled, desperate prayers is “no.” I’m thankful that the prognosis for all three of them is good and hopeful. I’m thankful that breast cancer research has discovered new drugs that treat both cancer and the side effects of those treatments. But still…
There’s sadness that comes with knowing a loved one is suffering and you are helpless in the face of their pain. There’s anger and frustration that comes from feeling helpless, from experiencing their hurt, and from hating what’s happening to their bodies. There’s fear that comes with the knowledge that they are fighting a disease that wants to claim their lives, fear that comes with knowing that same fight may be in your future too. There’s the roller-coaster of emotion that comes with seeing medical bills pile up and wondering when the stack will stop growing, how it will all be paid, and what sacrifices will have to be made.
And so for the millionth time this summer, I lift my hands and face to the sky. I beg God to help them all heal as quickly and painlessly as possible. I ask God to take all the emotions that are trying to overwhelm me, pray again for healing, peace, and provision. I submit my plans, my fears, my feelings, my agenda all over to Him, acknowledging once again that I trust Him and believe He is good. And then I fill her water cup once again, straighten up the room, and tell her it’s time to take another pill.
Lord, I will trust in You.
*As I’ve struggled with how to write about this topic, I realized that I can only write from my perspective. I cannot address any other aspect of this topic or provide details that are not mine to share. Feel free to share your own experiences or thoughts in the comments section. I welcome your feedback.