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Posted on Aug 30, 2012 in Wisdom | 8 comments

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.

8 Comments

  1. I have no words but that I share in your hate for cancer. I’m frustrated and tired of hearing of so many who must ride this roller-coaster they’ve never purchased a ticket for. I love you friend and hold you and your family close in thought and prayer.

    Dear Almighty God, Are You not stronger than this plague? Yes You are! Thank You for healing because You are able and willing. Jesus paid it all, therefore we hand it over. Amen!

    ((HUGS))

    • Thank you, Shannan. I really appreciate your prayers and support.

  2. Hey Kim,

    I’ve been wanting to say something about this for a while now but didn’t want to bring it up until you did. I wasn’t sure how private this news was or if you were ok talking about it. 🙂

    Drew’s youngest sister, Julie, has been seriously ill off and on for the past few years with an undiagnosed neurological problem. She cycles between being well enough to stay home (and even work part-time occasionally) and spending weeks in the hospital.

    Her symptoms actually started many years ago but over the last year or two they seem to be getting worse and lasting longer. Because the doctors haven’t been able to diagnose her yet we don’t know what the future holds.

    It’s not the same thing as cancer, of course, but I know how scary it is to see someone you love suffering.

    Anyway, you’re in my thoughts and I hope all of our relatives respond well to their treatments. I also wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. I know I feel very alone sometimes but there are so many families out there dealing with serious health issues.

    L

    • Thank you for that, Lydia. I had no idea about Drew’s sister. Whatever the suffering, it is a terrible thing. Seeing someone you love suffer and being helpless to fix it is excrutiating. We’re both now in the same boat with the family history of breast cancer and I hope you’ll be proactive about it. I’ll be starting yearly testing as soon as the baby is born. 🙁

  3. Yes, I will be keeping on top of it! I think our family has had enough cancer for a few generations. 🙂

  4. Kimberly,
    You have expressed in words what I experienced when serving as primary care giver for my dad while he was suffering with cancer. Oh that I had been able to vent my fears, questions and feelings during that time. I knew that the Lord was there for my dad and all of us but somehow was just not able to express the battle of heart and mind that I was wrestling with.
    God has blessed you with the ability to put words to life experiences that touch us all. May the Lord strengthen you through this and may you be assured that you are helping many others as they deal with similar situations.
    You and your family are in our prayers as you care for your Mother and she and her sisters are in our prayers for God’s complete healing touch.
    Carol

    • Thank you, Carol. Your comment has really blessed me this morning. I was hesitant to express my fears, questions, and feelings in such a public way, but now I feel thankful that I did. It’s a hard line to walk, not knowing how your words will be received or knowing if they are worth sharing. I’m so thankful for your prayers.

  5. Dear Kimberly,
    I am not sure what my kitchen has to do with your mom, but I think I’ve walked into it praying for her at least three times today! Praying for you too!
    Love,
    Jenn

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