It’s official – I’m in remission. I found out on Tuesday, but have been waiting for my doctor to call and tell me the radiologist read the wrong scan. Actually, he read the right one because, of course, it showed an anomaly. So I’m off for yet another scan this coming Friday. While I’m sure the spot on my vertebrae is nothing more than a remnant of an old back injury, it’s tough to shake that evil little voice.
When you find out you have cancer, you suddenly become Atlas. You carry the weight of the diagnosis on your shoulders. While I found I was able to gain a sense of peace about my own mortality, I did not want to leave my husband or children under any circumstances. In fact, my prayers often focused on them rather than myself. It still seems selfish to pray for myself, unless I’m seeking what God wants to teach me or how He wants to use me through this experience. I know I had a whole brigade of prayer warriors behind me and that may be why I never felt the need pray for myself. I carried my fears, and those of my family, on my shoulders. This is probably why I have a bone spot on my spine!
Eight months ago, shortly after the mass was found, I imagined myself with Jesus on the beach, just like the “Footprints” poem. I was in a panic begging Him to heal me. I had two boys who needed their Mom. I couldn’t put my own Mom through the stress. What about John’s job? What would happen to the house? Eventually Jesus got me to sit down next to him on the beach and watch the waves. He built a fire and we sat. I still asked Him to heal me, but he just smiled. He promised to be with me, no matter what happened. And while I still was scared, I knew God had the situation in hand.
Looking back, I know He did. In retrospect, I realized that if He’d healed me, I would still have had the blood clots in my leg. The clot that broke loose and traveled to my lung so the recovery room staff and surgeon could take immediate action. And one of the top vascular surgeons in the city “just happened” to be in the hospital to oversee my care. Had I been healed of the tumor, the clot would have not doubt broken off and I could have died at home. God knows so much better than I do and sometimes I need a 2×4 to the head to remember that. I would have preferred to skip the whole chemo thing, but God has plans for that experience as well.
The clean scan lifted the weight from my shoulders. It could have been lifted a lot sooner if I would have let it. Now I stand a little straighter and step a little lighter knowing that the cancer is gone. Jesus has put out the small campfire on the beach and asked me to start walking with him again. As we start off on our journey, I sincerely hope I remember what I’ve learned. Life is not a path meant to be walked alone or even with family and friends. It’s meant to be walked with the One Who Knows All. I’ve have learned so much so far. There was a time I would have been afraid to find out what God had planned for me. Now I can’t wait to see how He wants to use my experience. It’s time to get outta’ here and see what God has in store.