The Cancer Journey : Continuing in Faith
Reposted from denisetam.webs.com March 22, 2012 My heartbeat followed the numbers on the screen. The higher the number the faster my heart pounded. The numbers always started high (8’s and 9's) and would adjust itself as the computer calculated the size of each tumor when the doctor glided the ultrasound wand over my abdomen. The size of each tumor thankfully rested on a lower number (2's, 3's and 4's), while my heartbeat followed suit but I was always left in a state of wonder.
I wondered if it had grown, if it had shrunk, if it was new. I wondered what the doctor was thinking, his face unreadable, as he focused hard on the monitor and asked me to take deep breaths each time he took a photo (screenshot) of what was inside me.
Lately I've been surrounded by many friends who are either pregnant or new moms, and I've been blessed to be able to share the joy and excitement of watching their baby grow in and outside of them. We would 'awww' and 'oooo' at the photos of the little one after each photo shoot otherwise known as an ultrasound and be amazed at God's beautiful way of creating life. I've always wanted to be a mother. Of my friends I've always been the motherly one, taking the extra care or talking sense (surprising as it may be to some of you) when they needed it.
My photo shoot though drastically different in circumstances is no different than the photo shoots some of my friends have gone through as of late. They can see their baby just like I can see my tumor cells, and they can monitor its change just like how my doctor monitors my cancer. One may be a baby and the other may be cancer but we're all at the hands of God when it comes to the condition of the ‘thing’ that is inside of us. Of course we do what we can to either give our baby the nutrients it needs to grow healthily or vice versa starve the cancer cells from the nutrients it needs (mainly sugar) so it dies. But when it really boils down to it, we can only have faith that God will take care of whatever is inside of us- good or bad.
In the past month, after recovering from my surgery, battling a stomach bug two days after surgery and stress from work that was too much for even my high strung self to handle, I've come to fully accept my cancer. Previously I accepted my diagnosis but never really thought about accepting it as part of my life- permanently.
The explanation for my first diagnosis was simple- it was to bring me back to God, my creator and my Father that has always watched over me despite my absence in our one way relationship. But I never quite understood my second diagnosis and perhaps it's not for me to understand, at least not on this side of heaven. All I know is that life, the relationships in my life, and how I live my life is what matters most. The cancer is a mere thorn in my flesh as Paul puts it, to keep me dependent on the One that is ultimately in control. Since this epiphany (yes I may be slow), I’ve come to truly experience peace and joy that also manages to seep into other arduous areas of my life.
This doesn't mean I don't want or need to be healed. It simply means I want to continue living my life without being consumed by this thorn. To live with faith that whatever 'happens' is in His good plans. And to choose to focus on the things that truly matter most.
After all this time of growing up in a Christian home, attending Christian school, life changing mission trips, serving in the church...I'm finally learning what "we live by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7) truly entails.
The scan yesterday was difficult. It was difficult to see the tumors that are evidently still there, it was difficult to see the numbers that appeared on the screen that marked the various sizes. Difficult as it may be, I continue in faith AND joy no matter what the results are come April.
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs that keeps me dancing and happy. Enjoy