The summer has been a whirlwind, but these last few weeks have been crazier than ever. I have been busy wrapping up my career as Youth Director and finally retiring this week (with an amazing, powerful send off from our church). We have been busily doing all things to prepare for the start of school—orientation, registration, school forms, parking passes, school clothes shopping ,school supplies….and avoiding the fact that summer really ends for our family when the boys start school next week.
And amidst all that I got the news two weeks ago that that cancer had come back. Wow. Just plain Wow.
I had a scan that showed a suspicious “spot” on my lung and after further images and investigation from the doctors, it was diagnosed as a cancer recurrence and needed to come out. All I kept thinking about was Lady Macbeth sleepwalking through the night, saying “Out, damn spot!” and that was what my nights were composed of—wringing my hands and searching my heart, saying, “Out damn spot!” It was an anxious and difficult time—telling my kids, my family, my friends, and sharing the terrible news. Darn—I haven’t even been cancer free for a year yet! What’s up with that? And yet as I prayed and tried to wrap my head and heart around it, I came back to what I always come back to—it is how we RESPOND to our situations that affects our joy and our attitudes. I could have chosen to say “why me?” or “this is so unfair” or any other things, but I stuck to what I did when I heard the words the last time—“ I have cancer,Again!—let’s go get it.” That is not to say that I have had really rough moments. My stress level is high and my patience level is low. Little things eat me up and I feel completely out of control (which I am). But as I did before, we sat down as a family and talked about living each day at our best and at its fullest and making the most of every moment we have. Oddly enough, when I heard the news that it was cancer, and the doctor said that it was “treatable and curable” and said he was hopeful, it was a big relief with at least knowing. It is the waiting that is so hard. So, this last week I had to wait again in order to speak to the pulmonary/thoraxic surgeon. I met with her today and left with such a positive, uplifting feeling. She was straightforward and explained everything that she would do, how she would proceed, how my recovery would be and what to expect. Honestly, with all I have been through in the last year, this sounded like a walk in the park. (cliché I know).
The bottom line—within two-three weeks I will have surgery on my lung to remove the 8mm mass—based on the images there is nothing else detected anywhere. The surgery will be two hours (compared to 9.5 hours the first time) and recovery should be 2-5 days in the hospital (probably less). I won’t be able to lift or use my upper body for quite awhile, but I can run, spin, walk, and do whatever else I want as long as I am up for it. There may even be a possibility that I will NOT have to have chemotherapy—depending on what they find and what they take out.
So here we go friends, round two—not even one year since I had my first surgery to remove three tumors from two organs, I get to go under the knife again. I joke with my surgeons and tell them that I already have a “tic tac toe” grid on my torso, why not add another line to the game??? Would you please join me in praying to the God of the universe, the Great Healer, the one who spoke creation into existence, to eradicate this cancer from my body? Would you pray that this great Physician who loves us as His children and who knows us intimately, would take this from me?
I rest on His promises and and I will continue to live my life with joy and purpose, despite my circumstances. And I pray for each of you, that you would look at each problem, each obstacle that might seem overwhelming or insurmountable, and would you give it to the King?