For anyone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with cancer, you need to understand a bit. When you ask us how we feel, the answer is complicated. Compared to you, I bet we feel awful. But, it’s been a really long time since we went felt truly healthy, so we’re accustomed to feeling junky. And in my case, I’m happy to be alive and cancer-free, so I respond based on my feelings that moment, not with how I feel compared to a year ago.
I have nerve damage all over my core. Some of it hurts, some is numb. My stomach hurts when I cough, laugh, reach or sometimes breathe. I have frequent headaches, a small amount of lymphadema, hot flashes, am winded from jogging to the mailbox, seem to be retaining weight big time, have difficulty breathing, and if you take my shirt off I look like…a cancer patient.
I don’t want to focus on these things. I can’t focus on them and focus on God too. I can’t focus on them and enjoy the moments with my children. So I could go through the rest of my life fearful of each ache and pain, losing sleep and getting weepy every time, or I can trust God. He has shown me He cares about me. He has shown me that love conquers all. I know that His grace is sufficient for me. That His power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9). In short, if you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll tell you I’m great. I am not lying. I am great because I am yoked with the Lord God Almighty, who bears my burdens.
I started having stomach pains a month ago. I had an ultrasound and learned I have one enlarged ovary and one with a mass. The mass is not a cyst. It was hard to learn this, and the more I thought about it the more anxious I got. Yaacov and I prayed about it and felt like this was our chance to respond to trials differently–better. So we used self-control. We shifted focus from the potential bad things to other things. We recognized how much the enemy would want to destroy us right now, emotionally and physically. God has had so many great things arise through this journey with cancer. So many things that shed light on the prince of this world, that destroy the hopelessness that the enemy causes.
I was selected to be the honoree for this year’s Card for a Cure campaign. That means a lot of press and opportunities to share what the Lord has done for me. What perfect timing for Satan to make it look like lies! Too bad for Satan, God gave me the peace that surpasses all understanding. I just saw Dr. Rassam and he told me it could be breast cancer (not very likely to have spread directly to there without a trail), ovarian cancer (statistically possible due to the BRCA 1 test, but not related to breast cancer, so the timing seems crazy to me), or nothing. I vote for nothing. We are in the process of scheduling my ovary removal and technically should know more then. However, I already am filled with all the knowledge I need: “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
We wait in peace. This time we’re not thinking about the worst case scenario. This time we’re not doubting that God knows best, or loves each member of my family. This will not be the last health challenge I run into, but gone are the days that my health ruins family vacations or hinders relationships. We choose Christ, because He chose us.