It’s been a while since our last conversation. I apologize for my absence, but I have been hesitant to write until I had inspiration and purpose. I have been “cancer free” and free of chemo for 4 months now. I had my first 3-month oncology follow-up and everything looks good. My tumor markers are well within normal range and there are no physical indications that any disease remains. I am very grateful for this. My 6-month follow-up will be in December.
I even have hair! People have stopped asking “are you still in treatment” and are now complimenting me on my “haircut”. It feels good to look a little less like a cancer patient every day. I actually needed my stylist to give me a full-head haircut this past weekend and not just an “edge up”. It was exciting!
It is hard to think about what I’ve been through over the last 8 months. A few weeks ago, I paused to think back on my journey and I cried. I cried tears of joy and pain and sadness. I somehow find it hard to believe that I had cancer. I suppose in my “freedom” I have distanced myself from the experience. The emotions I have experienced have been unexpected. On the last day of chemo, I cried. The tears were not joyful. The burden of going through chemo was being lifted, but what was I supposed to do next? Port accesses and IV bags had become my existence. The nurses congratulated me and gave me a t-shirt to celebrate my last treatment. My body was so tired and I felt awful, so I didn’t want to celebrate. I looked around at all the other infusion chairs filled with people still fighting . Being happy just seemed out of place. Cancer sucks.
I returned to work full-time less than 2 weeks after my last infusion…ready or not. My energy level is good now and I am working full time like usual. Life has become “normal” again. This is a good thing…and a bad thing. In my weakness of chemo and sickness, I depended on God on a minute-by-minute basis. In my regained health, I am depending on Him less and less every day. I have found myself praying to remember how it felt to need Him so desperately. To once again cry out in silence for His comfort and strength. In those moments when I thought I couldn’t keep going, that’s when I saw Him so clearly and felt His presence in a very real way. Oh, how I miss that. I don’t miss the sickness and I never again want to be in a position where surrender is my only choice. I want to choose to surrender every day to be consumed by Him…in joy, in peace, in stress, in anxiety, in worry, in sickness and in health.
Rewind to my first blog post when I wasn’t sure why God allowed cancer to happen to me…I know now. It wasn’t for others to see me “fight the good fight” (although I believe he used my journey to speak to others). It was for ME. He used the journey through cancer to draw me closer to Him. You would think that you get the best view of God from the mountain top, right?…where the air is clear and life is wonderful. I’ve been on the mountain top before and I can tell you that I never saw God more clearly than I did laying on the floor of the valley.
My challenge to you is this…
DON’T WAIT FOR THE VALLEY TO DEPEND ON GOD! Seek Him, know Him, love Him, choose Him..NOW!