Friday, July 20, 2007
So, today I received news that was somewhat expected but nonetheless shocking. You want to believe it's not true no matter how much you know it very well could be, and then when you are told that it is in fact true, everything changes. Your worst fears become solid realities. Your nightmares become real, and the only thing you can do is face it head on and go forward.
I am not happy to be the home to an extremely rare type of cancer, but I am glad to have some answers to why I have been so sick and in so much pain. I am grateful that I have a doctor who listened to me when I told him I was in pain, took steps to find out what was causing that pain, then went further to put me into the hands of those who may be better skilled in dealing with the type of cancer I have. There is something wonderful to be said for skilled professionals who are not afraid to admit when they are in over their heads. I could hear the remorse in his voice when he said, "I have more questions than answers at this point." I deeply appreciated his candor in that moment. He will forever have my admiration for uttering that simple sentence.
I am grateful for the way God's hand has moved in this since the beginning. He allowed me to experience the intense pain of an internal hernia so I would go to the ER and get a ct scan, allowing the doctors to find the tumor growing on my kidney. At the time I fell ill, I was employed by a non-profit organization that was all too familiar with the struggles people face when they do not have health insurance, so they paid for me to have another month of health insurance after I left my job so I would not have to worry about the cost of follow up visits with my surgeons. As time went on and my recovery did not seem to be going as smoothly as expected, the surgeon God chose for me (and I do believe it was God's choosing, because he has been a remarkably compassionate doctor through all of this) paid attention to my complaints when I told him of the pain I was in, and ordered the ct scan, which found the enlarged lymph nodes, which lead to the biopsy, which lead to the discovery of another carcinoid tumor, which lead to the doctor's conclusion that this is bigger than we first thought and we need the skill and expertise of those who specialize in these things to handle this case. I do not believe God has brought me safe thus far only to let me die a miserable death as cancer eats me alive. I believe He is going to see me safely through this next phase of the journey, and wonderful things are waiting for me on the other side of this.
Still, I have my moments. Painful moments. Moments when I am so very tired. So weary. So sick. Frustrated. Angry. Going crazy because I have pain that just does not go away and interferes with even the most basic elements of living. Yet...I choose to trust God and His plan in this. I have been through a lot, and I have more yet to go through, but I do not walk through this alone.
My precious little niece reminded me this evening of that truth. We were talking about thunder being like the voice of God. Then she said to me, "And there were angels in the fire."
Yes, dear one, there are angels in the fire with us. God never forsakes us, and He gives us "angels in the fire"...our friends, our families, kind strangers who do not realize how their kindness has so blessed us...His holy messengers, sent by Him to allow us to stand in these flames with our souls unscathed. We are never alone. God never leaves us to fight these battles alone.
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