Looking Back To Look Ahead

On December 3, 2007 I opened up an email that said I could view a recent test result that had just posted. I remembered that I had just had a recent routine mammogram so I followed the link, logged in and read these words:

"There is evidence of a spiculated mass in the upper central portion of the left breast with possible satellite lesion."

One should never get that sort of information via the internet. Whoever thought/thinks that was/is a good idea was/is wrong!

My husband had already left for work and I had been about to head out the door before I got the bright idea to check my email first. I sat stunned and alone. I remember thinking numbly that we had just celebrated my 47th birthday a few days before. Would I celebrate another one?

There were phone calls to make, first to my husband and then to the clinic. There were 25 second graders to teach. Life had come to a screeching halt in one respect and yet I had to face the day as if it was an ordinary day.

Eleven years have now passed since that day. I had Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I would go through dose-dense chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation. I would experience a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured brain aneurysm just two years later that would leave me with more residual side-effects than cancer treatment ever did and yet I view these past 11 years as God's gift to me.

They have not been easy years. I watched my son get married and watched that marriage explode and end in divorce. I watched him struggle to rebuild his life and eventually remarry. I stood in NICU and prayed when his son was born at 31 weeks. Oh, he was so tiny that I was terrified when I first changed his diaper but that tiny little fellow is now a happy, healthy two year old! 

I held my husband and prayed when he unexpectedly lost his job of 27 years a year after my brain aneurysm. God reminded me of that day, less than a year before when I had cried out in despair wondering why He had allowed me to live. As I held up my husband, keeping him from collapsing to the floor in fear and despair, God told me this one of the reasons why.

They have not been easy years but oh, they have been blessed years. I have held six grandchildren in my arms. Four of them are "honorary" meaning their dad and mom have asked me and my husband to be "grandparents" to their children. They bring so much love and laughter into my life! 

I have watched God provide for my husband and myself in an amazing way during the 13 months he was unemployed. In addition to that, God provided the means for him to go through graduate school and get his Master of Divinity which he has always wanted to do. He received his Mdiv in the spring of 2017 and he did so debt-free. 

I am now on disability due to the brain aneurysm but I have met so many wonderful people during this time, strengthened old friendships and done things I never thought I would be able to do. 

Is cancer a good thing? No! It is not! But GOD is!