Last night, as I was reading through some postings on another site, my heart suddenly froze. Oh no, not again. I read through the post carefully again and then let my eyes drop to the signature at the bottom of the page. It was a post written by a woman who recently had celebrated her second year of being cancer-free. Her prognosis had been good. Her cancer was detected early and although it was outside of the milk duct, the tumor was quite small (1.1 cm). She had no lymph node involvement. Given that as well as the size, and type of tumor she had, her cancer was stage one. In fact, she opted to just have surgery and skip chemo. She also opted to do mammosite instead of traditional radiation treatment. That's a procedure which involves five days of radiation instead of 33 days and can be done if a tumor is less than 2.0 cm. I was ineligible for this procedure as my tumor was 3.5 cm.
All of her follow up exams were fine. She even went on a missions trip to Ghana last summer even though there was a pain which had developed in her lower back that would not go away.
This past week she found out what the pain was. She had fractured the lower part of her spine. The culprit was a tumor. It's cancer. It had slipped undetected into her spine and now she is stage 4. Advanced breast cancer.
She's hopeful. Women have been known to live for years with stage 4 cancer, particularly if it is bone mets. She's also a Christ-follower. She doesn't know what the future holds for her on this earth but she does know who holds her future and she does know who holds her. I praise God for that but it is still hard.
You want to look at God accusingly and say, "Where were you?" "How could you?" "I don't understand?"
Mary and Martha had those same questions for Jesus. They sent for him when their brother was seriously ill. He didn't come. Lazarus dies and is buried. Jesus waits two more days before heading for Bethany. When he arrives, Lazarus has been dead for four days.
An interesting thing then takes place. The Bible tells us that Jesus wept. John 11:35. The God of the Universe, The Alpha and The Omega, The Resurrection and The Life, The Lord God Almighty...wept. A glorious miracle was about to take place. Death was about to flee in the face of Life, mourning was about to be turned into dancing and yet...Jesus still wept. Jesus cares and he understands how we feel when we're confused, afraid and broken-hearted. Sometimes we think that as a Christian we're not supposed to have those feelings. Nothing could be further from the truth! God made us to feel. However, as a Christian we must not let our feelings rule over us rather we must trust God and allow him to rule over us.
I do not know what the future holds for the woman who now has stage four cancer. I do not know what the future holds for myself or anyone of us. However, I do know who holds the future and I need to remember that even when I don't understand, God understands.
What a great testimony to our God's ability to heal. Yet, the question persists; why one is healed and another is not? I don't believe any of us mortals know the answer, all we can do is praise God and continue to love God regardless of what His will ends up being.
This whole topic is really one of the toughest to understand of all. The questions of "fairness" and "why/why not" reach beyond the grasp of our finite minds, yet we all crave to know. My heart goes out to all who have faced, are facing and are yet to face the nemesis of cancer. Of all the afflictions, none is so difficult to understand the why's and wherefore's of than it. I will continue to pray for all who are in any way affected by any form of cancer. That is all any of us can do.
Thank You for sharing. You are so close to the battle field. It is like you have such an appreciation for life. Me I'm not so sure I would be so strong. I may want to give into the desire to be with our Lord and give up on life as we know it. The things you have described in some of your writings has brought tears to my eyes. One thing I have noticed is that you are such an inspiration to everyone who knows you. Your attitude and positive outlook on the here and now and then again on what we have to look forward to, enlightens us.
May our Lord continue to Bless us with your writings.
I'm sure on some level this was a blow to you, though you do not say so.
One day at a time, give us this day our daily bread.
And we do know who is in control.Gracie
Praise God! Not too long ago, another woman on that same board had all of the spots on her liver and ribs disappear completely. She never did hear what explanation was being given for it if any. She was too busy praising God.
May God continue to restore your wife's health and may He bless and strengthen both of you. It's a tough battle but our God is mighty to save! Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
As always, thank you for your prayers and your words of encouragement.
Albert Bunyea (@Bubbavela),
Thank you for your kind comments. While you may not think you are strong enough to endure something, our God gives us exactly what we need when we need it and not before. Corrie Ten Boom talked about this with her father when she was a young girl. He explained it to her using the analogy of a train ticket. When do I give you your train ticket? When it's time to get on the train.
While it would be easier to just say, "Take me home, God." it would be wrong to stop laboring/fighting when God has not given the okay. It sort of overwhelms me to think God still uses me wherever I'm at in life and that is true for all of us...if we just let him do it.
You are so right. I do admire you. I understand why God has not handed over your ticket, its cause so many of us are following you to the station and He doesn't want us to get lost.
Thanks for your guidence.
Mona Smith (@Gracie),
Thank you. Yes, it was. It's amazing how quickly my thoughts turned from poor her to what about me? The enemy started to try to jab at me with the same old predictable junk. Her tumor was smaller than yours and look what happened. Her margins were clear and lymph nodes were negative just like yours but it still came back. She's a Christian also and look where it got her. Of course, the enemy is very, very selective. Absolutely nothing was mentioned that she declined chemo and hormone inhibitors and used an experimental radiation treatment which is still in question. Oh no. The enemy conveniently forgot to mention those little details.
Fortunately, I'm married to a man who loves God with all of his heart who reminded me of those little details as well. He also reminded me that nothing can happen to me outside of God's plan so I'll be just fine...no matter what
My friend is just starting down the road of chemo after a diagnosis of breast cancer, and with tears streaming as I read this , I am thankful that although she does not know her future either, she knows the one who holds it.
Yes, I am witnessing my mother as her cancer has returned so quickly. One tumor was blocking her tube from her kidney to her bladder and chemo starts again, after Thanksgiving. But they cannot start the chemo unless that tumor is no longer blocking the tube, because kidney function is so very important. So a CT scan today and to top things off she has a really bad cold. I don't question God, I trust Him, I look to Him to give me the strength as I care for her once again. I truly believe with all my heart that God is the only giver and taker of life, and though we don't like it, we must bear it and trust Him through the pain. My prayers go out to this woman, to you and my mom. This cancer is am insidious disease and I hate it. But it is an opportunity for me to share the love of Christ with my mom. It is not easy to be on my end, and I struggle, but God is faithful!
Andrea Lynn (@allforhim),
I thought about your mom as I wrote this. I remember when you wrote about her being able to go home again and it gave me such hope. I remember when you wrote about her recurrence and my heart broke. I am praying for both of you. May she only see Christ in you and come to know him and love him as you do. May God heal and strengthen both of you as you travel this dark path hand in hand...with him (and many of us here) at your side.