My Faith Building Journey of Surviving Cancer Twice…
The diamond chips in my ovarian cancer survivor bracelet twinkled under the lights in the mammography examining room. The technician shuffled back through the door after taking the initial pictures saying they needed to get another shot of my right breast—“Just to be sure.” I knew it wasn’t good.
I asked, “What are you seeing?”
“Just a little thickening. The doctor will be in to see you in a moment.”
“Would you ask my husband to come in here, please? He’s in the waiting room.”
“Yes, of course.”
“Yes, of course … ” This was not a matter “of course” to me. The technician dealt with “thickenings” everyday, but this was my life. Stunned is a mild word compared to the emotions I was experiencing as I sat in the cold plastic chair with my pink smock covering the “thickening.”
My husband opened the outer door and peered in. I motioned for him to enter the room. His eyes reflected his concern. “I don’t like being called in for a routine mammogram. This is too déjà vu. ”
I nodded. My thoughts lurched back seven years ago when I awoke in a room just down the hall from surgery to remove a mass from my right ovary. My husband had the same look in his eyes that he had today. Through the receding anesthesia I had managed to ask, “What did they find?”
“It doesn’t look good, Sweetie.”
I smiled at him and said, “Okay,” and went back to sleep. Peace—permeating, pervading, palatable peace—descended on me. I experienced no fear.
Ovarian cancer. The silent killer. A veritable death sentence, but mine was Stage One, had not spread. Almost unheard of.
The hole in the yawning revolving door from the diagnostic room opened with no sound and the geek-turned-into-a-professional-looking man approached me. I clutched the pink paper covering, that didn’t cover very well.
Not again, Lord. I heard the doctor speaking, but my spirit prayed. Why again? I don’t want to go around this mountain again.
We didn’t sleep much that night. The dread of another surgery, the possibility of chemo for a second time punctured my fitful dreams. I had recently signed with a literary agent who was excited about my historical novel that I had just finished. Why was this happening again?
Two surgeries and ten days later, the news was not all bad. The surgeon found two tumors in my right breast—one malignant, one benign. They removed both in a lumpectomy. Why have I had cancer twice? I still cannot answer that, but these things I do know:
God is good.
Nothing can separate me from his love.
God has a plan in the midst of pain and suffering.
There is no reason to let fear or doubt control me.
God is the ultimate healer.
Instead of whining “Why me?”—“Why not me?” may be more appropriate. I believe there is wisdom that we never attain without suffering or pain or a sense of helplessness—an identification with those who suffer which we never attain until we walk the same road. I am thankful for what I’ve learned and so grateful for my good health now. And I pray that I will never ever have to say once more, “Not again.”
I would LOVE to hear about the difficult road some of my readers have traveled in their own battles with cancer, and the faith that the Lord grew in you along the way. Please leave a comment, question, or an encouragement for others below.