Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And There Came A Lion

I am 35 years old. I lost my mother to suicide when I was nine. Lost two of my children before I was 30. Now, I face a battle against a beast called melanoma. Sometimes I look at my life and I think what on EARTH?! It hardly seems fair. (I hear my dad's voice in my teenage ears saying "Life isn't fair" as I type that.) I often find myself thinking of how I'd love to live a normal life. I'd love to know a little about that place called "Easy Street", and then I think of how God has used the hurt, the pain, and the heartache, and the beauty and growth that has come from every difficult circumstance. If not for those hardships, I would not be who I am today. Through each of these trials, I've grown closer to the Lord, I've felt his presence and though the scars remain, purpose has come from every pain and every scar has a beautiful story to tell.

This cancer thing is no different. It is a beast. I have been thinking of this beast as the lion and I pray I can bring glory to God the way Daniel did. (maybe minus the murder, adultery and other general awfulness) Daniel faced many beasts but had they not come into his life he likely never would have become the king of Israel. Each beast was an opportunity for Daniel.

Friday evening we got great news. NO cancer was found in my lymph nodes and the pathology report showed clear margins meaning they were able to cut the melanoma entirely out. I was so overwhelmingly grateful for that news. It is the best news I could have hoped for. I cried tears of joy and will continue to thank God with every breath I take. This fight is far from over. A quick internet search will tell you that once you have melanoma...the fight is is a deadly and sneaky cancer that often comes back.

Melanoma entered my life and it will likely be a part of my life for the rest of it here on earth. I am going to choose to see it as an opportunity, an opportunity that I will NOT waste. It has been a month since my diagnosis. That month has awakened me, grown me and changed me in ways I could never have imagined. It has continued the process of refining me and keeping my eyes focused upward.

Cancer is an opportunity. I can't say I am glad I have it, at least not yet, but I won't waste it and I won't waste a minute of my life whining or feeling sorry for myself. I have a life full of blessings and people who love me and I have NO doubt God will bring good from all of this.

Tomorrow, I head back to the Cleveland Clinic to meet with my surgeon and consult with an oncologist to see what the plan will be to stay ahead of Mr. Melanoma. I'd love your prayers for those doctors, for my kids who will be shuffled around yet again and for my heart to remain steadfast and KNOW that He holds the future and GOOD things are in store.

Thanks for walking this journey with me. I am so grateful for the love and support we've received.

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6


She said...

Have you read John Piper's "Don't Waste Your Cancer"?

Sounds like something you might be interested in!

So happy you had clear margins! :D

Maryellen said...

Awesome Attitude - you've already won !

Lori said...

So different....but so similar in many respects. Lifting you prayer as you fight. xoxoxo