Cancer – post surgery

Last Friday was the best and worst day. It was an Ecclesiastes 3 day. It was a day of fear and a day of hope. It was a day of darkness and light. I cried to God in anger and offered prayers of thanksgiving.

It is amazing how our lives can change in an instant. Shortly after 4 PM last Friday the doctor called me into a private waiting room. I instantly went into worst case scenario mode. Why does he have to talk to me privately? In an instant my mood went from fear to joy. The doctors tested her lymph nodes and the results were negative for cancer. They removed two masses and are 95% sure they got everything. We still need to wait a week to get the final pathology, but everything is pointing in the right direction.

There are still 6-8 weeks of radiation and it will be 5 years before Rita can be declared cancer free. But the outlook is good.

The last couple of months has been an important reminder to our family. Quite simply we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Life can go from wonderful to a disaster in an instant. Matthew 5-7, Jesus’ sermon on the mountain, has always been an important passage for me. It has shaped how I understand and live out my faith. I do not think I ever fully understood the “do not worry” section in Matthew 6:25-34 until Rita was diagnosed with cancer. All I could think about was what the future might or might not bring. It became crystal clear that I could not control the future. One of the unexpected blessings of this diagnosis was a process of beginning to live in the moment.

Christmas was nothing short of perfect. Our boys came home and they weren’t boys anymore; they had grown into men. We talked and laughed around the table. When the boys went back to their homes Rita and I were better together. Things that may have caused tension in the past just didn’t seem quite as important. We went for hikes, drives, and meals together and managed to enjoy the moments.

I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone. We still have a ways to go before this is behind us. This week I am beginning to thank God for the unexpected lessons.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.” Matthew 6:34

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