Friday, June 13, 2014


It's hard for me to want to write in this blog that has historically been dedicated to my journey and life through cancer when lately it has felt so much like I don't have cancer at all. What a gift- to have a horrible disease and to FORGET about it! So I have steered clear of writing here because it would make me face the all too certain reality that I am actually journeying through life with cancer, whether I remember it or not. I would rather be filling my time with Brown Bear, Brown Bear and eskimo kisses and marriage and good conversation with friends and coffee. Forget that cancer mess.

I had a routine echo at the beginning of June that reminded John and I of the fears that we push to the corners of our minds. The tumor that is in my heart has remained stable for 19 months (except for while I was pregnant and it spread and then regressed!), but this most recent scan revealed that the tumor was bigger. Not by much, but still bigger. We decided to schedule a cardiac MRI to get a more detailed image. An echo provides a two-dimensional "slice" of whatever you are looking at. Since this tumor is shaped more like an octopus than a basketball, it's very difficult to get the same slice every time. An MRI provides a three-dimensional image that is much more accurate than an echo. So we scheduled an MRI for one week later.

One week.

You've heard me say it before and I will say it again- waiting is THE WORST. It's the worst. Within the course of one minute our entire way of living came crashing down around us, and we had a week to keep thinking about it over and over and over without any good information. A pebble of bad news had successfully crumbled our brick house of security. We fell to our knees and cried and prayed long and desperate prayers asking again for life and miracles and healing.

And you know what? That echo was WRONG.

It didn't grow.

The MRI showed the tumor was the same size.


That news is a lifetime's worth of different when it is heard after first hearing "Your cancer is growing" than it is after over a year of stability. I was reminded so clearly that the feeling of security is only that- a feeling. It is not a certainty or a promise. You cannot build it or rely on it. We had grown so accustomed to a life of regular, of routine, and had forgotten that there is no promise of security or a stable life. While we were putting our hope in The Lord's healing, we were also putting it in our own stability. It doesn't work that way. Stability doesn't provide help or healing or forgiveness- that is The Lord's work! I confused God's blessings with his power.

My prayers of desperation were long. My prayer now is "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" over and over. Because the overwhelmed I felt that led to long sad prayers was nothing compared to the overwhelmed I feel with life- it's left me speechless.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, 
and he saved me from my enemies.
Psalm 18:2-3

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