It’s hard to believe that it has been seven years since that day… the day I learned that some monsters are real… that cancer had invaded my body, my breast, and then my lymph nodes. I read once that after seven years if you get breast cancer again, it’s not considered a recurrence, it’s considered a whole new cancer. Of course, in the world of cancer, so much changes that I don’t know if that’s even accurate anymore. And since I’ve had cancer twice since then, these anniversaries of sorts, impact so differently than they used to, but they hold no small degree of thankfulness.
Today was especially hard when it hit though, because I am waiting on blood work. It’s my third round of blood work this summer. My cancer markers for thyroid cancer are elevated. We have been waiting and sitting on this for eight weeks now… just waiting, then another round of blood work, an ultrasound, blood work again. It has been long and frustrating, and I’d like answers.
We were at the beach when my endocrinologist called for this third round. If the markers are still elevated, then I’ll have a radioactive iodine scan (that’s the one where I’m sequestered from my family for a few days), and if the scan shows activity, I’ll be facing surgery again and possibly treatment.
I am fighting other physical ailments–possibly silent reflux, possibly allergies, possibly looking into mold in our home, and whatever it is has turned asthmatic. They’ve been investigating this one for four months with little results, and I don’t really have any days where I feel well anymore.
I sigh a lot these days. To carry this weight along with the unspeakable ache of my grandparents’ absence is heavy and hard. (But even in the midst of it all, how we have enjoyed togetherness this summer! So much togetherness!)
We are walking through life with a whole lot of if’s… as are so many of our friends. It is a hard place to be, and it is hard to watch those I love be there, too.
The tears come quickly and easily these days, more so than normal, and they fell freely when one of my dearest friends wrote me–remembering what today held in the past and asking for Jesus’ intimate love to carry me.
Oh, my friends, this is what we cling to–Jesus’ intimate love. He carries us. He carries our friends. He knows our frame and is mindful of us. And when the sighs of grief heave deep and the cries of need fly high, the truth of His presence calms and the hope of our future stills.
Seven years ago we sat in fear wondering how many tomorrows I would have, and we are learning to “live our life of faith one day at a time,’ as Elisabeth Elliot writes.
He still owns tomorrow.