The rain is pounding on our tin roof; the wind is buffeting and howling under the eaves. I want to hunker down, to hide, to let the tears flow today, to pour down like teardrops from dark clouds. I’ve shared heart and life over coffee with a friend this morning. And I have heard sad news today about another friend. That aching, heaving, cancer is horrible kind of news. I wrote her from my car while I waited for the rain to let up:
I’m just crying along with those raindrops for you… I want to cuss (and I’m not a cussing girl) and scream and stomp my feet and just beg God to stop it! Please, dear God, stop it!!
My Bear needed me yesterday… a lot. He shared stories of a handbell piece they performed. “Mom,” he told me, “It was a moving piece.” He told me of the story behind what they played, of the joyful start and fresh music of a girl living life, then finding out she had cancer, then thinking it was cured, then the sadness of the music as it returned and she passed; how the mallets hit the bells slower and slower until there was one final ring. He described the new tinkling of high notes, a brightness as angels came to carry her to heaven and home. His voice was husky as he shared. My voice could utter no words. We sat quietly in the car holding hands as music from my phone played around us.
I’ve described it to friends. We are okay. We are just living life with an overarching sadness, but not an overwhelming sadness.
Yesterday I saw my oncologist who went over the PET scan, and we discussed future treatment. Brian was with me asking questions that wouldn’t have even come to my mind.
The PET scan, as we expected, showed no new growths. Except there is an area around my vocal cord that was “hot.” This means they see something, but they’re not sure what it is. My vocal cord is where this metastatic breast cancer all began… she is sending me to my ENT to get it looked at more closely, to see if it’s inflammation or tumor.
No new growths is encouraging news. We are thankful.
However, my tumor markers are still rising. What this means is that because she’s been so vigilant with me, they’ve caught growth early. My cancer is growing, it just hasn’t grown enough yet to show up on scans. This means we don’t know where it is, how extensive it is, we just know it’s there.
But it’s small. Which is good.
But it’s insidious, which is scary.
After spring break next week, I will see her again and begin a new chemo. It’s one I’ve been on in the past and has been effective. It helps to know what we are facing. I’m just so weary. I’m tired of “doing.” I’m tired of suffering… of pain… of fighting literal death in my body.
I hate it that cancer is so relentless, that I can’t sing anymore, that my bones are brittle, that my days are consumed with making the right foods and homemade soaps and oils, that my eyes water and ache constantly, and that joy is so. hard. to. fight. for.
Yes, the rain pours down here. In literal and figurative ways.
I see blue skies rolling in from the west. And perhaps even a rainbow will appear.
God continues to give us yeses and nos.
And both those answers are good. And grace.
Because healing from cancer isn’t the answer. He is.
Because healing from cancer isn’t enough. He is.
So we thank Him for mercy in the fight.
We have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, even on rainy days.