Limbo. Again.

Recently I stood next to my Bear during communion at church. We had just sung together of the risen Christ, how unwavering our hope is. Seeing the tears pooling, he leaned over, put his arm around me and tucked my head under his chin (how is he tall enough to do that?). We began the next song, and as the tears fell, I could hear his lovely tenor…

“He has done great things
We will say together.
We will feast and weep no more.”

Oh, my friends. There are no words. We tasted the beauty of our future. I get to do this with my boy for all eternity, with my other boy and my girl, and my hubby and my family and my friends, and Jesus… oh, with Jesus singing over us.

No, there are no words to begin to describe what I felt at that moment.

And there are no words to begin to describe the horror that fell on Wednesday when we received PET scan results. There never is. Each time it occurs.

But I will use my words now to try to explain what’s once again happening in our lives.

The cancer is spreading.

Those cells, lurking in the shadows of my body, have grown.

It feels so short and blunt to just write it that way, but it’s the truth. There’s no sugar-coating it. There’s no going around it. We must accept it and do what must be done.

We found out Wednesday, and my brain has been mush ever since as we’ve grappled with what this means, all that lies ahead of us and trying to just. do. life. in the meantime with school starting Tuesday and changes that come with that.

There are areas in both my neck and my lower abdomen. They will do an ultrasound of my neck, an MRI of my pelvis and abdomen, and two biopsies to see what exactly this cancer is. Because I’ve had several, they can’t just assume this is more metastatic breast cancer. It could be thyroid. It could be colon. It could be a whole new one. Or it could be two.

So, those lurking cancer cells have left us in limbo. again.

I have appointments next week for ultrasound and MRI. We don’t know when the biopsies will be. And it will be the following week before I see the oncologist.

We are reeling.

We are sad.

We are scared.

We are blown away by the way our family and friends have already cared for us: my parents, by our sides tirelessly,… one of our pastors, showing up at the door (and graciously allowing our dog to excitedly accost him) to reach out in love and encourage us… a friend, with coffee and gorgeous flowers to cheer and listen… that text “do you need dinner tonight?” knowing our need and graciously bringing food and hugs and prayers… our dear friend showing up to hug and pray… the numerous texts and emails from friends…and then, y’all…

(this one needs a whole new paragraph)

…my sweet Bethy, who stood beside be as maid of honor twenty-two years ago yesterday… who, in God’s gracious timing, just happened to be on the way from Georgia to visit her parents half and hour from us, knocking on my door Thursday morning. To sit and weep and share for hours.

Y’all, as dark and as deep and as fear-filled as this pit is, if there is anything we have learned through year upon year of suffering, it’s this:

Cancer may lurk in the shadows waiting to steal and destroy, but God never lurks in the shadows. He shines His face upon us and shows Himself over and over and over to us in His Word, in His gifts to us, in the church, in those beautiful ordinary means to which we cling.

We are reeling.

We are scared.

We are sad.

We ask you to pray.

I am so weary of tests and scans and blood work and needles. And biopsies are. no. joke. I’ve been begging God that when they do those procedures in the coming weeks, they will find nothing. They will look and look and say, “How is this possible? We saw this on your PET!” And I will look gratefully at them and say, “Let me tell you about my God…”

But y’all. If the procedures show spread and we begin a whole new regimen of treatment, may I still look gratefully at them, and God grant me the grace to say to them, “Let me tell you about my God…”

After all,

“He has done great things
we will say together…”

7 responses to “Limbo. Again.”

  1. Your light is a marvel, Angie. I’m sad with and for you that you have to face this fear and worry yet again; I’m sad with and for your family that they have to shoulder this burden through another season of their lives. And also I am joyful for and with you that you have such a strong and faithful heart and such a strong and faithful family. I remember the first conversations we had about cancer, how you feared and how bravely you faced what might come. I remember you being told that you weren’t likely to ever have children. And in the face of that prognosis, your wonderful family has flourished; in spite of this dark cloud, you have spent these years nourishing their spirits with light and teaching them to share that light with you, with one another, with everyone they meet. It’s hard to have to shrug on that armor yet again, for yet another battle, when all you want is to relax into your joy together. But you do so with the best kind of army at your side: the kind that takes the field not with swords at hand but with songs on their lips. Sing, beautiful mama, with your beautiful children at your side. Sing, beautiful friend, with your beautiful friends by your side. Sing, beautiful woman, with your beautiful man by your side: what’s another skirmish, to the sound of all that song?


  2. Love y’all. Love you.


  3. Praying.
    That your body will respond to medical intervention.
    That God will respond to our prayers with HIS intervention and healing.
    That your buffers in the form of family, friends and strangers-who-behave-like-neighbor will remain in place near you.
    That ALL Grace will abound so that you feel sufficient strength to endure in your faith that God is good, He knows and He loves you….
    Praying for a miracle. And when your faith holds under these circumstances that too is a miracle.
    I was sitting here with my Bible before dropping in on FB. I had just read Isaiah 45:3 because I am sitting with the weight of a disappointment I am wrestling through….
    As I read your post, I open again to the passage. Now with you and your family in mind I pray from this hope when God spoke to His people saying:
    I will give you the treasures of darkness and riches from secret places, so that you may know that I, the LORD, call you by your name.”
    May you hear Him speak comfort in this dark place of fear, shock, disappointment, dear one.
    I love you from here.


  4. Angie, how heart broken I am that you and your family are on this train once again being propelled into the unknown that the word “cancer” brings. Thank you for always being so open and so honest in your times of suffering and uncertainty but at the same time always acknowledging our God, the ONE who knows every detail of the past, the present ( long before we experience it) and what is yet to come. Thankfully, He is a gracious God, a merciful God, a loving and compassionate God and walks with us through the deep valleys. I am praying for each one of y’all that the presence of our Lord will be felt closely and deeply carrying each one moment by moment and day by day. He can, He does and He will… HE IS AWESOME! Be sure to tell all whom you encounter about your God :).
    Asking God to reveal Himself to the doctors by performing a miracle… NO TUMORS ANYWHERE!!
    Kristin and family had SUCH a WINDERFUL time with you all at Nags Head. So thankful for the precious friendship you all share and the time that God gave y’all together!!
    Love, prayers and blessings,
    Kristin’s mom 🙂


  5. My precious sister,

    We have so many answers to our prayers before we ask, and I hope that you are blessed as you read them. They have given me hope, hope that anchors my soul to Him.

    Thess.5:18 – Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for your life in Christ Jesus.
    James 1:2-3 – My brethren, count it all joy when you encounter various trials knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance and when endurance has its work, you will be perfect, complete, lacking nothing.
    1Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you as though some strange were happening to you, but rejoice that you share in the suffering of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory.
    2Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of boldness and a sound mind.
    John 14:127 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you, not as the world gives. DO NOT LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, DO NOT BE AFRAID.

    My prayer for you is this:

    May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing that you may dwell in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    We are not our own, we were bought with a price, His own possession. Thanks be to God, He does all things well. To God be the GLORY!!!

    Love and blessings, Judie


  6. Angie, I have been praying for you for some time and trusting that in His time He will heal you and give your family the gift of you for many years to come. Along with many others, I will continue to ask for his healing powers for you.


  7. Phyllis Johnson Avatar
    Phyllis Johnson

    Oh my, What can I say? I’m shedding tears along with you! I love y’all…our awesome God is still in the healing business and I will continue to believe for your complete healing . He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.Yes, to GOD be the GLORY for all He has done and continues to do for you. All my love and prayers for you and your loved ones…Please know how special y’all are to me!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: