Every week our church sends out an All About Sunday email to help us prepare for the upcoming service. It includes a brief synopsis of the sermon as well as links to various pieces of helpful information. I make a playlist of the songs we will be singing, and I blare it every Sunday morning while we’re getting ready for church.
This past week, our pastor, Todd, wrote the following about Psalm 131:
The place of rest for our souls is not circumstance but a Savior; not a place but a Person.
I have had a very unrestful weekend… well, I guess it’s been more like an unrestful few weeks. But it all culminated Friday when the plan we thought we had in place changed. I won’t go into the long and sordid details, but here is a brief update on what we learned Thursday and Friday through appointments and phone calls with my doctors.
—It is confirmed metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in my neck. The spot is in the thyroid bed near my clavicle. My oncologist had them redo pathology on my particular type of cancer because cancer can morph and evolve into a different type over time. It looks like mine has remained the same. This will help with treatment options.
—The area in my abdomen that they biopsied came back non-diagnostic which means they weren’t able to get enough tissue from the samples to make a definitive diagnosis. After contacting the doctor who performed my biopsy, radiology does not think it would be wise for me to re-do the needle biopsy because there is no guarantee this won’t happen again.
—After an agonizing weekend (y’all, I’ve cried an insane amount of tears for the past four days), we went with the recommendation of our specialist, and I will have a surgical biopsy the beginning of October on the lesion in my abdomen. My oncologist was hesitant to put my body through another procedure; however, we agreed that for my peace of mind, this is a good decision. This way we will know exactly what is going on in my abdomen.
—I will still begin treatment for the MBC (we are waiting on insurance approval). The new treatment I will be on is a more targeted therapy and should not impact my blood numbers.
So, that’s the short of it, but it feels so very long.
I wrestled and wrestled this weekend. I fought God and His goodness. I ached for my family. I despaired of healing. I crumbled under the weight of anxiety that Stage IV cancer brings. I fought with Brian. And then we fought to make our marriage better in this. I became frenetic in my desire to get things under control in a home that is under renovation and broken like me. I cried until I thought I couldn’t cry anymore. And then I cried some more.
I fought for rest.
Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it?
The thing is, if I had perfect health and a perfect marriage and a smooth family schedule and children who never struggled and a home that belonged in Southern Living but I didn’t have the salvation and restoration that Jesus brings, I wouldn’t have rest.
Because my circumstances shake, but He is unshakeable.
My feelings ebb and flow, but He is always trustworthy.
My life experiences shift, but He is steadfast.
I do not have to have health restored to be made whole. That will come… one day. Because my hope is not in what, it’s in Who.
My brain, which is already so messed up from chemo-brain, feels like it’s only firing on one cylinder these days. Bri asked me last night what he could do, what he could take off my plate, and I crumbled, “Can you take away cancer?”
We are weary, friends. I know many of you are, too. There is so much going on in your lives, yet there are those of you who still ask, “What can we do?”
I know you can’t take away cancer.
I know you can’t change my circumstances.
I know there will be tangible ways you can help, especially as I recover from surgery.
But will you show me Jesus?
And by His grace, I will do the same for you.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.