I received the book When God and Cancer Meet yesterday in the mail from a reader, and I haven’t been able to put it down since… (Thanks Lisa!)
I want to write about some similarities in her thoughts and mine.
For three hours I lay in the room thinking about what it is going to be like to chemotherapy pour through my veins. I had a little conversation with myself as I tried to control my weeping
Get a grip on your self, my head told my heart. What are you so afraid of? You were sick night and day for six months with all three of your pregancies. Mouth sores? You have had them before? Needles? You’re not afraid of them. Losing your hair? It’ll grow back. Don’t be so vain. But my heart didn’t buy it. I just cried harder as I stroked the hair that I so desperately wanted to keep.
Yes, thats what I am afraid of, I admitted. I don’t want to look sick for my children and my husband.
I had every.single.one. of those feelings and fears. I sat in the hospital bed, all alone for an extended amount of time after the surgeon came and told me that it was cancerous, and that the biopsy of the tumor was worse than he expected. I heard the words “I’m so sorry Mrs. George” for the second time in my life, first being when I was told my daughter wouldn’t be born alive. I was in shock, unable to dial the phone because I couldn’t remember the numbers to my parents or my husband, so I just held the phone in my hands and pushed all the numbers while crying. I couldnt ask for help because I couldn’t talk. So there I was, literally all alone with the reality that I had cancer.
I was sobbing like a baby when my parents and husband arrived, and I couldn’t tell them what the surgeon had told me. It was the loneliest point of my life, alone with my fears and unable to express them.
The look on my husbands face, I will never forget that look. All he could do was hold me and cry. I am sure that fear was etched all over my face, because I knew what was going through my mind and heart, and not being able to express that verbally came out in other ways.
My odds weren’t good.
Later in the the first chapter, she writes..
When I was diagnosed I was told that I had, at best, a fifty fifty chance of surviving. It seemed to me as if someone was going to flip a coin:heads I live, tails I die. It drove me crazy thinking about it.
And then, an even better truth hit me: God wasn’t playing roulette with cancer.
He didnt have His fingers crossed.
He wasnt going to wish me luck.
He wasn’t taking bets on my future.
He didnt need good odds to heal me.
You need to know and believe that cancer is not an automatic death sentence….Doctors do their best at predicting cure rates and odds of survival, but these predictions are just educated guesses.
I’m reminded of the scripture in 1 Peter 5:10 that I wrote about a few days ago…
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. Youâ€™re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. Itâ€™s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering wonâ€™t last forever. It wonâ€™t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christâ€”eternal and glorious plans they are!â€”will have you put together and on your feet for good.
He gets the last word; yes, he does.
1 Peter 5:10
I have no fewer days left on this earth than I did before cancer entered my life. I trust that, I believe that, but it is human nature for one to question their future when given such grim statistics regarding prognosis. It is human nature to question anything and everything that you felt secure and solid, not only with the diagnosis of cancer, but anything that shakes your world to its core.
But we, as Christians, have something more. We have peace. When the world falls down around us, like it did in that hospital bed back in Mayo for me, we have the promise of peace. When you think that you can’t face another day, He is still there. When you feel alone in your grief and worries. He is there.
It is a peace that makes no sense.
It is a peace that cannot be explained.
It is a peace that goes beyond our human mind.
It is a peace that only God can give.
It is a peace I hope you’ll feel today.