As in, here we go…..again.
My latest PET scan revealed that I have a small lymph node that was acting suspiciously like cancer. One bright spot right above my heart. Deep inside making its home between a whole lot of important vessels and structures. Unable to be reached by the surgeon’s knife and too big for what’s left of the radiation I could still have to that area, we are left with attacking it with chemotherapy again. I will start my treatment on Monday. We will do several rounds and then rescan to see what has happened. We have consulted all my doctors both locally and at the Cleveland Clinic and they are all optimistic that I will have another good response to treatment. I am not afraid. I’ve had a marvelous year off treatment. I’ve gotten my energy (and all my hair) back and I’m ready to go. We kicked its butt once, no reason we can’t do it again.
So what to make of this? Did God forget about me? Did I not do enough good to warrant further remission? Did He get my hopes up just to dash them again? Is this some sort of cosmic punishment or further testing of my faith?
If I am honest, I have spend some time dwelling on all of these possibilities. I think it’s human nature to do so. As I’ve talked about many times, I’ve got performance issues. That plays very nicely into the part of my brain that wants to think that if I’d just done ENOUGH then maybe this wouldn’t have happened. But what is enough? I don’t think there is an answer to that because that’s not the point.
What is the point?
Well. I don’t really know. But here is what I do know. I have a friend who wondered aloud to me that if I reported that I had cancer again after one of my scans if people would still leave the comment that “God is good”. I think that is a valid point. Do we only think He is good when He answers things the way we think they should be answered? Or is He good all the time?
So my answer is that He is still good. But that does not mean that we are not disappointed or bewildered or angry or sad or whatever emotion news such as this brings to the surface. I don’t pretend to understand God or his ways. He is a mystery.
I am choosing to look at it like this. I was given the wonderful gift of a year without treatment. I was able to be fully present in my life without working our schedules around chemo treatments and things that surround them. I got my energy back. I lost the puffiness around my eyes. I saw my kids grow up in ways that astounded me. I went shopping with Katie for a dress for her first dance. I saw Elena face her fears and try out for the sixth grade musical and be someone’s Valentine for the first time. I could go on and on and on about the things that I’ve seen since my diagnosis that I never thought I would see. I have been given an unfathomable amount of grace. More than I could have ever dreamed of.
I don’t want to have chemo again. That’s the truth. It is not much fun. But as JD said just yesterday when I asked if he was sorry he had a wife with cancer, “Of course not babe, it’s just the hand we’ve been dealt”.
And I think that is the truth. We are just dealing with what we have been given. Some days we do it better than others but we are good. We are dealing with this as anyone with a chronic disease copes with it. There are going to be times that it rears it’s ugly head and we have to deal with it.
And deal with it we will. I don’t know what is ahead. But I know that we are loved and cared about by so many. We have support that most people don’t. We are the most fortunate of people.
God is still good. I still trust in Him. I still believe that I am firmly in his hands and that he cares for me and my family. He has shown his faithfulness time and time and time again.
All will be well.