I have often looked at my calendar and made note of something which happened 2 months or years ago on a certain date. At times I’ve reminded my husband about a special time for us when the anniversary of it rolls around. I’m not talking about regular anniversaries, birthdays, or major events; I’m thinking of the simple joyful days of a special conversation that turned my day into sunshine, or a phone call from a friend or family member I haven’t talked to in forever. I would say, “One month ago today, so and so called.” Or, “6 weeks ago today Chai,” (my precious Shih Tzu) “began his new habit of cuddling with me in the chair.” I’m odd, perhaps, I remember odd, but important to me, things.
Today’s date, July 10th, is an odd one to jump out of my memory bank. Odd because it’s not a date I’m happy about, but one which has changed my life in many ways. One month ago today I was told I have breast cancer.
June 10, 2020. “It’s Cancer!”
I certainly would have preferred to remember this date for something else; my Achilles tendinitis stopped hurting, we had a beautiful rainstorm, or my Passion flower vine had 20 blooms at once. Anything except “It’s Cancer!”
Today, ten days since my first chemotherapy, I’m feeling a little more like my old self physically, except for the ongoing bad taste in my mouth and not sleeping without aid most nights. My time spent with the Lord has changed though, much like moving from the world of black and white TV, into vivid technicolor. It has become more passionate. I crave our conversations and my time in His Word. My prayer time has deepened, not as much for me, but for the people He puts on my heart to pray for.
The week that started for me on June 10th, was devastating to say the least. I had already endured multiple tests, scans, lab work, doctor visits, and anxiety. Then, to be told I needed chemotherapy, followed by surgery, and finally radiation, I started to crumble. But, when I shared my information with family and close friends, God stepped in and encompassed me with love through a network of prayer warriors from my family and church to literally across the globe. People began praying, helping, and lifting me up. Joy and courage in the midst of my cancer was birthed. God also revealed to me the plight of many who need the kind of love shown to them which He was showing to me. My prayers are developing in a whole new direction as I am prompted by His Holy Spirit to pray for others rather than myself. I’m overjoyed and privileged to go to the Throne of God and intercede for those He puts on my heart.
July 10, 2020. I have eleven days until my next chemotherapy, followed the next day with the injection that will stimulate my bones to create new white blood cells. It’s necessary and will cause every bone in my body to hurt. I wasn’t prepared for a-truck-ran-over-me, experience after the first injection, but I am now. God has fortified me and I’m going to be praising Him as I wait for the pain to pass…and it will. The chemo nausea, bad taste, and fatigue that follows chemotherapy will also pass…until the next treatment. I will cocoon myself in the comfort of cards, prayers, and hope. I won’t be afraid to cry when I hurt, or go to bed when I’m worn out. I won’t hold back from asking for help.
My calendar will continually hold special dates I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Courage through cancer doesn’t just happen. God builds it within, surrounds you without, and fortifies your spirit.