What word comes to mind for you?
In my life right now, the word, Cancer comes to mind. It’s what I have been dealing with since I received the call in December of 2016 confirming my diagnosis after mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies. Cancer sucks, by the way.
A double mastectomy with lymph node axillary dissection followed in January of 2017.
Stage 3 Metastatic Breast Cancer was the official diagnosis when it was all said and done.
Another C word that accurately describes my feelings after receiving the news was, confused. I was unable to think clearly. Quite bewildered. How could I have cancer? Why do I have cancer? So many questions came to my mind. Things were going so well for me in my personal and professional life. I had school set to start January 3, 2017. I didn’t understand. I had lost my mom June of 2016 and was learning to deal with that. I was not comprehending why all of this was taking place. “I must be really strong Lord,” I would say to God.
Confession. I had to accept my reality. I would not speak on it at first. I chose to tell a select few. Speaking of it made it more real; however, I had to accept the facts, and make appropriate adjustments to my life. Confession. I started speaking the word of God over myself. The word says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
I believe God. I believed that He would heal me.
Comforting. This word describes the feeling I had after starting to rest in the Lord. Not rest in sleep or lying down, but in trusting God 100% with what was going on, depending on Him for all my needs. Rest from worry. Initially, I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and every google article. I was hungry for more information and also testimonies of others in a similar situation. Comforted also, by my family and friends who kept me lifted in prayer.
Courageous! Going through this journey has unlocked an inner strength that I didn’t know was there. Actually, I’ve been a strong woman all my life. I have tackled many situations and overcome many obstacles. Yet this was my strongest one yet. This is not for the faint of heart. It’s so important to keep your mind positive in a bleak situation. For this reason, It’s necessary to have positive people around you.
Throughout my cancer journey, I’ve learned to enjoy my day to day. Tomorrow is not promised. Heck, the next hour isn’t promised. I keep my eyes on the Lord. I spend more time with Him. I spend more time with my family. I see life with new eyes. It’s precious. Time should not be wasted. Moreover, I see that I am completely dependent on God. We say that, but when it’s tested, you become acutely aware of its authenticity.
I am battling a disease that is killing people everyday. This fact does not go unnoticed by me. Thankfully, I have a great team of doctors, but the Lord is my healer. He told me that this was not unto death for me. Yet, He said that this was a process that I would have to go through and it would not be pleasant. Ultimately, whatever I go through, as long as He is with me I can do it. I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Strangely enough, I thought I would be done after Chemotherapy, but, no I had to do Radiation. My scans were clear and for all intent and purposes I am “cancer free”, yet I am not done with my treatments. I prayed countless times for an answer. I didn’t want to do it. The Lord would not remove this from me. I asked Him too. As He told Paul, His Grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) I thank God for Grace. What I have come to understand in my quiet times with the Lord is that I need to complete the entire process. I am not to rush it along. I am not to rush back to work. I am to be obedient. When I am feeling a little better, I tend to become quite busy. That is not what He wants.
Lymphedema is what I am currently dealing with in my right arm and hand. It causes daily swelling and pain. This is preventing me from working in my profession as a Hairdresser. You know I said, “Really, Lord?” with a smile, and a shaking of my head. “I get it.”
We make plans. But God has His own plans. His are so much better. What an interesting journey this has been. I am still in the midst of it. The doctors told me at the beginning of January to dedicate 1 full year to this process, and I keep trying to interrupt it. The Lord also wants me to dedicate this time to Him, as He develops me spiritually. I will do hair again. I am not sure in what capacity, but I do not feel that it’s over. I do not want to work as hard as I was. I won’t be behind the chair all day. I do know that. I often overworked myself. I have a love for hair and a passion to helping women look their best. When you look good you feel good.
The other passion of mine is teaching. Through my writings I am able to teach and it feels amazing. I write daily. I can’t hold a pen too good for a long period of time, so I don’t write in my journals, I type instead in a notepad. I’m writing blog posts, in addition to another book. You have no idea how exciting this is for me. I have enjoyed writing even as a child.
Content. I am in a state of peaceful happiness. Yes, my life was turned upside down. Finances changed dramatically and body modified, yet my joy is still here. I find joy in the Lord, so even though life happens, I am able to have joy and peace. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (Job 13:15)
There is still more ahead and I am excited, because the Lord has something wonderful in store for me. (Jeremiah 29:11 and 1 Corinthians 2:9) It’s already miraculous. I am healed! That’s God! I am not without problems and never want it to come across as that. I have daily struggles as you do. I have upsets and frustrations. I allow myself to feel whatever I need to in that moment. I am a firm believer in allowing yourself to feel; however, do not stay in a negative place. Keep moving forward, and deal with each day as it comes. Matthew 6:34
To commune with Him and hear Him speaking to me blows my mind! To have gifts revealed to me and confirmed is astounding! I have witnessed much during this time. This is something that I cannot put into words for you guys on this post. Not yet. I am gaining a great relationship. A meaningful one that has changed my life forever. Jesus is real. He is alive and on the throne. He loves us. He truly does.
I welcome comments.
Share how you cope with your trials. Maybe you can add to the “c” words?
Proverbs 3:5-6New Living Translation (NLT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.