The #write31days challenge continues. It’s Day 27 of my 31 Days of Gratitude 2016. In a new tradition, I’ll be having Throwback Thursdays and reposting past posts. Here is one I originally posted exactly two years ago. A few tears fell as I reread it and remembered the pain of the struggle and the joy of making it through. Blessed be God for his mercy and grace.
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(From Jan 2014, after Brian’s surgery to remove the cancerous tumor.)
As many of you know, at the beginning of the year, God asked us to travel a difficult path. In January, my husband Brian was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. He went through his second surgery to remove the cancer and this time around he had to have chemo. They surgically inserted a port into his chest. He had chemo for six months and finished his treatments in July. They won’t take the chemo port out until he has been clean for three months after treatment.
Over the last two months he’s had bloodwork and CT scans and this week he went through his last round of bloodwork. We got a call from the doc yesterday and he said that everything looked good, his lymph nodes are clean and there’s no signs of growth. Brian can now schedule the removal of his port. Blessed be God!
I pray that this cancer chapter is over forever! Sometimes, I’ll start to worry, especially when he is not feeling well, that maybe it is back but I’ve got to tell myself to shut up and don’t even go there because worrying like that is no way to live. I’ve just got to enjoy each day we have together and not worry about what may or may not happen. Its not the easiest thing for me but I’m trying.
Now we are concentrating on helping Brian recover from the chemo. He started going to a new doctor that has a more holistic approach to medicine and together they are working on building his body and his immune system back up and working on getting the lingering chemo out.
You know, I hate the cancer that invaded Brian’s body. It brought physical pain, emotional heartache, spiritual questions (and not to mention late night binging on ice cream while I worried about being a widow.) But now that the dust has settled and our lives feel “normal” again, I can’t help but think of the Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” There actually have been positive outcomes to this whole situation.
First, we are taking much better care of our health with diet and exercise. Goodbye double cheeseburgers; hello, salads! Good bye pan dulce and glazed donuts; hello, black bean brownies! Goodbye, couch potato; hello, walking fool. I complain about it (shocking, I know!) but it feels good to feel healthier. (I’ll talk more about the improved health next week. ;-))
This cross has also brought Brian and me closer together. We have shared such raw moments together that it was either going to drive us apart or cement us together. It brings me to tears as I type to think about just how much I love this man. He’s a gem. Funny thing is, he says the same about me. I always felt like he was the rock and I was the flighty one. To see him hold onto me for strength is disconcerting, and reassuring, at the same time. As a family, it has drawn us closer and made us more compassionate towards those who are suffering illness and their families.
Lastly, we have grown closer to God and more reliant on him. We have been reminded that life is precious and that we can’t take any day for granted. I’m trying not to get so caught up in the tedious chores of the day that I forget to see the beauty in the mess. I think we’ve also come to realize that, by the grace of God, we are much stronger than we think. I have no desire to be tested any further but that’s not the way life works. So for now, I lay it at the feet of Christ and celebrate in the blessings of today. For that, I am truly grateful.
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