I Have Breast Cancer
Perhaps today I write my most difficult blog post. My oldest daughter would say I’m being too dramatic, too emotional, giving too much information, or giving too much of something. I’ve waited three months to write about my diagnosis because, first, I didn’t know what to say. Then I was too busy learning about things I never thought I would need to know. Then I got depressed and didn’t want to write anything.
In the middle of my emotional roller coaster ride, I was trying to finish The Prescience. I got to 91,000 words and realized, this can’t all fit into one book. I will have to break it up into two books. I probably set a record writing all those words in about six weeks. I was determined to finish it before my surgery in case I didn’t wake up. I thought at least some poor soul could edit and publish it.
To be candid, though, the number of doctors’ appointments has slowed me down. Last week I had five doctors’ appointments and two surgeries. Rather overwhelming. I told one doctor, “Cancer sucks.” In case you didn’t know this, cancer has a way of screwing up well-intentioned plans.
When I lay inside the MRI listening to it bang out disturbing dins as it took images, I recited the words from one of my favorite songs, “Jesus is coming back again.” As the minutes dragged on—I had to stay in a very uncomfortable position for a very long time—I shortened it to “Jesus is coming.” By the end of the longest thirty-plus minutes of my life, all I could say was “Jesus.”
That was back in the first week of January. Biopsies confirmed breast cancer. I’ll save the details for later, when I’m not facing the harshness of chemo followed by radiation. How do you describe three months of nonstop medical treatment anyway? I still have a minimum of seven more months to go. Once the cancer treatment is finished, I’ll have six months off, and then the doctors can finish the reconstruction. I opted for a double mastectomy with implants.
My blog entries look rather empty for 2017. If you are receiving this as my quarterly email, you haven’t heard from me since October. I met my surgeon on the day Trump was inaugurated. 2017 will be known as the year I fought cancer.
Seriously, cancer is life changing. I’m thankful God is unchanging. In the midst of everything, He has been my rock and my anchor. My verse through all of this is Isaiah 58:8:
Then your salvation will come like the dawn
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward
and the joy of the Lord
will protect you from behind.
I have no memory of writing that verse in the back of my note pad. I found it—just when I needed it. My translation is, “God has my back.”
What is God teaching me? That I have a long ways to go to be the person He wants me to be. Hebrews 12:5 is very helpful:
And you have forgotten that word of encouragement
that addresses you as sons [and daughters],
that addresses you as sons [and daughters],
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
And do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
And he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
Endure hardship as discipline.
God is treating you as sons…
Perhaps to some this might sound harsh, but to me, I'm reassured of God's love. While Satan wanted to discourage me and keep me from finishing the Seventh Dimension Series, I knew God was and is using my cancer diagnosis for good. He’s teaching me things I could not learn any other way.
So I press on, facing months of treatment, knowing God has my back. I feel Jesus’ presence each day, meeting my felt needs through family, friends, and prayer warriors. Some of those praying I don’t know, but God knows them and hears them.
I’m thankful for everyone who has brought food, sent notes, delivered flowers, called, emailed, and posted on my Facebook page. I honestly don’t know how anyone goes through cancer treatment or any other heartache without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’m thankful I have a good prognosis, but mostly I’m thankful God is with me. The reality is, all of us are mortal, and knowing Jesus is coming back is most reassuring.
One book I found helpful is Don’t Waste Your Cancer by John Piper. There is more I could say, but I’ll save it for later. Please pray I won’t waste my cancer, I keep my eyes on Jesus, I don’t grow weary, and I glorify God through the very last day of treatment. I can tell you, I have not been who I could have been at times. I’m learning to live more humbly.
My focus when not dealing with cancer treatment has been to edit The Prescience. Book 6 doesn’t have a title yet, and – yes, I can’t believe it, but there will be a book 7.
A little tease is in order—book 7 won’t be written from the point of view of Shale or Daniel. I’ll let you wonder from whose viewpoint it will be written.
I’m excited to be editing The Prescience even if it’s at a slower pace. Hopefully, my writing will be impacted in a positive way. I pray God will touch my emotional creativity to make my writing more heart-felt as Shale and Daniel battle an uncertain future that we will all be facing soon.
The most important thing for me right now is to stay close to God, love my family, value my friendships, and seek God’s will in all areas of my life—even in the mundane.
|my awesome daughters, Cedar Key|
I start chemo on Friday this week. I know some days will be harder than others, but I know I can get through it with God helping me. Your prayers are immensely appreciated.