May 12th I had my annual mammogram. Eight days later I had the diagnosis of breast cancer.
And life changed.
It became filled with phone calls, doctor appointments, forms, people, tests, waiting, and exhaustion.
5 days to wait for a trip to Minnesota and a hug from Kate, then –
9 days to wait for Karrie, Hank, and Jack (and later, Rob) to come for a visit, then –
5 days to wait to meet the surgeon, then –
13 days to wait for preregistration at the hospital, then –
5 days to wait for Kate to arrive, then –
1 day to wait for surgery, then –
somewhere in here things got a little foggy
8 days for the follow up with the surgeon and to learn the results, then –
Lymph nodes clear of breast cancer, one node needs further testing; Surgery was successful in getting clear margins (i.e. all of the lump)
7 days to follow up with the surgeon to learn next steps and final on the one lymph node, then –
Lymph node clear. It was ‘nothing.’
1 day to see the oncologist, then –
In between these two appointments, add in a week serving at Land o’ Lincoln Camp Cedarbrook Girls’ Week, which starts this Sunday. The following are yet to come.
12 days to see the radiologist, then –
4 days to hear the results of another test which determines treatment, then –
10 days to meet and talk with my primary care physician. –
Add those all up, throw in a recall on the car, working (in between doctor appointments), book club, and all kinds of other normal things – and you see that life goes on. But it can be exhausting.
Through all of these things I have been overwhelmed by people. The medical profession has wonderful people who care about every person they see. Sometimes their eyes show sorrow – when they have to tell you the news. Sometimes, they show relief and a glimmer of happiness when the news is good or when they see you are doing OK.
My friends, church, and family have been encouraging, hug-giving, prayer-supporting, gift-giving, card-sending blessings from God. I’ve always loved getting a note in the mail. Not a week goes by that I haven’t received notes and cards with words of encouragement. I cannot express how much these impact my life. My attitude. My comfort. My faith.
There are days I call ‘fragile faith’ days. It’s when doubts begin to creep in and I wonder why this had to happen. It’s when my imagination runs away with me and I think of all the bad things that could happen. Or the terrifying words the doctor might say to me. Or when I miss family. Or when the things to do list is overwhelming. It’s days I need to sit and meditate on Who God Is. And turn it all over to Him. And relax. And worship.
I’m running a marathon within the race of life. I’m not sure how far I’ve gone or how far I still need to go. But, I know that God has been constantly with me. He is faithful. And while I’m counting the days, I want to make my days count . . . for Him.
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!