I have some news that I wanted to share in a mass way but feel that it is so impersonal not to tell people face to face. I also think something is missed in the emotion of the person when reading words and not facial expressions, body language, and tone. I will do my best to choose the right words to relay the reality of what I am experiencing and please forgive me that it could not be more personal.
I haven't been feeling well for around 6 weeks now. I have been feeling a lot of nausea and fatigue. I would come home from work and be so exhausted that I would lay down at 7:30. Of course, the first thing everyone thinks is that it is pregnancy. It was not. On July 4th I woke up feeling sore in my rib cage but we had plans to go canoeing with the kids, which we did. Throughout the day the area right below my diaphragm kept feeling more and more sore to the point where it was hard to breath and I ended up going to the ER.
Once we arrived they gave me some pain medication, did an ultrasound which showed nothing and then did a CT scan which showed something. Dark spots. The ER doctor came in and read from a sheet of paper that it lined up with cancer and they sent me to the oncology floor. I didn't believe that because we had done no tests for cancer and in the words of the ER Dr. himself 'they have to assume the worst'. After speaking to the oncologist the decision was that we would do a liver biopsy to see what was causing the pain and see what these dark spots were. I was able to go home to wait out the results of the biopsy.
The next week was better. I was able to work most of the week and went to several appointments to check out the other dark spots. All the results came back that I was ok. I was sure that I just had an infection. I did not. I do in fact have the dreaded C word.
PLEASE HEAR ME SAY THIS(envision me speaking with gusto):
This is not a death sentence.
Cancer does not get to dictate when I die. Only God himself gets to decide the day I came and the day I will go.
I could die in a car accident today.
I could die in a year from liver cancer.
I could die in 45 years of old age in my sleep.
No one knows but God himself. I am at peace with this.
Andrew and I spent yesterday afternoon and evening relaying this news to our children, extended family and a few friends. We go today to visit the oncologist and learn more about what I have and what the options for treatment are.
So many really wonderful people have asked how they could help. Right now there really isn't anything we physically need. There will be a time when I think especially Andrew will have physical needs as he will probably have to manage more than ever before while I am not well.
But for today what we need the most are PRAYERS.
There are 2 different stories in the Bible about two different kings. One is King Asa. He lived a great life but turned away from seeking God his last few years. He ended up with an ailment in his feet and because he sought the help of people before God, King Asa died within three years (2 Chronicals, Chapter 16). The second is King Hezekiah. He too had lived a great life and after many years of serving the Lord well was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him to put his house in order because he was his time to die. Hezekiah wept bitterly and asked the Lord to give him more time here on Earth. Before Isaiah had left the courtyard of King Hezekiah's palace the word of the Lord came to him and said to go back. He was to tell Hezekiah that he would live an extra 15 years- just because he requested it (2Kings, Chapter 20).
PLEASE HEAR ME SAY THIS(more gusto):
I want you to pray that I would not die yet. I would really like at least 15 years. But understand that the only reason I want to stay here on earth is because I love my children and my husband and I do not want them to be without a mother or wife.
This earth is full of things that reflect the glory of God. I have traveled to many places on several continents and have seen some of the most beautiful things in this world. Varieties of plants, foods, animals, and people all attest to glory of God. However, it is also a very broken place. Those same travels have brought to light some of the darkest, saddest things on earth. People have harmed the most innocent and vulnerable people in many ways. People have created very dark and troubling religions. There are bombs, shootings, drugs, sexual depravity, and all kinds of evil everywhere. People have really wrecked this glorious place. So, because I believe that there is a better place for me after this that people have not wrecked, I am ready to go. I only delay out the love I have for people here. Please pray that I will have more years.
Lastly, I have a second request. Please do not ask our kids about this. We have told them what they need to know and I want this to be as easy for them as possible. Even if well meaning, if person after person sadly ask them how they are doing it would be easy for them to be sad. We don't want that. We want them to live their normal lives without fear of what the next day brings.