A year ago this month, my husband Eric and I were on the way to a meeting in Vero Beach. Two hours out of town my doctor’s office called my cell phone. Eric was not driving because of the seizure he had in January. I had been driving for him and me for six months. “Who is driving,” asked my Primary Care Doctor’s Assistant, “I am”, I said. A few seconds wait and the doctor came on the line, “You need to come in to the Office today”. It was obvious they had received the results of the cancer screening, and we knew what they were going to tell us.
Cancer changed me. I know, I sense it. Am I a better person? I don’t know; but I’m glad to feel good again; I don’t take “feeling good” for granted any more.
I know now that I am vulnerable. Being a “health nut” didn’t insulate from physical hardship. With cancer you’re caught; no way of escape . . . so it seemed.
There is a dividing line; my awareness has become BC (Before Cancer) and AC (After Cancer). BC I felt invincible: I loved God, obeyed His Word carefully as I knew how. I had Eric, our three healthy children, interests to work on. I assumed life would just move along.
AC, one year later I don’t assume anything. Life and health is given by God; and I can’t be assured of either. What I can do is live with a sense of caution that my life and breath and health and strength are all gracious gifts from my Creator. I have the sense of starting over; of living with the determination to make every day count. I know that I love harder: God, my husband, our amazing kids, our family, friends, and the privilege of living in this century. It all could have ended last year. But the Lord has been openhanded in his generous gift of extended life.
When a year of tests and scans and mammograms and surgeries, chemotherapy, six weeks of daily radiation and having to face the real possibility that the cancer may altar the realities of life, or indeed end it, something mysterious happens in your head and heart. Some obvious changes are Lymphidemia in my left arm, (swelling, “they” tell me will have to be controlled as long as I live), and hair that grew in again, this time gray and white and curly.
February 2014 and it’s a year since the diagnosis of breast cancer. Last week the Oncologist told me that I am in remission. I think that means there is no active cancer in me (which the PET scan next week hopefully will affirm).
BC on the way to Vero Beach last February, I was excited; anticipating what life would bring because I was heading to compete in the Ms. Senior Florida Pageant.
AC when the Doctor spoke into the phone and told me I had cancer, “Please come into the office right away,” there was a strong feeling that God was changing the direction of our lives. I know that God is good and will bring goodness from what would appear to others to be tragedy. God is good, thank you God!