THE UPSIDE OF CANCER

Breast cancer surgery is serious stuff. Yesterday it was my lot . . . how could breast cancer be a positive thing?

The process was like this: the night before surgery, our son, daughter-in-law and three year old granddaughter came over, brought dinner and stayed the night. At four-thirty in the morning, I took a disinfecting shower, and then Zach drove my husband and me off to M. D. Anderson, Ambulatory Care Center.

From Registration we were guided to the Nuclear Medicine Department where we met a friend from a few years ago, David, in a white jacket. He introduced me to my nuclear medicine Tech by saying, “She is a praying woman.” We looked at each other with understanding. She told me as she readied me for the test, “I didn’t know why I was sent up here today. Now I know that it was to help you.”

On the next stop, a doctor inserted two needles to mark the tumor. Down the hall at the mammogram another young, positive technician chatted with me and asked advice about her life. Several nurses came soon after to prepare for surgery. The intravenous needle went into the dorsal so smoothly, I was caught by surprise.

Waiting for the surgeon, I questioned one of the reports from the PET scan. A nurse called a specialist to my bed to answer. He was thorough, unhurried and clear; I felt relieved yet once again.

My family and other visitors were allowed to sit with me, two at a time.

Then the moment drew near; the anesthesiologist explained the length of surgery and what would happen. The Surgeon appeared with unhurried explanation . . . then I was being awakened with someone calling, “Elisabeth” very gently.

So, what but good has happened since the day my doctor called my cell on our way to Vero Beach for the Ms. Florida Senior America Pageant.

– Prayers have gone up from more people than I know.
– Love mixed with concern for me.
– Support for my husband.
– I received words of encouragement, passages of Scripture about God’s ways and love.
– I felt His Presence.

Today, I sit here with a sense that I am loved. God’s Presence, the reality of the real future – – eternity with our Savior, Jesus – – is squarely in focus.

Phone calls, Prayer, words of wisdom, verses of the Bible are coming in a steady stream from family, friends and “friends never met”. They have spoken to me deeply and comfortingly.

It’s time I learn lessons of God’s love. Still a slow learner at seventy years old, I must internalize the mysterious, supernatural ways of God. I have contemplated how God has brought us together with deeper understanding of who He is by this cancer thing.

Timothy, my younger brother called and told me that crises brings us all face to face with the truth of the reality of eternal life with him – – and still there is much mystery with it.

My sister Connie gave me this: “Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known;” As God chooses, when God chooses we will see the upside of every happening in our lives. (Psalm 77:19)

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