Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The will to Survive

I know for a lot of people, it seems like there is no way you can survive Cancer. I went through so many different emotions when I found out I had cancer. All of these emotions are real but there is someone that you can turn to, someone that can get you through even the roughest of days. I know because I'm living through it right now. I am taking it one day at a time. I know longer look to the future and plan things way in advance. I get up and live each day to its fullest and at the end of the day, I thank our Awesome Lord that He carried me through yet another day.

When I was first diagnosed with Breast cancer, I had a lot of hurdles to jump. First the biopsies. Then the surgeries. Now the chemo. The the baldness, the nausea, the joint pain, the muscle aches, the mouth sores and the fatigue. Soon 38 radiation visits, they say more fatigue. I can't wait until the moment I can say this is my last treatment, will I breathe a sigh of relief.

I also went through a state of fear.

What if I’m never the same? What if I can’t live with these scars? What if they didn’t get it all? What if it comes back? Will I have to go through this again if it comes back? Will the treatments really help? Will my hair really grow back? What if it’s not so treatable next time? What if I’m dying and I just don’t know it yet? What if, what if, what if...My mind was overwhelmed with what ifs.

Then came the doubts.

Will my husband still find me attractive, how can he stand looking at me, will my children be embarrassed of me, will I ever feel normal again....

I even had the fear of so and so or this person or that person seeing me like this. I tried to hide when I would see someone in the store that I knew or at school when I signed my kids up. Will I always feel this way? Will I always have to make myself face people?

Then there is the heightened awareness of every physical sensation. I have a headache. The cancer must have went to my brain. My back hurts. I must have spinal mets. I forgot where I put my keys. The cancer must be worse than I thought.

The other day my hips started hurting really bad. I instantly thought, I must have cancer in my hips. I reminded myself that they checked me for that a while back.

I wanted to find out how other cancer survivors handle these fears so I started searching the Internet. I wanted to find out how other cancer survivors have been able to move on with their lives, what has helped other women get over the fear of the unknown future.

Well after my very long search, instead of assuaging my fear, the article greatly increased my apprehension. Really? Seriously? That’s all you’ve got? I wondered. Am I really supposed to be less afraid.

I decided that the best medicine for me was placing this all in the Lord hands. Reading His Word, Praying, resting on His promises. Each and every day I have to turn it over to Him. Those fears and doubts try to rob me of my joy.

I finally came to the understanding within my own mind, if the cancer does come back and it's not treatable, then I will die. We are all going to die. None of us has the assurance that we will live another day. So there you go. If the cancer comes back and I die, I will be with the Lord.

The only reassurance I’ve been able to find in all of this is in Psalm 139 that says, “All of my days were written in Your book before one of them came to be…I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

The only meaningful answer I’ve been able to find for the lingering questions of an unknown future is that I have been made by a Creator who knows me and loves me and has carefully planned the day I was born and the day I will die.

Any other hope seems at best trite, and at worst, a lie.

Anxiety medicines are temporary. Even the best-intentioned family and friends are human and will let you down sometimes. And while cancer advances are encouraging, and, I pray the reason I will stay alive a bit longer, they fail, too.

But our Creator? He never fails. He is never late. He is never wrong. He knit my being together in infinitely careful detail, and He is the sovereign master of every part of me.

I surrendered my life to Him long before this cancer came along. And no matter what happens, He is, as He has always been, Lord of my life, my death, my career, my finances, my health – and yes, even my hair.


Anonymous said...

My Precious daughter, I am sure you have questions, yet I can answer one NO word in the Bible says "What If".
I had a Pastor say to me once well "What If" this happens or that and I was going on a 24 hour plane trip. He could have prayed with us but he did not.
From that moment on I lived with the words "What If" and then I dismissed them from my words or thoughts.
There are no "What If's" with God and I am so Thankful for that!
I Praise the Lord for you and I know He will carry you, Heal you and you are already beautiful so we do not need to even think about that part!

You are so Loved

Jan Parrish said...

Hebrews 13:20
"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

Philippians 4:7

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

John 14:27
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."


I commend you for being vulnerable on this blog and for sharing your heart. There is a lot of healing in that.

Remember Jesus is with you each step of the way. I know you trust Him to do what's best for you. Even if it means a cancer relapse.

Perhaps fear is something that you have been dealing with even before you had cancer. Give him your fears once and for all. Ask God what He wants you to learn from this.

I'll be praying for you Lori. You are so precious in His sight. Cling to him now.


Anonymous said...

Oh Daughter
I have to tell you what I was tiinking, now this is my little humor....As I read this and I am sure you have put all into God's hands and I know you are trusting in Him.
I thought Gee my kids used to be embarrased of me taking them to school, yikes my hip hurts and last week I had a headache for two days and my back is hurting not my hip anymore, plus I normally can't find my keys. I have also tried to not let pepole see me in the store if I feel I look not quit right that day. Will hubby love me since I am not what I used to be.
I hope you got a chuckle out of my thoughts yet in all seriouness I know how difficult this is and I know God can and will carry you through each day! One day at a time you are so right and He does tell us that in His word.
I am so happy that you are truly trusing in our Wonderful Lord and Savior with your life. I Praise Him!
By the Way I would think something was really wrong if you were not tired since you tire me out just thinking what you do in a days time! I am so Thankful for God and His Love!
You are Loved


Lori said...

Mom and Jan,

Thank you for your comments and your prayers.


You are to funny! Remember one of us didn't mind that you dropped us off at school in your curlers. (That would be my little brother Derik) (Brother if your reading this I just mentioned your name on my blog. Hee, Hee)

You are right there are no What ifs in the Bible. I think your my biggest fan. It's sort of nice.


Thank you for all the encouragement. I love all the scripture and your faithful prayers.

I should be all done with all of this by mid January. I really can't wait.


Anonymous said...

Well I did not want to mention who did and did not let me take them to school, that would have been telling on well you know!
Yes brother did let me take him and even let me sit there a talk till the bell rang. Now remember he was your baby too!
I am so Thankful you are feeling better!