Reflecting on My Cancer Battle (Part 5: Celebrating 3 Years)
Okay, first, the winners of the giveaway . . .
After a random drawing, these three folk will each receive a signed copy of Darlington Woods.
Josiah Ritchie . . . Brianne Shipley . . . Josh Rollins.
Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered and celebrated with me 3 years of freedom from cancer.
Now, the reflection . . .
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The potency of cancer is that it knocks you down emotionally first. It’s that big bad bully standing in the middle of the playground taunting you, flexing his muscles and jawing away about how much hurtin’ he’s gonna put on you. It’s an intimidator. It beats you down emotionally and psychologically before the physical stuff even begins.
Just the word evokes fear. Cancer. It’s a mountain of a word,
the Mt. Everest of diagnoses. And anyone given it to wear is marked for pity.
From the moment I was diagnosed others approached us and apologized, some cried, we received phone calls from well-wishers all wondering how this happened. Cards came in the mail daily, offering condolences, prayers, and help. Wherever we went where we were known we got looks. You know the look, sad eyes, frown, maybe a subtle shake of the head. Poor, poor boy. We were the cancer family.
There’s nothing wrong with all that, it’s normal and somewhat appropriate but it’s all part of cancer’s ploy, it’s part of the psychological warfare waged against the person with cancer and his or her family.
Even before the surgery or the chemo I was done for. I felt like a feeble, helpless, pitiable, victim.
I felt like a cancer patient.
And the bully had already gained the upper hand.
From March 29, 2008:
I’m finding out that cancer is a battle. And one I can’t win on my own. I keep thinking that there is this thing inside me and it wants to kill me. I look ahead at the next year full of radiation and chemotherapy and surgery and an ileostomy bag and weeks and weeks of recovery time and I feel overwhelmed. I see Goliath in all his grotesque glory hovering over me with his tree-sized sword and SUV-sized shield laughing at me, taunting me. And then the fatigue and weariness hit. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, even spiritually. My knees waver and knock and I begin to lower my slingshot and cower in fear. I even notice the vultures carving circles in the sky above me . . .
Hold on there, don’t condemn me just yet. The best is yet to come.
. . . and then I hear them, the voices. Hundreds, heck, I don’t know, maybe thousands of people praying and encouraging and urging me onward. Cheering me forward. Strengthening me. And there is one voice that rises above them all, a deep, thunderous yet soothing voice that caresses my soul and lifts my spirit from the miry clay, as the psalmist put it. It’s the voice of my Lord, my Savior, my Friend, my Daddy, assuring me that He is with me, right beside me, holding my hand.
And suddenly the giant doesn’t look so big anymore. In comparison to my Dad, he’s just an ant and I can proudly and confidently say, “My Dad will beat you silly.” Because then I realize–and oh the joy of the realization–that this battle is not mine at all . . . this battle belongs to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47)!