On December 22, 2020, I had a routine mammogram. A short, five weeks later, on January 28, 2021, I will begin chemo treatments. Apparently I’m a bit of an overachiever when it comes to having cancer so we’re gonna get right down to business and knock this thing out. The next few months won’t be fun, but whatever it takes to get past this is good with me. It feels good to have a plan. And it feels good to be able to make some choices in a season where it feels like so much is being decided for you.
At each one of my appointments, I’ve left with an armful of information and occasionally an item or two as an expression of kindness. I have absolutely no doubt that those items were given to me with the best intent and genuine caring. So what I’m about to say doesn’t come from a place of ingratitude. This is just ME talking. Another patient might feel completely differently. So hear me when I say I get it - the kind gestures. But I didn’t want stuff. A pink rose. A blanket. Another rose. A jar of encouraging quotes. Every time I walked out of those appointments through waiting rooms and lobbies and parking lots carrying one of those items, I felt like I was carrying a billboard that said “I JUST FOUND OUT I HAVE CANCER.” If people were going to find out my business, I wanted to be the one to tell them. Again, in a time when you have little control over what is happening to you, actually taking control of something is important.
When the diagnosis was confirmed, I communicated with most of the people I wanted to tell directly. Not everyone, because it became exhausting. But I did the best I could, then decided I would be the person to make it public; how, when, and where I wanted to. As a writer, the choice to write through this season is an easy one, whether that be in the form of blogs or songs or books. Words are my comfort and my weapon; my drug of choice and my finest offering. There will likely be days when you get to read through my hurt, joy, anger, frustration, wonder, embarrassment, and amusement. Just know that whatever I share will be real, honest, and because I feel a weight of responsibility to use my words wisely, will be written with a desire to serve, bless, and point you to Truth.
Making this journey without believing there is great purpose in every step would feel incredibly empty. Instead, I am trusting this is not a journey I make alone and certainly not for my benefit only. Yes, this is my story, but it also isn’t my story. I hope you will see that as these weeks and months go by.
The next few days will be filled with more scans, getting my port, and gearing up for what will undoubtedly be a challenging time. As much as I loathe the potential for some less-than-stellar days, part of me is genuinely excited about what God is doing. When you believe in the sovereignty of God, as I do, it is easier to get to a place of peace, rather than a place a fear, because you trust the hand of God at every turn, in every valley, under every dark sky. That doesn’t mean I’m going to respond perfectly to every opportunity I have to trust Him, but I’m sure gonna try.
Lastly, your comments, emails, texts, calls, and cards have been an overwhelming encouragement to me and my family. We feel your prayers and we certainly need them in the days ahead. My kids have lived their whole lives hearing me tell them, “Be a blessing!”every time they leave the house. In these recent days, we have been the recipients of so many blessings, and for that, the only words I have are to tell you we are deeply grateful.