As promised, today I’m turning the keyboard over to my friend Amy who is battling breast cancer. I know you’ll be encouraged by her message.
I’m on a journey that I never expected. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at a very early age of 38, I never thought I’d have to deal with the ugly C word again.
My first journey was easy in the grand scheme of things. Surgery, a great report, another surgery and no follow up treatment. It’s what you would consider the best case scenario. To top it off, I was given an extremely low chance of recurrence. I told people more than once that I’d have a better chance of getting hit by a car than having breast cancer again.
Well, that car wreck happened three and a half years later on November 4, 2016. In four very fast weeks, I found out my cancer was back and was now invasive, had multiple doctor’s appointments, three surgeries and a plan of action. I started my treatment on December 13, 2016 – a treatment that includes five months of chemo, six weeks of daily radiation, and two follow up surgeries. It’s a daunting road ahead.
Today, I’m sitting smack dab in the middle of it.
MY MISSION FIELD
The night that we received my diagnosis that the cancer was back, my husband, Jeff, and I had some very real, very raw, very emotional discussions. Like most people, we wondered why. Why do we have to journey this again? We’ve had six plus years of one trial after another – losing my Dad to cancer, my original cancer, unemployment, and now this?
As we lay in bed crying to each other and crying out to God, my husband said, “I think this is our mission field. We can do hard things.” That one statement changed my perspective. God began to show me that while He chose me to go on this ride, He promised to always go before me and follow me. He would place His hand of blessing on my head. (Psalm 139:5)
Do you ever wish that God gave you a burning bush like He did back in the days of Moses? Well, I got my burning bush the day after I found out that my cancer was back.
In short, Jeff had a change in employment a month before, and we were way overdue to receive a bill on a certain extra insurance policy that would specifically be related to this new cancer journey. The day after my diagnosis was consumed with phone calls to family and close friends, lots of tears, and talking to each other about what “if”s and processing everything we had found out the night before.
At the end of one of those conversations, Jeff got up to go get the mail. I looked at him and said “If God’s got this, that bill is in the mail today.” And wouldn’t you know it?! Our burning bush! We laughed and immediately knew that although we are not guaranteed a “sign”, nor should we need something “physical”, God met us where we were and revealed Himself to us.
And He’s been doing the same for us ever since. He’s present. He’s real. He is a God that really is active still today! Why does it take something big and scary for me to recognize that? I know He’s here in everyday life – often I’m just too busy to see Him.
THE REALITY OF GOD’S PRESENCE
Although I can’t recount how many times He’s been in-my-face present, I’d like to recap a few:
- I noticed an area of concern in my left breast on the Monday of the week that I had a regularly schedule 6 month follow up appointment with my surgical oncologist. God wanted me to find this cancer.
- We were supposed to go on a trip to Cabo with friends that we planned way back in June. We were to leave the day after we got my biopsy results. Three weeks prior, Jeff and I were feeling unsettled about the trip (Hello Holy Spirit!) and decided it was best to cancel and stay home. God knew that we needed to be home.
- My Mom had been traveling overseas and was landing while I was on the phone with my doctor receiving the news that my cancer was back. She had already planned to spend the night at our house. God knew that I needed my Mom.
- Jeff started a new job in September 2016 working for a friend whom he worked for during my last cancer journey and Dad’s death. He’s a godly, family man. A huge support for us. Never mind that our insurance kicked in on October 13th. My first appointment and biopsy was on November 4th. God knew that Jeff needed the ability to not worry about work and be able to have flexibility to deal with cancer and God was going to make sure it was covered by insurance.
- I had a PET scan on November 10th and was a nervous wreck to the point of being physically ill. I had to talk to the financial people before the scan. The woman I met with was not friendly. Out of nowhere she asked if this was a recurrence. She immediately softened and told me her story, that she was a believer and a cancer survivor and that I was going to be OK. She ended our conversation with a hug and immediately I had peace – the peace that passes all understanding! God uses people even when you don’t expect it to relay his words of truth to you.
- On November 15th my mother-in-law sent us a package. I was home gearing up for my first surgery and having a particularly hard day. When I turned it over to open it, smack in the middle of the bar code of random letters and numbers was GOD. csxGodS41Xb Really? God shows up on the UPS box?!
- During my second surgery I was a nervous wreck. Jeff suggested I listen to music while they were putting in my IV. My nurse said “Listen to good loud angry music!” Then she asked what I was listening to. When I told her Lauren Daigle radio on Pandora, she said, “God music is SO much better.” This lead into an entire discussion on faith, church, and God’s provision. This happened to me not once, but three more times during difference surgeries. God is in the hospital, in the operating room, He is!
I’ll close with this …
God has showed up for me daily. He has awoken me and impressed on my heart when it was time to write something on Facebook. He has awoken me and impressed on my heart to get in the Word and provided the verses that I needed that day. He has dropped a new friend in my life “for such a time as this”. He has repeatedly put two verses practically every where I look.
“Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and of sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God is real, people. He is a personal God. He loves you and He loves me! The God of the universe knows ME – knows MY needs – He wants a relationship with ME. That is overwhelming and awesome.
Guess what?! HE wants it for you too!
So good, right?!?!
Will y’all please pray with me for loads of grace for Amy and her family as she finishes out chemo, radiation and her multiple surgeries? We’re believing for a full healing and recovery! God is able.