Monday, February 27, 2012

I only get nervous about the cancer returning on days that end in "Y."

I know it's been awhile since I updated on how Sophia is doing.  It's mostly because that now her scans are 3 months apart, we are out of immediate danger - as long as she stays in remission.  Last week, we hit the 6 month mark!!  It's not something we celebrated with a lot of fanfare, but we certainly full up our days with thanks to God for continuing to keep her cancer-free.  She is doing great - she loves school, is reading like a fiend and pushing my buttons daily.  In short, she is Sophia, fully five & 1/2.  We are still learning how to live life outside of the bubble of treatment, although it has gotten easier (even if it does feel like we are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder pretty often.)

Until this week.

Her next round of scans/tests are Friday.  That means last Thursday I started thinking about it and today, my anxiety hit me full force.  You might wonder what goes through my mind, and these thoughts about cover it: 

Does her eye look different?

Can she see ok?

Would I really know if it had come back?

Can I really handle going through chemo if the tumor has grown?

How can I tell her if it has grown, that she will lose her hair again and have to leave school?
How bad will it be on her if she has relapsed?

How bad will it be on me?

How bad will it be on Dave?

How bad will it be on Natalie?

While I was doing dishes tonight, a verse I'd memorized with Natalie to help her get through her fear of sleeping without a light on came to me: 
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline.  (2 Timothy 1:7)
I need that power this week - the power to overcome the fear breeding inside my heart.  I need that power to burst forth and break up the knot in my chest; remove this monkey from my shoulders.  I need the love of the people that have supported us all the way through that just keeps pouring in.  (It's funny, the lady that told me a year or so ago that eventually everyone would stop caring seems to have been dead wrong). 

I need the self-discipline to control my mind and not let it go chasing off after the fear monster down long, dark tunnels that leave me paralyzed.

Seriously, folks.  There has only been one way we've gotten through to this point - the grace of God.  We aren't super-heros, full of strength and confidence.  We are only and ever strong because The Lord is using our weakness to manifest just how big He is.  He is carrying us - now and forever.  He was always doing that, but it took something as big as cancer to make that truth take root in my heart.

I know a lot of people are facing cancer, other serious illnesses and life-changing situations.  It is no joke that they either make you or break you.  And it's not just when you first get the news or throughout treatment.  It is forever because this scar, this badge of honor if you will, is one you will always carry.  You may not tell everyone you meet, but it changes you in ways that are deep and abiding.  It is our choice to let those changes make us better or worse.  I am convinced that there is nothing so broken that God cannot fix it but we may not always like the way He patches it up.

I'll close with a quote from my friend, Jolynne.  Every time her daughter, Anna Grace (who Sophia did radiation with a year ago), goes in for scans, I get to tell her the same thing.  It is easier to see the answers to prayer when it is someone else's child, but I will never forget her words because they have calmed me down multiple times in the last hour since she texted them to me. 
I really believe that she is healed, Amy.  I just know it!  I always feel a peace when I pray for her.
Faith makes things possible, but not easy.  This won't be an easy week but with Jolynne's words under my belt and all the prayers being lifted up for Sophia's results, I will rest in the fact that God knows what He is doing.

And it is good.

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