There are many words that can change your life. Cancer is definitely one of them.
Two weeks ago (June 25 to be exact), I received a phone call at 9:30 on a Sunday night from my doctor that confirmed that the lump I felt in my left breast at the end of May was, in fact, invasive ductal carcinoma. I asked, "what does that mean?" "It's cancer."
Life changed. I will put all the details of my diagnosis of breast cancer and what I have found out since in the next post, but this news itself warrants a post of it's own. It's shocking. It's real. It's news that will change my life and the life of those I love most.
Hope is also a word that has changed my life.
My mentor in college had me memorize Psalm 62:5... "Find rest, o my soul, in God alone. My hope comes from him." This is where my mind went after receiving the phone call from my doctor with the biopsy findings, and continues to be what I keep coming back to. My hope has never been in my circumstances, but in God alone... and now in this especially. It's so huge, so unknown, so out of my control, I praise God that my hope can be found in Him, in my salvation rather than my physical health. It doesn't mean it's not scary. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to do everything medically and physically possible to rid my body of this invader. It means that I have hope and joy that lives outside of this body. It means that I believe in a God that is bigger than cancer. It means that I can rest in knowing that I am not alone in life and especially in this--not only does God himself live in me but he sends me hope through others--Jesus with skin on.
I was encouraged by friends to blog this journey--for me as well as keeping family and friends updated in a central location. I had kinda forgotten about the blog I started years ago (my last post was in 2013!) and figured why create a new one... no need to remember a new password! Also, the pictures on here from so many years ago are fun for me to look back on, and I think will be a source of encouragement for me. So, here I am and I plan to post as frequently as I feel the need. It's going to be a place for me to put it out there... mostly for me, but also for you, too. For me to post on what is happening so I can keep track of the God moments in my story, so I can vent and put words to the feelings and process of this journey ahead of me, so you can track with me and know how to pray for me and my family, so I don't have to spend so much time on my phone responding to each text or facebook message (though I love being reached out to!) with the same updates to all of you wonderful people who care so deeply for me.
If you feel the need to comment, I would appreciate a prayer or a scripture that you focus on in times of trouble. Please no comments on how your relative died of cancer or how terrible chemo is, no advice or soliciting your products, no cliches or those well intentioned words we say when we don't know what to say. This is hard. It just is. Prayers and God's truth, those are what will encourage and sustain me through this. I got the saying below from my former MOPS mentor, Linda Berry, who had been given this quote throughout her own battle with breast cancer and it has been repeated in my house and in my heart several times in the last couple weeks...
Cancer sucks, but HOPE wins.