There, I said it...the "C" word. It's an ugly word, isn't it? Is there anything good associated with this word? The only good I can think of, is when there's another word that quickly follows it...survivor.
My family's world was rocked last Friday when we were personally introduced into the world of cancer. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer. He's having surgery TODAY to remove the tumor, his appendix and 12-15 lymph nodes.
So this should terrify me, right? I won't lie, I was scared to call my dad to learn his test results. The last thing you want to hear come out of a loved one's mouth is, "It's cancer." Here was our exchange...me: "Is it bad?" him: "Yeah, it's the bad stuff." We didn't even want to say it out loud. It was like saying the word brought it to life, made it a reality. We hung up and he proceeded to do his pre-op procedures and I boarded a plane to return from vacation. I cried all the way home.
I found myself slipping into the "Why, God?" mode. Of all people, why my poor father? Hasn't he been through enough? Just 6 years ago he experienced a virus that left him with brain damage and since then the hits just keep on coming...2 surgeries for carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery for diverticulitis, surgery for a hernia repair and now cancer. Would you believe that my dad could probably count on one hand how many days he missed of work when I was growing up due to illness? He was the poster child for health. He actively exercised and ate right. Never sick. This is all new territory. Oh yeah and he's only 63 y.o.
I returned from our trip and made another call to my parents for more details. This call left me feeling a little more optimistic, but still, I was surprised at myself and the impending feeling of doom I was allowing myself to experience. I didn't have the energy to call or email my friends to ask for prayers but then I ran across something that changed my whole attitude and perspective.
I read my daily devotional and it was titled, "God never wastes our pain." Here's the part that, clearly, God was wanting me to think about...
- An extremely close call with death that resulted in brain damage, but more importantly...he survived and I've had countless cherished moments with my dad that at one point didn't seem possible. And, did I mention his amazing artwork that he produced post brain injury?! Such a precious gift!
- Not just one hand surgery, but two.
- Several bouts with diverticulitis with one ending in surgery
- Hernia repair surgery
- And now...cancer. I'm going ahead and adding this one to the list because I have complete faith that God will deliver us from this tragedy as well. It may not be packaged up with a pretty bow on top, but He will be holding our hands and our hearts as we face the events and news the next few days will bring.
I like this sign that someone put in a bus or the subway...
Plain, simple and to the point, but spoken with love of course.
I know my family's not alone is this battle. If you too are walking this rocky road then I'd be honored to pray for you. Please leave me a comment or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.