Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Transparent Tuesday

Today's transparent topic: Cancer

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...

• When I'm not honest about the reality of how hard life is, I waste God's offer of peace.
• When I try to do things in my own strength, I waste God's offer of power.
• When I keep the pain to myself, and pretend everything is perfect, I waste opportunities to minister to others walking a similar path.
But when I confess my feelings of inadequacies, when I admit I'm helpless to heal the wounded ones in my care, I get to a place of reliance - and that's just where God wants me. For in this place of helplessness, God takes center stage. And when I let God lead, miracles start to happen.
Although I'd remove the pain and trauma with a snap of my fingers if I could, I know God is working even in this.                                                                                          -Glynnis Whitwer
So, back to that question I posed a bit earlier...this should terrify me, right? Right! But you know what?...I'm feeling very much at peace because God's on my side and this is yet another opportunity for me to share His power
Let's take a peek at that previous list of ailments and surgeries my dad's experienced over the last 6 years with my new perspective. If I were to rewrite this post, this is how it would read...
Cancer schmancer, that's nothing! 
Look what our mighty God has delivered us from so far:
  •  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: dfrieling1@gmail.com. 


Lisa at Shine Your Light said...

Dana, I'm sorry to hear of your dad's health issues in the last few years, and now cancer, but I will pray for him through his surgery today and for his recovery. I think your attitude adjustment is wonderful and can only help you and your dad and family to power through this hard time. Hang in there girl!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh dana! i am thinking of you and keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers. hang in there- that quote is so true. i know in my heart it is, and i know from experience.

Jess@hillcountryhomebody.blogspot.com said...

I wish I could give you a big hug! You guys are are all in our prayers!

Whitney @ drab to fab design said...

Dana, I'm sorry to hear that your dad has been through so much, but I'm so glad you're able to try to see the positive and reflect on everything good that has come. I hope your dad's surgery goes nothing but smoothly today.

Sonya Sosa said...

Dana, if I were near I would hug you, hold your hand, but not as an empathy gesture. I'd hold your hand just as I know God is doing at this moment, to keep you strong as He walks with you through these difficult times. I too know He will get your father through this and has a plan. Trust in his plan and embrace it. My prayers will be for him and your family.

Elaine - Visual Meringue said...

Thank you for this positive spin. I am thinking of you and your dad. And I am so sorry for your news. And yes, a personal story to me as well. Chin up friend.

Megan Brooke said...

So sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis. Hearing a loved one has cancer is never fun {I've had three family members diagnosed with cancer}.

I pray that God would use your dad's diagnosis in a way that would glorify Him and pray for healing. I'll keep your family in my prayers for sure!

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