Okay, first of all, I’m a bit emotional today, a lot scared, and feeling a little scattered, so I apologize if this post rambles beyond belief. I’ve been wanting to post an update since my doctor called me Friday night to tell me that I was going to need another biopsy, but I’ve been waiting, hoping for some sort of wisdom to come to me first. Yet, it hasn’t. In my humanity, I don’t have the ability to make sense of everything in my life, no matter how hard I pray for wisdom.
It’s seemed to be one obstacle after another this year, and I don’t know why things have happened this way. But I’m realizing that it’s okay to recognize and accept my limitations. That’s not to say that I don’t think we should continuously seek to better know and understand our purpose on Earth and the meaning of our life, but as I attended the funeral of a dear friend’s mother this morning, I was struck by how even in the midst of an expected death of a loved one who has lived a long life, there are still questions and there is still grief, and that’s not only okay, but natural.
We might never quite comprehend why we have to suffer, or why we are given the crosses we are. We might never understand why we have to grieve, or why we have to say goodbye to those we love, even if we believe it’s only an earthly, temporary good-bye. We might never grow-out of being afraid, no matter how many things we’ve overcome or how long we’ve lived. And most of us might never be saintly enough to completely abandon sadness and anger and accept what we are given, even if we believe in our hearts that God is with us and that His love is bigger than all things.
Today as I watched my friend and his family pray for the soul of their beloved, honoring the great woman she was and the many roles she filled here on earth, I witnessed tears and sighs of grief. But I also found myself in an incredible position to witness great joy and laughter. For as a young mother, chasing after her crawling, yelping, giggling, farting baby boy, I received a plethora of smiles and chuckles accompanied by knowing shakes of the head, right there in the middle of all that grief.
Today I was brought to tears by the reminder that joy exists always, even in unexpected places like a funeral mass. Sometimes, it just takes a little child to remind us of the love that is bigger than all things.
And so tonight, I am embracing my fear, my anger, my confusion, and all of my questions. I do not know why I was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago. I do not know why, after six gruelling cycles of chemotherapy and believing I had reached remission three months ago, I am again being tested by the sign of activity that may or may not be cancer. I do not know why the first biopsy done last week was unsuccessful, meaning that I must have a surgical biopsy tomorrow. I do not know why the activity is showing on the edge of my tumor, forcing my surgeon to do a more intense biopsy than the one I had last year, one which frightens me because it entails three incisions instead of one, a deflated lung, chest tubes, possible hospital stay over the weekend, and a longer recovery time. I do not know why we all suffer, and why so many others suffer much greater pains than me.
But what do I know? I know that joy can overcome sorrow and that love exists always, and how great this knowledge is; how it overcomes all things!
“…now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:12-13
I would be so grateful if you would send me positive thoughts and pray on my behalf tomorrow morning (my procedure is scheduled for seven-thirty, but judging from my nerves all week I could use those prayers starting now!). If you wish to pray for specific intentions, pray that no cancer is found (there is a possibility that the activity is brown fat) and that the procedure goes as smoothly as possible. Pray that I might have courage and peace, and that my surgeon might be confident and skilful. Pray that my husband and family might be comforted. But most of all, pray that I might be given grace to accept whatever the outcome might be, and if necessary, strength to face the next step of treatment.
As always, I am unable to fully express my gratitude for your support. I’ll be thinking of you all tomorrow, and praying in thanksgiving for your friendship and love.