It has been awhile since my last post and a great deal has happened since then. I will do my best to summarize the new lessons that have come to light during my family’s journey through battling cancer and continue to work to share this message for those that need it most.
First, to give you all an update on my mom’s progress in her battle against cancer…My mom continues to amaze and astound us with her perseverance, courage, and strength as she continues through this trying time in her life. One positive test after another has filled every day with blessings that remind us just how fortunate we are to be in the situation we are.
The cancer was caught early, chemo was started immediately, and the positive results have been pouring in ever since. The tumor shrank 25% after the first CT scan, the cancer marker in the blood has gone done 60% since the start of chemotherapy in September of 2013. Doctor’s told us in December that after 2 more cycles we would have another CT scan and at that point they would decide if the tumor had shrunk enough for the Wipple operation. The day was fast approaching, mom continued to look stronger and more active day by day.
The first few weeks seem like a distant memory, one that we are all glad is in the past. I distinctly remember watching my mom have to curl up on the floor in pain from the pancreatitis and feeling helpless, wishing I could do something but knowing I could do nothing but hold her hand.
Looking at her now you would almost think that she didn’t even have cancer, aside from her temporary hairstyle. Like we tell her time and time again, “You look beautiful without hair and this just means when it grows back it will be even more wonderful than ever!” She is back to driving, running errands, doing things around the house, it is nothing short of amazing how much progress has come in just 4 short months.
We anxiously were awaiting the day for the CT scan that would determine whether or not the doctors would recommend scheduling the surgery and finally the day came. It happened on a Monday and the oncological surgeon said we would have to wait until Thursday for the results. He was going to consult with the radiologist on Thursday to determine if the veins and arteries were no longer compromised and if it was safe to remove the tumor.
Thursday arrived and… no answer. The doctor unfortunately didn’t get a chance to talk to the radiologist. My parents called the office and they said we would likely have an answer by Friday.
Friday came and went, still no answer.
Over the weekend we did our best to maintain a positive attitude and keep Mom positive saying, “Just keep in mind, no matter what happens, God has the perfect plan for you. If the surgery happens great, if not, God has some more lessons for us all to learn before that time comes.”
Monday arrived, I was sitting at my desk at work and received a text from Mom, “No surgery yet. Radiologist told surgeon both an artery and the vein are still compromised so I need to keep on with the chemo longer.”
Slouching back in my chair I felt a small flicker of disappointment that was quickly replaced with a strong sensation that that was what was meant to happen. Mom had said to me just a few weeks ago, “I think God is telling us both to wait.” Although it was talking about a different topic, it holds true in this moment.
The lesson today is all about patience, about understanding that our timing isn’t always perfect, but God’s is.
Have you ever sat there wondering, “Why can’t it just happen now?!” You sit there thinking to yourself, if __________ happened now, THEN I would be happy (fulfilled, calmer, excited, etc.). Do you think that’s true? Do you think that if you got that promotion, got more money, had your loans paid off, arrived home after a delayed flight, right now that everything would suddenly be better?
I can tell you that in most cases it wouldn’t. The challenges, adversity, and uncertainty that enters our life is all there for one reason, to teach us a lesson. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing we want more than to have my mom cancer free and back to her old self, but we can either mope and say, “woe is me” or we can look at this situation with confidence and curiosity asking God, “What is the lesson I need to learn from this? How can I use this to help others around me?”
Sometimes, patience is the hardest thing to have. In trying times, moments of pain and hurt, patience is generally one of the first things to slip through our gasp. But patience is what helps us enjoy the ride. Patience is what helps us realize that being here is not just about us as individuals, it is about our experience with everyone around us. Patience helps us lend a hand, even when we are going through a tough time. Patience helps a new comer feel welcome. Patience shows love.
We all need to reacquaint ourselves with patience and learn how to bring it into our lives more and more. Don’t mistake patience for inactivity, patience is knowing when to sit quietly and simply listen, then when the time comes, explode out into the world with all of your fire and intensity.
Let patience guide you and passion fuel you.
I love you Mom, your patience during this time continues to inspire me. I love you so much, remember, this won’t last forever and we are all here for you every step of the way.