Friday, September 24, 2010

Sometimes denial is easier.

There are harder things than waiting.

It's when the waiting ends and you don't like the news.

Denial is much easier for me.

I love denial.

It's safe.

It's a world in which I can create what is going on regardless of reality.

As I wrote the last sentence to my post yesterday my oncologist called.

My safe little bubble of denial started to shatter.

It is never good when your doctor calls you.

If the news is nothing new, come see me in three months, the nurse calls.

It turns out that my liver's ears had good reason to itch yesterday.

If my lung had known what was good for it, it would have been itching, too.

The spots on the liver have grown, the radiologist thinks they look suspicious enough to biopsy, and I am scheduled for one on Friday the 1st of October.

The MRI also picked up the tumor in my lung. It seems that this tumor has grown by half a centimeter.

I wish I had more news to give you, but the above information is all I was given. We will talk about options when we get the biopsy results.

As always, I was a little numb after I hung up the phone with my doctor.

After a few minutes the news set in and the tears started.

Bad news, no matter how vague, never gets easier to take.

This time it was just Gabi and I at home.

Gabi doesn't have any idea what is going on. She wanted to make birthday cakes out of playdough. We sang happy birthday to Karis, made candles for the cake, played princess, put each other in the dungeon. (aka, the bedroom. And no, I don't put them in the dungeon when they are bad, this is something they came up with on their own)

Somehow we managed to do all of this in between me disappearing into the bathroom and blowing my nose.

I kept thinking, praise God for kids. They keep what is important about life front and center. No time for me to sink into despair.

So, what am I thinking?

My initial reaction is to throw in the towel. I've tried doing all these other things. Special diets, special doctors, special whatever.

From what I can see it has done nothing.

Frustration, bitterness, and anger are just waiting for me to turn to them.

I can feel them lurking, lurking, lurking when things like this happen.

I'm learning that in the midst of my tears, before I can even coherently talk about the latest health news, it's best to turn to God's Word.

"The Word of the Lord is proven." Ps. 18:30 is a promise that hasn't failed me yet.

This time God seemed to be saying to turn to Philipians.

I read all four chapters.

Here is what is helping me keep those lurking emotions at bay.

First, Paul was in prison at the time. When I was in Rome forever ago we went to what was thought to be Paul's prison. It wasn't a nice place all cleaned out and empty, so I'm sure it was horrible when he was in it.

Yet he writes all these encouraging words to the Philippians.

I'm not pretending to be anything at all like Paul, but the being in prison part resounded with me.

In a way it feels like my body is a prison.

I have all these dreams and hopes of what I want to do and where I want to be.

My body doesn't allow most of this to happen, hence the prison.

Knowing he is facing a physical prison while writing these words made them all the more encouraging.

I won't write out the entire passage, but what really got to me was Phil 3:7-16. I'll sum it up.

Paul has lost a lot, and is in prison, but none of that matters as long as he gains Christ. There is nothing good in him, only what comes through faith in Christ. The kind of righteousness that only comes through the resurrection from the dead. He knew he didn't have it yet, and this is what really grabbed me.

vs. 12, "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own."

I LOVE that. Christ Jesus has made me his own.

I know I'm saved because I have put my faith in Christ to forgive me for my sins.

He has made me his own.

Frankly, I'm scared. I cry when I think of everything that could happen. Tumors in lungs aren't fun. They are painful. Already I have to sleep on one side because it is hard to breath on the other one. What if it gets hard everywhich way?

I don't want to do a biopsy. I don't want to stay on a special diet. I don't want to have to decide if a lung needs to be removed or not. Or decide which doctors can help the most.

But I am going to choose to remember that all that really matters is that He has made me his own.

In a sense we are all in the prison of our bodies. Some may feel it a little more than others, but it doesn't change the fact that our lives here on earth are very short compared to what comes after.

The question is who we are putting our trust in for eternity. Ourselves or Jesus?

Somehow this latest news has brought that front and center for me. As long as I have Him, what happens to my body here on earth really doesn't matter.

Do I want everything to get better? Absolutely!

But He has made me His own, and that is what I'm going to rest in - no matter what happens.


Christy said...

I wish I had something really encouraging to write. . but everything you just stated in your post is so true and life-giving. You are not alone through this-total strangers like me are praying for you and thinking of you and your girls and husband.

MommaMindy said...

Somehow "I'm sorry" can't even begin to describe the pain in my heart and the tears in my eyes. I so wanted those beans to wash your cancer away! I guess I really believed it was going to work, too. The thing I have also learned to rest in, as I also try alternative medical ideas, is that ultimately is it not in our hands to cure our own cancer. Sometimes I feel that it is. Yes, we should educate ourselves and try things to improve our health, but our faith should always rest in the Lord.

My grief is only comforted by the fact that you have a wonderful Heavenly bridegroom and a wonderful earthly bridegroom. May they meet all the needs and cries of your heart.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Oh Rebecca...I wish the news had been better. I feel sometimes like it's such a platitude to say "I'm praying for you." But I really am, and if there's anything else I can do, REALLY -- let me know! Babysit, cook, clean -- I know you've had people helping you but I want you to know, I'm here too if you need it!