Thursday, May 10, 2012

5 years of survivorship

Humbling to write, with sun glowing all yellow through the window, knowing You are the reason I am still here.
60 months ago I heard my doctor say, "Bonnie, it's cancer." Tears were not immediate.  I was stunned. The babe on my lap softened the horrific onslaught of emotions. I thought I'd be dead and gone like my daddy was..leaving my children mommy-less. My husband alone.

I could be engulfed in fear, becoming a victim of a cancer diagnosis OR I could turn to You with all I had--which Lord, was my children, my husband, my brother and his friends..
You.  Turned my face to You..

You provided a husband's strong arms, visits from family and friends, meal after meal, visits, flowers, gifts, prayers by the multitudes..a great surgeon. A fantastic anesthesiologist. Healing after surgery. A compassionate oncologist.

You helped me with Your presence. I sensed You with me, in a palpable, gloriously real way.
Chemo made me SO sick...vomiting uncontrollably..I remember laying on the bed, my short stubble hair hurting on the hospital's pillow..totally unable to stop my stomach's lurching forth..
If I try a little, I can taste the zofran, a medicine that was supposed to help the nausea.
Even now, 5 years later.

The worst part about a cancer diagnosis is all the "advice" you get.  People crawl out of their own way
to tell you about their late aunt, who died from cancer, or their cousin twice removed who had it in their bones and before they knew it, were dead and buried. Gee thanks..
Then there are the health gurus, who tell you to eat this. Not that. And you will be well. Like for the rest of your life.  I kept telling myself they mean well, they are trying to help, but it did not.

What helped the most?

Visits.  I remember my nephew wouldn't hug me (and he was a huggy type kid) because he thought he could
"catch cancer." What a great kid!! :)
Meals brought.
My children hauled places.
Someone to sit by my bedside and pray with me or read the Bible to me.
Or sing to me.
Cards in the mail.
One gal gave me a bag of goodies every single Sunday until I was finished with all my treatments.
Prayers offered up by people I didn't even know.
When people said, "I made you dinner, is 5 ok to bring it?
Instead of "if there's anything I can do, let me know."

I couldn't let you know because quite honestly, I needed all my reserves to fight for my life.

I prayed much.
Cried much.
Trusted much.
Entrusted much.
To You.

And over the past 5 years Lord, You have proved Yourself faithful.

Sun turns orange-y. Tiny leaves growing highlighted by hues of fire.
I am grateful most for You Lord.

I could have made it through without You.
 Been "tough."
Pulled myself up by my bootstraps.
Fought and "won."
Winning is letting You give me Your strength.
Your love. Your infusions of grace and peace and joy.

I chose to let You be my strength.
My hope.
My source of everything I needed then
and desire now.
Life is precious lived out before You day after day.

Thank You Lord for walking with me
through the fire, flood and tumults.

You are good, faithful and loving and now, 5 years later,
I know that vividly.

You are faithful,

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