I have always called having cancer a battle. I like to visualize myself in a boxing match, sparring with a far bigger adversary than myself. According to the tape, as they say, cancer may seem to be the bigger opponent with a longer reach and a brutal right cross, but it cannot defeat my plucky spirit, as well as the fact that I don’t fight alone! Sure, it’s unfair, but I have no intention of losing! I have an arena full of cheerleaders. I have prayer warriors standing toe-to-toe with me. I have family who are my greatest fans. I have a medical team who attend me. I also have in my corner the greatest Coach in the universe, the Holy Spirit, Who leads, guides, and directs my steps. My footing is always secure. I cannot stumble. I cannot falter. He encourages me in the Word. The odds may seem stacked against me, but with this stellar Team I cannot lose!
So, it’s Round 2 of 6.
I have a few battle scars from Round 1. Lost my hair in the scuffle. Cancer fights dirty. My joints are aching and have some nerve damage but I didn’t get knocked down. I think I won that round so I’m pretty confident going into Round 2.
As the nurse checked the IV that was feeding cancer destroying chemicals into my body, we talked a bit about my previous experience with fighting cancer in 2001. “Wow!” she said. “First breast cancer and now uterine cancer. We women are so much more complicated than men, aren’t we? But with all the stuff that can go wrong with us internally, I wonder if it’s worth the grief having all these lady parts sometimes.” I smiled and just said, “I have four beautiful grandbabies. It’s worth it!”
My children and my grandbabies make me want to fight as hard as I can to defeat cancer. I want to make more memories with all the precious people in my life. It’s worth the fight! It will be a hard-fought battle to be sure, but as my husband keeps saying, “It’s short term pain for long term gain.” Glad he’s in my corner too!
I was blessed to be with my church family in corporate worship this past Sunday. I know I took some chances going when my immunity levels are so low, but I needed to be there amongst my family of believers. So many are praying daily for me. The message from the Pastor was so timely for me too. It was like he was just confirming that all I’m going through right now is but a slight detour, as he calls trials and tribulations that come into our lives. Detours are not fun, they are not convenient, but once negotiated, we can experience a victory of sorts that leads to joy. I wrote a blog series about the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is our response to circumstances that come our way in life. For instance, we can be happy when we get a new job, or if the news from the doctor is good, or if all our children are healthy and walking with the Lord. Joy does not come as a result of our circumstances but from the ongoing relationship we have with the Lord. His love sustains us and gives us joy when we don’t get the job, or if the news from the doctor is not good, or if a child is sick, or if we have a prodigal in the family. Joy is not dependent on our circumstances but solely dependent on our walk with the Lord.
It’s hard for me to be happy in my current situation. I know there will be a lot more war wounds before this battle is won, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to my body going through those beatings this round and the four more to follow. But, I can honestly say I have JOY. God is good. God is Sovereign. He is in control, and I lean on Him for strength!
So, I’ve walked joyfully into the ring again, ready to do battle, because if God is for me, who (or what) can be against me?