A Season of Refreshment

My oncology visit in January was one I had dreaded. Why do I always get nervous? I chided myself before my meeting with my doctor. I was cancer-free,… or was I? I don’t know how many more times I needed to be encouraged by the doctors, but one more time couldn’t hurt…could it?

My oncologist tried to reassure me, “It is not unusual for cancer survivors to be nervous about cancer returning.” She was right about that. I thought I had beaten cancer in 2001 once and for all, but with the diagnosis last year, I wasn’t sure anymore.

“It’s not metastatic.” she said. Meaning that my endometrial cancer was not a result of a spread of cancer to other organs in my body from my battle with breast cancer, it was an entirely new fight.

“What does that even mean?” I asked.

“It’s just dumb luck you got cancer twice,” she said. Funny. I had heard the same phrase from my surgical oncologist in 2001 when I asked how I could have gotten breast cancer. “Dumb luck,” he had said.

I don’t believe in luck. I whispered to myself. “I don’t need any more of that kind of “luck”.” I said aloud.

“No kidding, right?” she grinned and patted my knee.

Still, it’s like an icy presence looking over my shoulder playing peek-a-boo with my emotions. Would I feel it at every doctor’s visit from now on? The fear, along with the half expected words, “It’s back.”

She patted my knee again. “You’re doing great! I also think you can come off the blood thinner injections AND I don’t need to see you for another four months.”

My husband smiled. He has been with me to every treatment, every appointment, and I could see the relief in his eyes. He has never been a fan of hospitals and knowing we don’t have to be near one for four months (God willing) was a huge relief. I thought about the fact I don’t have to give myself needles anymore. A huge weight lifted off of me. I mentally pushed those icy fingers off of my shoulders and felt lighter in mind, body and spirit. Throughout those challenging months of treatments, I had longed and prayed for the recovery phase. Now it seemed I finally had the confidence to move past recovery to another level of wellness: refreshment. I praised God as we left the cancer clinic and the words to one of my favourite hymns immediately came to mind:

“Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
there is no shadow of turning with thee;
thou changest not, they compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided–
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

The mountains beckoned to us a couple days later. The normalcy of taking a scenic drive, having lunch with my husband, planning future excursions together, dreaming, drinking in all the sights and sounds around us, we both felt invigorated. I felt refreshed. I praised God for the day, for the week, for allowing me to experience this new season of refreshment. The warm, Chinook wind lifted my wig nearly off my head, so I discarded it and have not worn it since. It is like shedding another layer, discarding another reminder, another symbol of what I have battled and beaten again. My newly sprouted, extremely short, dark hair is a “fashion statement”, as my husband calls it. “Show it off!” he said.

I am enjoying this Season of Refreshment by doing some early spring cleaning, embracing the days with renewed energy. God continues to comfort me through His people, and His Word. Worshiping God through song, I am ever mindful that He is faithful. Once again, I have experienced His compassions and I am now renewed.

“Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided–
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #245
Thomas O. Chisholm (1923) Public Domain
Lamentations 3:22-23

*Originally published on InScribe Writers Online – Feb. 17, 2020

This entry was posted in Proverbs 16:9 - Journey Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Season of Refreshment

  1. carmelle Tasse says:

    Thank you for your journey I always look forward to read your journey it gives me strength
    Yes you are cancer free , God is there and
    Will help you to pass trough it to prove with the time yes you are cancer free
    Go have lunch with Charles your children and grands children
    Look how you look young with your hair growth
    Your smile , enjoy the gift of free cancer
    Ahah i was laughing when I read about your hair
    Let your natural hair show and you are privileged
    You will have all kind of styles with your hair

  2. Emily Akin says:

    Lynn, reading your post, I thought of another song that means a lot to me. I had to play it at my Grandmothers’ funeral because it was her favorite. What a Friend We Have in Jesus: https://hymnary.org/text/what_a_friend_we_have_in_jesus_all_our_s
    I was at a writer’s conference, and the worship leader sang it with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Her rendition was so peaceful and reassuring. Now it has become my favorite, too. I pray for you daily.

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