Tuesday, January 04, 2011

This time is different.

My dad is fighting cancer. And it is fighting back. Hard. Cancer is a vicious foe - everybody knows that. It strikes fast but can sometimes be held at bay. Then when you've let your guard down just a little bit, it can come back at you harder than ever.

Last week we received some good news - that the leukemia was retreating from the blood and my dad was a candidate for a bone marrow transplant and given pretty good odds. He was tired and wearing out from the fight, but we saw a light at the end of the tunnel. When I had the chance I was praising God from my Facebook account for the miracle we had received.

Then yesterday came the new data. The cancer has spread to the brain. It may be treatable, we have great hope for that to happen, but it may not be. This is life with cancer. You can only take it one day or minute at a time.

I wonder if when I posted that praise last week some might have thought, "Sure you praise God now, but what about those of us who haven't had such great news?" Well I'm one of you now. I don't have such great news. But I have a great hope and I still have faith.

I am still praising my God even in this news. I praise Him because He will carry us through. I praise Him because someday my dad and I will both be in heaven together and we will be the healthiest cats ever. I praise Him because even though it makes no sense to me right now why such pain exists, I know that God has a sovereign plan and none of this is a surprise to Him. I don't believe that God gives us cancer, he's not a puppet master, but I do believe that evil exists in a fallen world and somehow, God has a plan for that, too. I know that he surrounds us with love during this time, in the form of family and friends and a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Back in October when we first got the diagnosis I was miserable. I felt like the world would never play in color again. I looked way ahead into the future and worried about all of our plans that might never be. Every precious thing that happened in that week when we were waiting like we are now again was sad for me. I didn't find joy in those things, only sadness that my dad might never experience those things with us again.

This time is different. Not easy, but different. We are armed and stronger from the last battle. I am assured that all I know right now is that my dad is being taken care of as best as his family and doctors can. I know now that things are going to get worse over the next 48 hours before they have a chance to get better. That stinks. (Unless God does a healing miracle which I believe He can.) What I don't know is the number of tomorrows, there might be hundreds! We might kick this brain cancer and go back to the treatment plan that brought us such good news last week. We might! None of us know how many tomorrows we have.

God says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." That's a promise. Psalm 34:4 says, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Notice it doesn't say He will take away our troubles. It says He will deliver us from them.

Don't get me wrong, I've said it before - this stinks! But all we can do is hold tight and wait. The next thing that happens is the next thing. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things; Philippians 4:8.

And pray.


Esther said...

Praying with you, Amy. Both of my parents faced cancer, so I have an idea how you're feeling.

Niki said...

I'm praying for you and your family my dear friend. This truly does stink. I'm so glad your joy is in the LORD, not in your circumstances.

Ann said...

Thanks for your beautiful post---it helps as I work to find strength, peace and hope.