(I’m wordy, as usual 🤣 skip to the last two paragraphs if you’re short on time 💚) How interesting that World Cancer Day is also D-Day for me. February 4, 2013. It’s been 8 years. Reminiscing on God’s goodness. I’m cancer free but I always find myself thinking back with incredible gratitude on how this played out. I got the call at work that my doctor needed to see me right away to give me some test results. I had a mole biopsy the week before (on my 32nd birthday, incidentally) but no one mentioned the C word. I told my boss I’d take a lunch break to go see the doctor and then I’d be back for our meeting. Ha! (It was 9 weeks before I returned to the office.) I went alone because I didn’t know they’d turn my world upside down. They don’t warn you. Instead they drop a bombshell diagnosis and then jump right into life expectancy rates, emergency surgery protocol and treatment plans. Malignant Melanoma. Not caused from sunbathing. You need sunglasses to look at my pasty white legs. 🤣 No family history. “It just happens to some people” is what my oncologist said. But it’s invasive and can spread quickly, hence their urgency. So before they hacked into my leg, I named the wound M&M and created a piece of art around it even before I was a card maker. 🤣
But don’t miss this. God is so good! He put an observant doctor in my path who recognized the spot for what it was and got me in for a biopsy right away (without freaking me out in the process!). The oncologist covered by my insurance “just happened” to be one of the premiere specialists in my type of M&M. The surgeon on call for my emergency surgery had extensive experience in skin grafts so I didn’t have to be cut open from knee to ankle, shortening my recovery time. On and on, I could tell stories of people that God brought along on this journey. For hugs and chocolate and listening ears. To laugh with, cry with and to share my anger with. Not to mention, other patients that I got to meet in waiting rooms and hear their stories.
Of course it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. It was intense pain and sobbing buckets and endless tests and unknowns and more than a dozen procedures and surgeries. But through it all, was a God who never left me. And He sent person after person to remind me. To be Jesus with skin on.
World Cancer Day is a day to raise awareness, to encourage prevention and detection and treatment. For me, it’s also a day to sing of the goodness of God in a painful season. We can’t always see His goodness in the middle of the hell. I couldn’t. Some days all I could see were stars and blurry vision when I thought the pain would take me out. Maybe you’re there too. Whether it’s physical pain or even emotional pain. It might be cancer or heartbreak or loss or any number of things that cause pain. You can’t understand where God is during this season. You don’t see any good in this mess before you, so how do you trust that God is good? I get it, friend.
So today, this is me, reaching out my hand to take yours. Because sometimes the goodness of God looks like someone holding your hand in silence. Just listening as you pour out your anger or hurt or confusion. Simply being there. So you know you’re not alone. And if we get to be face to face, you’ll also get a big hug. So much love to you, dear friend. 💚