Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Great Rescue

In honor of my truly great rescue two years ago and to bring praise to My Rescuer, I am rerunning this post. Finding out friends have cancer stinks! Walking through dark tunnels stink! Today, I'm still walking toward the light because I've learned that's the only way out. I pray you are walking through your own fire too, holding the hand of Jesus.

I have to be honest with you. This week I didn’t spend much time in Daniel or working on the study. However, I have spent many long, long hours and days and nights in the fiery furnace. The fire of cancer. The furnace of doctor’s offices. The flames of long telephone conversations with the insurance company. My fiery furnace.

See what I mean?

Just listen.

Lisa answered Cancer, “Your threat means nothing to me. If you throw me in the fire, the God I serve can rescue me from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O Cancer. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O Cancer, I still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship at your altar of fear, worry, panic and death...”

Suddenly Cancer jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t I throw one girl, bound and gagged into the fire?”
“But look!” Cancer said, “I see a girl and a man, walking freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the man looks like a son of the gods!”

Lisa walked out of the fire.

All the important people, the doctors and nurses and insurance representatives, gathered around to examine her and discovered that the fire hadn’t so much as touched Lisa—not a hair singed, not a scorch mark on her clothes, not even the smell of fire on her!

"Therefore I issue this decree: Anyone who says anything against the God of Lisa will be ripped to pieces. There has never been a god who can pull off a rescue like this.
Daniel 3:16-18, 24-25, 27 & 29 (Lisa’s version)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Praise for Me? Pray for Them?

Minutes ticked by turning into hours as I waited to see my oncologist Friday. The last time he ran hours behind, he sent his nurse practitioner out to share the good report with me. Not wanting to think about the if’s and why’s of my wait, I simply sat, nervous giggled at my mom and fake read my iPad.

Finally, he came into the examination room and gave us a little moon-walking-victory dance. I stood up to join him as nervous giggles gave way to laughter. Two years with no recurrence is a huge milestone—I’ve drastically reduced the odds of another breast tumor at this point in my recovery! Can I get a loud Amen?

My reward? My visits are now spread to once every four months with the ct scan every other visit. I only have to drink the cancer Koolaid aka barium, once every eight months. Which means I can wash it down with eggnog at my next scan. Happy Holidays to me! (For those of you who are worried, I’ll continue to get ultrasounds and x-rays every four months to monitor local recurrence and distant metastasis).

Walking through the hospital last week, hyper-awareness invaded my body. There seemed to be a whole crowd of newbies. Young people, young women, children just diagnosed or just starting treatment. 

The Children’s Art Project was displayed for hospital visitors to vote on holiday cards 2012 and volunteers had kid friendly activities. There was a lemonade stand livening the lobby for National Lemonade Day. Build a Stand. Spark a Dream. 

My eyes dripped with realization. Children should not be making art for cancer’s Christmas cards for fun right now. They should be running, playing outside and eating popsicles in this perfect weather. My heart bled. Mothers should not be wheeling their babies bald from surgery to hospital hall lemonade stands. Where balloons tied to the arms of the wheelchairs add festive decoration. Children’s dreams should be centered on their future. Not on having a future.

This visit was emotionally tough. I felt the highs. The joy I feel at being well is so powerful. To think about it is so overwhelming. I am reminded of the humility of having so many people praying for my health. I am reminded my God is a God of miracles. My God is a God who hears. My God is a God who heals. My God is also a God who allows suffering. My God is a God who gives. And takes away. The lows invaded the high.

I put for my Facebook status on Friday, the day we got such wonderful news: Praise for me today?

I wanted to add: Pray for those who got a different type of news today. Remind God who He is and what He has done for me. Then ask Him to do it for someone else. Ask Him to comfort those whose cancer diagnoses are new and treatments have just begun.

God gives, God takes.
God's name be ever blessed. Job 1:21