Cancer and Following in His Footsteps taught me new lessons. In 2016, eleven months after my husband passed away, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and began the not-so-fun process of chemo, radiation, and major surgery – twice. After the first surgery, I came home with four things hanging off of my body – a grenade (a hard, ball in a bag pumping antibiotics into my incision), a drain for my incision, an ileostomy bag, and a catheter bag. It was one of the most depressing things I have ever experienced.
I was cancer free but it was a terrible road to walk to get there. I was grateful, but that did not lesson the horrible parts of cancer. All of the bags except the ileostomy bag went away within three weeks. I was really thankful for that.
Cancer – At the Beginning
During the first round of oral chemo and radiation 5 days a week, I ended up so sick that I could barely drink water. On the second round of infusion chemo, I had so many side effects so early that my Doctor stopped the infusions after the third one. Even my eyesight was even being affected. Once again, I was sick and miserable. After the infusions had been stopped, a date was set to reverse the Iliostomy. I was so excited because, to me, this represented the end of the cancer journey and the beginning of adjusting to my new life. I even had a promise from God that this surgery was the end.
Just one problem. During the initial diagnosis, I was told that cancer had broken through the rectal wall and was up against, or attached to, my bladder. During the first surgery, they found out that was incorrect – good news. Cancer had not broken through the rectal wall and the growth on my bladder was a benign mass which they left untouched. Three weeks before my reversal surgery was scheduled, I ended up in the emergency room in terrible pain. Turns out that the mass on my bladder had decided to grow and was cutting off my right ureter tube! Not good.
Cancer and Following in His Footsteps Through Frustration
Because of the “not good”, the day after I was in the emergency room, I received a phone call telling me that the surgery was being postponed. No one asked me. No one cared what my opinion was. They just told me and did not really explain why; did not handle it well; yelled at some doctor I didn’t even know; cried, screamed, and cried some more, pouring my pain and frustration out to God. I had a giant pity party. All alone, I cried and yelled and poured out my pain to God. My party lasted for about a day-and-a-half. He listened patiently to me. I officially ended my party. Nothing had changed except me.
The change in me allowed me to close the pity party down, I was able to see His hand as the Doctor explained the “why” of the delay. The painful emergency room trip which had taken place was His intervention to keep me from experiencing two surgeries instead of one. As I started to admit this to myself, I told Him – I’m trying to be grateful but I’m not there yet! He was OK with that.
I am now very grateful for what happened and see His divine intervention in my life to actually make my path easier. That “end” He promised me really came – on His terms, not mine. I had to stay in His steps, not the ones I had created. The single surgery allowed the surgeons to remove the mass on my bladder and reverse the Iliostomy. What I saw as being horrible turned out to be for my good.
Cancer and Following in His Steps
All of this enabled me to relearn what I already knew – He cares for and watches over me. He wants me to walk in His steps. That means I have to be behind Him, and, sometimes, all I can see is His footsteps. I can’t see His destination and must trust that He is protecting me. My preference is to always know where I’m going. I like to plan my path out before I take it. He didn’t let me do that because He knew I would make a bad decision. Believe me, I would have been even more upset to find out I had to have a second surgery that year! I should have read Proverbs 3:5-8 sooner.
Proverbs 3:5-8 The Voice, “Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on him
completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. Give Him credit
for everything you accomplish, and He
will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
And don’t think you can decide on your own what is right and what is wrong. Respect the Eternal; turn and run from evil.
If you depend on Him, your body and mind will be free from the strain of a sinful life, will experience healing and health, and will be strengthened at their core.”
I think that pretty well sums up my lesson. I will always be learning about Following in His Footsteps.
Check out one of my other blogs – Being and Doing