I’m tired…. worn out.
Not just physically but emotionally. This disease is sitting heavy on my body and on my spirit and the weight is getting me down. It’s been nine months now but yesterday was the worst single day for me since I was diagnosed. Cancer markers rising, I couldn’t contact Rachel… I felt incredibly isolated and helpless.
Realistically, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make myself better. Not a thing. It’s completely out of my hands, like so much of our lives these days. Everything is “wait and see”. My life is now not mine in the most literal sense possible. All I can do is keep asking God to intervene and keep showing up for chemo… which is kind of daunting given what it does to my body.
Yesterday I was pretty frightened and I found myself uttering those familiar words… ‘God, help’… though this time with a renewed sense of urgency.
It’s one thing to believe that God is going to do something when the picture is fine and dandy, and the cancer levels are decreasing. It’s another thing entirely when they’re going up with such regularity. This is where faith really comes into it’s own. The Bible defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. My recovery, my healing, most certainly fits those two characteristics…. right now it is very much hoped for and very much unseen… at least to the human eye anyway.
It would be really easy to get pissed off at God… for a whole host of reasons actually. Let’s start with actually having cancer in the first place and move on from there. But God didn’t give me this disease. As I have said before, He’s not that kind of God. Spiteful vengeance and retaliatory payback are not in his nature. It’s impossible for those things to be present in a being who is called Love (1 John 4:8). So by working out what God is, it’s easy to deduce what He isn’t. And He isn’t the kind of guy that goes around hitting people up with terminal diseases.
But why, then, is this disease even here at all? I have no family history of cancer. I am, for the most part, healthy (though Rachel would argue I don’t get nearly enough exercise), I don’t drink or do drugs (never have) and live a pretty ‘clean’ lifestyle.
So why is it here?
I have no idea.
And I really wish it wasn’t something I had to contend with.
I wish the word ‘Oncology’ was a rarely, if ever, present word in my vocabulary.
I wish that I had no idea what a CEA 19-9 marker count was.
I wish that every little pop, cramp and twinge in my body didn’t make me stop and wonder what was going on.
I wish that Cody didn’t try and identify with me by having “a sore stomach like you, Dad”…. even when he doesn’t have a sore stomach. As beautiful as it is that he wants to be like his Daddy, how painful it is for me that he is trying to emulate cancer symptoms in order to do so. Bless his little heart. I’m so glad he doesn’t understand what is really going on. One day I will sit him down and explain all of this to him… I’ll tell him how Daddy was very scared that he would have to leave him and not be able to come back and that Daddy fought very hard to make sure he got to stay around. I’ll show him the photo’s, the doctor’s reports, the scans and x-rays, the scars, so he will know what great lengths I went to to be there for him…. he will know how much I love him by what I endured for him.
And he will know how God rescued his Daddy.
But in the meantime… it’s one foot in front of the other. Day by day… sometimes minute by minute. Just keep swimming.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message) says this:
Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it… and then God told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
That’s the paradox, the contradiction of God. My weakness makes room for His strength. And in these times that are fearful and tiring and uncertain, when I feel I have nothing left in the tank, God shows up and reminds me that there is indeed nothing I can do… and He offers me His strength… because it is more than enough to carry this weight.
Do I understand it?
Of course not.
Do I believe it?
With every fiber of my being. And I will hold onto it until my last breath.