It’s not really as simple as that, but for me there is truth in these words. We don’t get to write the entire script of our lives. If we did we would most likely choose to delete painful things. But as something painful has come, I am choosing to shout out “PLOT TWIST”. I admit in advance, that I have shouted out a few other things as well. I also admit, that I don’t really know what the moving on will look like.
The drama, as it has unfolded presents an unsuspecting 51 one year old going in for a routine screening last week. Her primary motivation was to guilt her husband into doing the same. She asked the doctor if “couples colonoscopies” were available and learned they can be done back to back as long as there is someone to drive you home. Our protagonist approached the procedure without apprehension, just hunger. The news she and her husband received was not on the script they had written. They thought the cue would be, “Everything looks great, we will see your husband next month and see you in 10 years.” The kind doctor went off script and told them there is a mass and it needs to be removed. What had been a romantic comedy suddenly took a dramatic turn. The word cancer was spoken. The biopsy results confirmed what had been written on a script that had my name on it. SIGH.
Okay, here’s where we are. Last week the word cancer became a part of my personal vocabulary. It is now a descriptor I have used. This is a tough thing. The toughest so far has been telling our kids, “I have cancer.”
Tomorrow we meet with the surgeon to take the next step. We do not know the stage or what all will need to be done. We do know I need surgery to remove a portion of my colon and to do some pathological tests. From there we should know what stage of colon cancer I am dealing with and then will move on. There will undoubtedly be more plot twists, but we are praying for a positive outcome from surgery.
I cannot write this without sharing some of my feelings. If you don’t want to read how my faith impacts my response, then this would be the time to quit reading. I will take no offense. Hey, I won’t even know you quit reading! I will note, that this is not meant to be a cancer blog. The events of these last few days have prompted me to do some writing. No doubt, cancer will be a part of my posts as it is now a part of my life. But my thoughts and my life are not defined by cancer!
I am feeling no fear at this time. Don’t get me wrong. I do not want to go through this and I really don’t want my family to have to go through this, but I am not fearful at this time. I am at peace with who God is and that He is in me and I am in Him. I know this did not catch God off guard and that He is fully equipped to remain strong and faithful through this plot twist and any more that we will face. He has not moved off His throne and He knows me by name. I am not currently angry at God for what I am facing, but it’s okay if you are angry. He can handle that. I am not happy that Tony and our kids have to face this. That makes me a bit angry. I am still praising Him and am convinced He is with me. All that said, cancer stinks!! I’m not writing so you think I’m so brave. This is just where I’m at today.
I will write more about this as the days come as I’m bombarded with thoughts and words and responses. At least, I think I will write more as it seems to help me. I suppose if I’m feeling too vulnerable I will quit writing for public access.
Our emotions as a family are very raw. I feel quite vulnerable. I’m aware that there is not a script to follow when one is told they have cancer. We have said the word. All of us Gratopps have said it aloud. It is not a good word. We have cried. I know I have cried a boatload of tears and yet we have laughed a great deal too. Not everyone will understand our humor but I will probably write about that too.
What can you do right now? Pray for peace for all of us. Pray for us as we navigate strong emotions and as we make decisions. Pray we can remain with what we do know and not jump to the “what ifs”. It’s pretty easy to jump ahead right now! Pray the surgery takes care of the problem and that I can join the cancer free club as “simply” as that. Pray for healing.
What else can you do? Be kind. You don’t know what others are facing. Be patient. You don’t know what others are facing. Be forgiving. You don’t know what others are facing. I think you get the idea.
I know many of you have experienced cancer personally or a family member has experienced it. Right now I’m not in need of many personal testimonies. Please allow me that time and space. Right now we aren’t in need of meals, but thanks. Right now, I need the space to have my emotions come in waves. I need the space to not feel like I have to respond to every text or call. I am mercy driven, so I really don’t need the guilt. 😉 If you need to text of call, I can appreciate that, but please do not be offended if I don’t respond to each and every one. Feeling loved is a good thing. Love on my kids. Send them notes if you feel compelled. Pray for them. Pray for them right now. Please pray for Tony and the kids. My heart is heavy for them.
Thanks for those who read to the end. It’s been hard to know how to declare this. I’m still not sure if I did it well, but it’s where I landed in this journey. We are surrounded by lots of wonderful things—wonderful people, wonderful creation, wonderful hope! I cannot express how good it feels to be doing some writing. Sometimes I forget that a few years back I finally admitted, I’m a writer. I like that descriptor much better than the new one. 🙂