Before we'd been able to follow up on a possible spread to my spine, it seems the nasty tumor abutting my aorta is causing more trouble. I am so weak and seem to have nosedived so quickly. While a panel of experts reviews my case to recommend next steps, we had "the talk" today with my oncologist and I am working on updating my Advance Healthcare Directive so all my end-of-life wishes are in writing. By the way, I recommend everyone do this, whether healthy or ill, young or old, and discuss it and give copies to your doctors and family members.
I can't help thinking of my friend who has stopped chemo, is receiving palliative care, and joyfully looking forward to meeting her Lord. That sounds pretty good, especially the end of the journey. Some of the potential treatments and procedures I might face sound pretty awful and I have told doctors and family that I don't want to endure torture for only a small hope in buying a few short and miserable weeks or months in this life.
Friends put on their brave faces, pat my hand, and tell me to not give up the fight -- I'm going to be okay. I smile. Yes, I'm going to be just GREAT, but probably not in the way they meant. My physical body will only be able to fight off the cancer for just so long, and then I will joyfully leave this battered shell behind and head for the new home Jesus has been preparing for me.
But when that time comes, I don't want anyone saying that I have "lost my battle with cancer" or that "cancer beat me." CANCER DOES NOT GET THE VICTORY! I am tired of viewing this as a battle, fight, or a curse and I don't think of myself as a warrior or hero. I just did what I had to do while holding firmly to my Savior's Hand.
But cancer doesn't win!
I recently was given a great little booklet by John Piper titled "Don't Waste Your Cancer." What a lot of wonderful little nuggets of wisdom it contains. One article describes the sufferings of disease in this life as "labor pains" of a new creation and that something wonderful is coming!
"For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body." Romans 8:22-23"Beating cancer" doesn't equate with extending my life in this world. Satan would like me to think so, but the truth is I will be the victor either way, and the greatest victor when I join my Lord: "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8
To God be the glory! Cancer doesn't win!