Friday, May 29, 2009

Life Interrupted

“’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

Isaiah 54:10

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This is the day I learn I have cancer.  Weird.  I never thought I’d hear those words.  Especially not today.  The doctor just comes in, I am still drowsy from anesthesia, and she says, “Well, we thought it was hemorrhoids, but it’s not.  It’s a tumor.  It’s cancer.”  Just like that.  Now I am a person with cancer. 

The strangest part is the peace that I feel.  I have known it was coming.  God has been preparing me, showing me, speaking to me… 

March, 2009, I start bleeding.  It’s never happened before in my life.  I assume it’s hemorrhoids, wait for it to go away.  But something just doesn’t feel right.  And it doesn’t go away. I had the breast biopsy in April and that freaked me out.  Made me start to think about things.  I watch Dr. Oz on Oprah, his last time to be on Oprah, and they bring out all these people who say he has saved their life.  One lady said she went to get a colonoscopy because Dr. Oz told her to.  She had cancer.  No symptoms.  Dr. Oz saved her life. .. I keep seeing advertisements for Farrah Fawcett’s documentary about her cancer journey… a church member suddenly has colon cancer and it has spread to his lymph nodes, just like that, suddenly…I start waking up in the nights with praise music playing in my head., lyrics about God being in control, about his answering when I call out in the night. ..over and over again.  I begin to wonder what God is telling me,  feeling like He is preparing me…I hope he has prepared my family…

So, I decide to see a doctor.  It’s probably hemorrhoids, but better to die of embarrassment than to die of cancer.  The first doctor I call can’t see me until July.  I am stressing over choosing a doctor.  So I call one I found on the internet because I like how their webpage looks – funny world we live in, isn’t it?  They could see me the next week, on Sarah’s 21st birthday.  It seemed like God set up that appointment for me.  The doctor tells me that at my age, 99% of the time it is internal hemorrhoids or polyps and they schedule a colonoscopy for the following week.

I debate having this procedure all week.  So much else is going on.  Ashley is getting ready to graduate.  We are getting ready to go to Africa, Turkey, Greece, and Costa Rica.  I don’t really have time to have cancer…maybe I should put it off.  Then I start doing the colon prep for the colonoscopy.  God help me…I can’t drink this stuff without gagging.  But I get it done, there is nothing left in my system. 

 We wait forever to finally have the colonoscopy, busy place!  I am sitting in a roomful of elderly people, wondering what I’m doing here.  How can this be my life?  I am never sick.  Then they roll me into the room for the procedure.  She turns on soft music – and it is Christian music.  “Our God Reigns” is playing.  This is how I fall asleep.  My God reigns.

I’m in the shower later, getting ready to go see “Fiddler on the Roof”.  This was my Christmas present to my parents.  Everyone wonders why we’re still going, but it’s better than sitting at home feeling hungry, right?  And besides, are we going to let “cancer” run our life?    The phone rings – the CT scan is clean, no spread of the tumor.  I am on the floor of the shower, face-down, crying in praise to my God who is merciful – Grateful that you hear and understand the groanings of my spirit when words won’t come.  Thank you.  


  1. I love you Laura Shook! Thank you for doing this! Praying until you are healed!

  2. Laura....You are in my prayers and God will take care of you. I know that you do know this and you have alot of faith in God and in your doctors. You and Mark have a remarkable family.

    Allways in my prayers that you are healed!!

    Cindy Herreth

  3. wow. your you tell your story...makes me feel like i'm looking at things through your eyes. thank you for trusting enough to share. you are loved.