I called my friend, Debbie, yesterday. Debbie and I went to high school together. She recently fought breast cancer and won. I just needed to hear her tell me that I could do this. She was such an encouragement to me, reminding me that I won't be alone, God will carry me through. Thank you, Debbie! I love you!
I think the hardest thing for me this week was coming face-to-face again with the fact that I am fighting advanced rectal cancer. Everything has been going so well, test results have been great, the response to treatment has been the best it could be. All of those things lulled me into thinking that this was easy somehow. The news this week was a stark reminder of the true nature of cancer.
I read a quote from a doctor to a patient this week about that very subject. He said this, "This is not a game. We are dealing with a potentially very deadly disease!"
But in the midst of all the grim reminders, I also saw flashes of hope.
When leaving the oncologist's office the other day we rode down in the elevator with an older gentleman. He asked how we were doing, we said we were OK, and then asked how he was doing. He responded, "Just another day in paradise!" He was happy to be alive. He told me that he had been diagnosed with cancer five times. They had initially given him less than 18 months to live and that was 10 years ago. He was going strong and obviously grateful for each new day. I knew that he had seen me in the oncologist's office and he was trying to encourage me. What a sweet man and what a testimony of hope!
I also read the following quote this week. It was not the first time I'd read it, but it was a very timely reminder for me: "Stage 3 rectal cancer is a curable disease." I'm holding on to that!
"With God we will gain the victory." Psalm 108:13