I felt really great right after I finished all of my treatment and surgery; so happy to be alive, so happy to be finished with treatment. Those feelings lasted for awhile, and then slowly they settled into a darker place. The interesting thing is that the more I talk to other cancer survivors, I find that I am right on track with my thoughts and feelings. They've all been here too. They've all experienced the doubts and questions, the grief and confusion, the loneliness.
I read recently that about 25% of all cancer patients and survivors suffer from depression, and up to 19% suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. Those are big numbers! I'm pretty sure the same could be said of their family members too. Don't worry, I'm not there (yet!), but I think it is good to be aware that depression often comes on the heals of a great victory.
Around 6:00 a.m. today I woke up to the sound of the smoke detector chirping, alerting me that the battery needed to be replaced. I was not too happy. Monday mornings are usually my day to sleep after our long weekends at Community of Faith. I stumbled out of bed and went in search of a 9V battery in the dark. Of course, as is always the case, we didn't have any. Due to the way the system is designed, simply removing the battery will not stop the chirping. I sent Mark upstairs to sleep, but unfortunately by this time, the dog had decided that it was time for breakfast. Realizing that I was not going to get any more sleep, I got up and fed all the pets. I plopped down in the chair in the living room and stared out the window at the darkness. As I sat there, the sky began to get light and I watched a beautiful sunrise unfold. And God spoke to my heart, "I am still here with you. I will continue to walk with you. You are going to be OK."
It was such a powerful moment for me. Knowing that God woke me up, not the smoke detector! Knowing that he painted the sky specifically for me today to remind me of his presence and his faithfulness. Knowing that I am OK. My God is amazing! He is everything I need!
So, as you pray for me, for my family, and for others who are facing this disease, please pray that the dark clouds of despair will give way to a clear and constant vision of God's presence, his faithfulness, and his goodness. Thank you!
"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world."