It’s Not Surrender Unless it Costs

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Cancer. 

Y’know, two months ago it wasn’t exactly the biggest thing bobbing among the miscellany that flows along the meandering river of my day to day consciousness.

These days, there are times it feels like it is the only thing. The ginormous submarine has surfaced, and there is little room left for anything else.

A strange bump on my husbands’ neck.  It looked like an ingrown hair that decided to make itself permanent and then thought, “Hey, while I’m here, why don’t I grow bigger?”

Then another one.  And another one.  These ones not so big.  A doctor’s appointment scheduled for a week and a half after the call.  Because, hey, skin bumps aren’t exactly emergencies.

The smaller one gets removed and sent away for biopsy. 

Diagnosis. 

Cancer. 

Lymphoma. 

Probably a skin (cutaneous) lymphoma but we don’t know for sure yet.  “Don’t look it up because the information you find in the great Online will scare the crap out of you.”

An appointment with an oncologist that doesn’t tell us a ton but somehow reassures us that Lowell’s care is in competent hands.

More waiting.  Enough for me to start feeling a little more comfortable with the submarine floating there.  Enough time for me to start thinking that maybe, just maybe everything will be ok.

A diagnosis. 

One that hold a large amount of hope on one side: It’s not curable, but over 75% of patients live a normal life span. – And a large amount of horror on the other:  It’s not curable.  If it gets beyond stage x, all treatments are palliative.  Something to keep you alive as long and as comfortably as possible, but don’t count on the long.  Or the comfortable.

The submarine has surfaced once again and the torpedoes are aimed squarely my husband.  Our family.  The home we’ve built together.  Our hopes and dreams of growing old, wrinkly and bizarre together.  Of seeing our girls grow up with their dad to guide them through the rapids called the teen years.  Daddy with the proverbial shotgun, screening the potential prospects.

And this is where we are at now.  More tests.  More waiting.  And even when we know, will we really know?  What do you do with a cancer that may be able to be controlled but not cured?

If you’re me, you acknowledge that the idea that we have any control over what happens in our lives is an illusion.  If you’re me, you remember that God is not an idle spectator in our lives.  That He has a Plan.  Always.

I know I may not like this plan.  It’s not surrender unless it costs. 

I realize that I’ve been wayyyy too comfortable in this world and have be lulled into a walking coma by its empty promises of security and control.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”” – James 4:14-15 (NIV)

Whether I knew it then or not, this was my reality before the “C” word invaded our home.  And this is where I take my comfort.  God knows.  He is able to heal my husband with a single thought.  He is with us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (II Cor. 12:8)  And boy oh boy, am I weak.



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