What I Learned About God Through Cancer
Updated: Feb 2
It has been over three months since our world came crashing down.
How has it been that long?
Surely time slowly ticked by, right?
I wake up every morning staring at the last day of the current month on the calendar realizing another month is between us and our nightmare.
It seems like yesterday but I am also not entirely sure it even happened.
My husband's testicular cancer diagnosis hit us out of nowhere and I still haven't fully come to terms with it even now that the dust has settled. I feel as if I am starting to crawl out of the hole I was in after he finished chemo but I still have days where I feel the weight of it all and the anxiety that I felt, and still feel, over the situation.
The paperwork, information pamphlets, and appointment cards have all been filed away in our office. I wanted to shred them or set them ablaze but I saved them all to one day pull out to remind us of how God brought us through the wilderness and performed a miracle in our lives.
The medical bills have been paid.
The phone calls from the doctor's office have stopped coming in to remind us of appointments and scans.
I've stopped recording every antibiotic, nausea pill, or pain pill that was being swallowed.
I have mostly (read kinda not really) stopped waking up in a slight panic in the middle of the night to watch my husband's chest slowly rise and fall.
Our lives went back to normal but nothing feels quite the same.
They sent us home from the appointments and hospital and it kind of feels like bringing home a new baby for the first time. Except there is not a tangible thing to hold or see... we hold each other but both wonder what the heck just happened and how do we go on with life post cancer? What do we do now? How do we proceed?
What am I supposed to do now that things are hopefully progressing well inside my spouses body but we don't really know until we scan him again?
Jesus reminds me to trust Him. To wait. He has never failed me.
I've spent a lot of time feeling really lost. My brain sounds like this sometimes...
What the heck just happened?
Jesus, please help me through these emotions.
I am grateful. SO grateful and excited to move on and never take life for granted again.
Please heal him and keep him healthy.
So many tears, emotions, and prayers on a daily basis.
The hospital smells, tears, drives up and down the road alone, questions, hours of research and desperate prayers to God that consisted of, "Please help us, Jesus" are still so crystal-clear and burned into my brain. The overwhelm was so thick that others surely prayed us through it because I could barely focus on anything for longer than five seconds much less put together a cohesive prayer. Our life so quickly went from normal to hitting what felt like a dead stop in the center of a four-lane highway with bumper to bumper traffic.
And now we are just a few days away from his first scan and bloodwork appointment post cancer and chemo. I have tried to escape the calendar and to push the fast-approaching date out of my mind but it is knocking on the door and I feel my chest tightening.
It may sound like I have no faith but that is not it. I do have full faith that this appointment will go smoothly and that his scans will be clear. Before the chemotherapy started, they were already confident by looking at the bloodwork that he was most likely cancer-free and that the surgery took care of the issue.
And I know God will do it again. I know He will get us through and that this appointment will go great. I am still scared though. I have to constantly ask God to take my worry and fear and replace it with faith. He even reminds me that one of my worst fears did, in fact, come true. Cancer hit our family. But we made it out alive and I know He is to thank for our good prognosis. I am so grateful. We aren't special... nor do we get some free get out of jail free card to escape the unescapable pain of this life. I don't feel sorry for us at all. I just feel stretched and uncomfortable but I also feel God working on my heart and using this to mold me. To mold us as a family and as a couple.
Many people get the news that they will never recover nor can their cancer be treated. I am so grateful that is not our case but I am also sad at times. Then I feel guilty because of those who never got the good news. Both gratitude and sadness can coexist and a lot of days they do walk side by side in my soul. I thank God that we are moving forward and that my husband will be okay but I also struggle with the worry of it happening again.
I no longer look at my spouse the same way. Every moment, smile, and memory we make means even more to me than it did before. I will never look into his eyes without remembering the season where I wasn't sure he would be okay. I will try my best to never take him for granted. The thought of seeing him endure any more suffering or losing him cripples me.
Yet, each morning as I walk into the kitchen to get my coffee, I watch the sun peeking through the trees behind our house and I realize that I have to give God my worries and release my grip on my own life because He carries us, always.
He is faithful and I know He walks with us and without Him, we wouldn't be able to move forward.
So as we approach our first scans post-cancer... I both trust that God has healed Mason completely and am struggling with the fear of bad news and more appointments. Every morning I have to ask God to help me release my fear and hold onto my faith.
Perhaps you find yourself here too? You are in the thick of a situation that is difficult. You are struggling to trust God and move on with your life after a traumatic season. I want you to know that God is with you. He will see you through the hardest of days, friend. It doesn't always feel like He is there in your mess. Oftentimes we feel absolutely nothing at all... but yet He is still there and is faithful to walk with you.