When Daddy had emergency surgery on a cancerous tumor in his colon, the doctors told us in the post-op meeting that there was nothing they could do. The cancer had ravaged his body and that was it. One day I might write the whole day out in detail, but it’s still too fresh.
However, I want to share one part of his story with you today.
The doctor told us not to tell Daddy that he had cancer or any part of his diagnosis for a few days because of the medication Daddy was on. It was so hard for us because we felt like we were lying to him and we (especially Mama) needed to talk to him and get his advice on what to do.
While we were in the hospital, we saw lots of miracles happen. Every time a doctor would come to us with news, it was always better than the last report. They were dumbfounded with the tumor and even sent it away to be studied. But when we got the “final diagnosis” from the doctors, we were all at home eating together.
I picked up the phone and gave it to Mama because the caller ID said, “Atlanta Cancer Care.” After we ate, Daddy said, “Who was it?” And Mama told him that the doctors said he had lymphoma cancer. I remember Daddy looking shocked. Then after a little conversation, he started crying and said something like, “Out of all of us, I feel like I’m the weakest one. I don’t know if I can do this.” It makes me cry as I type this to remember his tears and his words.
We had 5 or 6 days to process and get our minds right regarding the cancer. At the moment Daddy heard the word “cancer”, we were already days into our faith walk with God. It was the first time I realized that I couldn’t understand what Daddy was going through. I could say a hundred times, “God will heal you.” or “Don’t worry.” But I wasn’t the one with cancer! I wasn’t the one with a foot long scar down my abdomen. I wasn’t the one who had to face chemo and radiation. I wasn’t the one that could potentially DIE.
I try to remember this feeling when I’m talking with people now. When they are in a terrible situation, I try to remember that I’m not the one going through it. I can’t feel the conflicting emotions inside of their heart.
I’m trying to remember this when reading Heather’s blog. In case you haven’t read her story, she’s been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She’s at the Mayo Clinic right now and is having BRAIN SURGERY on Thursday. She is a pillar of strength…with a few doubts thrown in. But who wouldn’t? She’s a talented 32 year old mom of 3 who is about to undergo surgery on her BRAIN!
Kelli at Living in Grace is hosting a prayer vigil for Heather beginning on Wednesday, May 4. I want to pray for Heather like I prayed for Daddy. I want to feel the pain I felt when Daddy heard “cancer”. I want God to do for Heather what he did for Daddy. Despite Daddy’s pain, doubts and humanity, God healed him. You can read his whole story here.
My favorite part of the story is that the next morning Daddy came downstairs wearing a Stryper t-shirt that had Isaiah 53:5 printed on it:
…he [Jesus] was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Please join me in praying God’s Word for Heather this week.