At the first big oncology meeting we had last fall, there was a very sweet nurse whom we found to be very encouraging. She was a year post breast cancer and was doing well. Though I don’t know her situation, I know she opted for a lumpectomy with radiation rather than a mastectomy.
I haven’t seen her the last several weeks, and she has been on my mind. I’ve been praying for her and wondering what is up. Today, I saw her again. She was wearing a scarf and has lost her hair again. Her cancer has come back and she has had to have radiation on her head–so I would guess the cancer moved.
My feelings about this range widely. I have so much compassion for her. Even though I don’t know her well at all, I can imagine how discouraging it must have been for her to finally make it through treatment the first time, only to be back there a year later. I also feel panic, because she has been an inspiration and has represented such hope for us–especially my husband. What if I finally get to the end of this journey, only to find myself back at the beginning?
Honestly, though, I just have to separate myself from her entirely. Our situations are different, our lives are different, God’s purpose for each of us is different. My cancer could come back in a year or ten years. It could never come back. And for that matter, I could step off the sidewalk tomorrow and get run over by a bus.
We have no guarantees. Not one of us knows what will come tomorrow. We have no promise that we will even wake up tomorrow. But that’s okay with me, because I know who holds tomorrow and I can trust that His timing and purpose is perfect. I have chosen to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and I know without a doubt that whenever my time on Earth is over, I will be with Him in Heaven for eternity. It is my prayer that this nurse has the same assurance. Who knows? Maybe I will get an opportunity to share my faith with her. Maybe she already knows Him and we can share our faith together.
Whatever happens, I am at peace. If I wake tomorrow, I will be grateful for another day. If I don’t, I’ll begin a new journey, hand in hand with my Lord.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:3 ESV