I had a panic attack yesterday. There were many things on my mind, but when I sifted to the bottom of what was truly bothering me, I discovered it was anxiety about my three month cancer check. Most of the time, I don’t think about cancer. I don’t read about it. I don’t attend support groups, online or otherwise. I notice my scars, I am aware of the lingering after effects of chemo, but by and large, cancer just doesn’t enter my mind most days. And then my appointment rolls around and I realize I still have quite a bit of fear lurking in the recesses of my mind.
I used to say “If I ever get cancer. . . ” followed by some plan of natural treatment necessitating trips overseas and the rejection of western medicine. I never really thought I would get cancer. It was never a serious concern or fear of mine, so it was easy to have all the answers. Now, I say “If I get cancer again. . .” followed by no plan whatsoever. I know the likelihood of recurrence is high for me. I know I cannot let my guard down. I must remain diligent and aware of changes in my body, and I must not miss appointments. My oncologist is a wonderful woman who loves the Lord. She sees my fears and acknowledges them. She prays for me. I am so grateful for her. She is being hyper vigilant and watches me closely, knowing that the next time cancer rears its head, we have to catch it early.
In between my doctor visits, though, I have life to live, and I don’t want to live in fear, conscious or unconscious. I want to be sure that my heart is trusting in Him and that I am not just choosing to stuff my feelings. Overall, I think I’m in a pretty good place, by the grace of God. And I suppose it is reasonable to allow myself a bit of room to feel, given the situation.
If I get cancer again, Lord willing I’ll just keep walking, holding my head up and taking whatever comes. He is enough.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Cor. 12:9