Letter #194: Booyah Cancer!

April 12, 2011

Dear cancer,

Fear. Tragedy. Havoc. Confusion. Loss of hope. Renewed faith. You are a catalyst of all. You’ve left nobody unaffected. Your arm span and sphere of influence is wide. Whether we realize it or not, you have a way with us all. You’re one of the scariest words any of us could ever be forced to identify with.

Post my family’s trip to San Diego, my oldest sister, Jamie, had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. The procedure went well, her recovery was happening smoothly and she was only upset that she’d been cut abdominally without a baby to show for it. A week later, she reported to her post-op appointment only to find out there were traces of you in her appendix.

A 32 year old wife and mother of two diagnosed with you. As rampant as you are in our culture these days, I don’t think I’m caught off guard when young people are diagnosed with you anymore. When you attack my family, regardless of age, I think I’ll always be caught off guard, especially when you jack with my sister who’s supposed to be invincible.

When I heard the news, I was thrown off a bit, but for whatever reason, I knew it was all going to be fine. Call it the Lord. Call it 24 year old optimism. Call it what you want, but I simply trusted things would be fine.

As much as we were surprised by all this, the Lord wasn’t. He knew about it and was orchestrating events long before we were ever aware. Through this process, we’ve learned the appendix version of you is rare and most common in women ages 30 to 40. You are basically undetectable unless there are other reasons to be operating in the area. So, had Jamie’s appendix never had issues, she likely would’ve never known you were present until you had spread.

What we thought initially was a nuisance, I believe was actually the Lord’s hand of protection. The next step was following up to see if you had spread. My middle sister, Dana, moved to Tulsa when she got married two and a half years ago and took a job at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This is an entire hospital devoted strictly to you and your havoc. Dana’s employment opened our eyes to an avenue of treatment we may never have been aware of otherwise. Jamie headed to Tulsa soon after this discovery to receive the best medical treatment.

Coincidence? You could say that. Provision of the Lord? I say yes. The Lord’s hand has been in this for three years without any of us ever realizing it. Call it what you want, but I’m calling it the Lord’s sovereignty. Ps. 103:19 says “…His sovereignty rules over all.” God is in control.

After her appointment and tons of tests, Jamie discovered there were no more traces of you in her body. You were completely removed with her appendix. Booyah Cancer!! For this, we’re so grateful. The final result is what we wanted, what we’d been praying for. However, no matter the results, I have to come back to the sovereignty of God. Even if you had spread insanely, God’s hand still would’ve been present. If God is not sovereign, then He is not God.

Thankful for a sister free of you, for the provision of the Lord and for the sovereignty of God,

Believer of God’s ability to work through cancer

{photo attribution}


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