Reassessing Life and What is Important
A recent diagnosis of cancer brought the merry-go-round of my life to a stand still. Even though melanoma seemed minor compared to other types of cancer, I still spent a lot of time reassessing my life and what was important. I’ve mentioned this before, but I began to see that the daily grind paled in comparison to love. Love for and from God, my husband, my children, my extended family, and my friends. People are important. People are eternal. The rest of life here isn’t.
However, God wasn’t through teaching me just how precious this life is and how much I should cherish each moment.
About two weeks after my initial surgery, I began to develop intense pain in the area where some lymph nodes had been removed. I mentioned it to my doctor at a checkup, but he said everything looked fine. A few hours later, I was not “fine” at all. What had begun as intense pain had changed to a constant stabbing feeling, accompanied by violent vomiting every 10 or 20 minutes. After a few hours, I couldn’t get up from the bathroom floor. My body was too heavy to carry. I was too weak. I was going to die.
As I lay there, my parents hovering over me and discussing whether or not to take me to the hospital, I had the most peculiar feeling. It was not frightening. It was an intense peace. I knew Jesus was with me — He always is — but at that moment, He was really with me, as in coming to get me. My entire body stiffened. All I could think about was my two precious children, my girls. What would it be like to lose a mother at their young age? How would my eldest deal with the loss? And what about Rachel, my precious autistic angel? Would she understand what had happened to me? Would she even remember me? And my husband … How would he make it without a partner?
My heart wrenched and ached.
As much as I wanted my suffering to end, and as much as my body had given up, I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live for my girls. I wanted to continue loving them and sowing seeds into their lives.
I squeezed my eyes shut and begged, “Please let me live. Please let me live for my girls, for my husband. Please, Lord, heal me and let me stay here for a while longer.”
As my body continued to heave, I felt a still voice respond: It will be difficult.
“I don’t care, Lord,” I prayed. “Just be with me and get me through this. I’ll do it for them.”
And so my prayer was answered, as well as the rest of the conversation. I have never, ever suffered that much in my life. Some of the pain I went through in the hospital recovering from what turned out to be a staph infection was as close to torture as I ever hope to come. For the first few days, I couldn’t move my own body, and since my blood pressure was so low, I couldn’t have a lot of medicine, so I was awake and feeling during some of the procedures I endured. Yet, each moment was worth it. God had given me more time to do what is most important to me: to be a mom. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.
Carry on, sister moms. Being a mother is one of the most precious gifts God gives on this earth.