It’s Confirmed. I Have Breast Cancer. Now What?

winding road on mountain
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at

It’s been a long three weeks coming to the place of a diagnosis…invasive carcinoma were two words in the description.  It sounds a bit ominous to me.  Invasive has such an ugly feel to it.  Webster’s online dictionary gives it these three definitions: 1: of, relating to, or characterized by military aggression, 2: tending to spread; especially: tending to invade healthy tissue <invasive cancer cells>, 3: tending to infringe.  I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t sound like anything I want in my body!  Something that infringes or militantly enters into places it’s not invited is not welcome here.  All I can think about right now is getting it out!  Stop the invasion!Have you ever been in a place like this?  Something has entered your life be it disease, divorce, job loss, or whatever it might be for you and you have no control over it.  It is invading and spreading into all aspects of your life and being as you stand there helplessly on the sidelines crying out to God to rescue you!

I must say just even a few weeks into this, my eyes have been opened in a big way.  I have always had compassion on those with cancer as it has taken several of those I love.  I’ve watched them be healthy one day and incapacitated the next. Many times I was there by their side through their sufferings seeing every detail of the ugliness.  However, I realize now that even though I thought I understood and knew a lot about cancer, I was clueless.  In a few short weeks I have developed utmost respect for those who have walked in these shoes!  Whether they won or lost the battle, they are heroes in my eyes.  And I haven’t even seen the half of it yet!

I hate the feeling of being at everyone’s mercy.  I have a problem and I want to fix it.  I have goals and dreams for 2013 and all of this is getting in my way.  I don’t really want to wait to get in to see busy doctors nor do I want to wait for test results all day.  I have things to do, places to go, people to see…and then I’m reminded…I now have cancer.  It’s funny how one phone call can change your life.  All of the plans and dreams I had for the next 12 months are stifled–on hold so to speak.  I sit here numbly thinking, “God, what are you doing?  Do you not know that I have more books and blogs to write, places to speak, houses to sell? I want to travel with my husband and be his helpmate in our house projects.  I want to be here to enjoy my children and grandchildren in the years to come. I want to have more parties in my new house. I haven’t even made it to Hawaii yet!”  Realistically, in my heart I know that nothing happens in our lives for naught.  So I am forced to give up my wants and take a look at this mountain I have to face and I stop.  I regroup.  Perhaps my plans for 2013 weren’t God’s plans. I want so desperately to enjoy these midlife years I’ve grown to love. Now what?  “Lord, can you please show me where I go from here?”

As I wait upon the Lord to guide and direct my next steps, I am reminded that I am His.  With that comes the power of the Holy Spirit and wisdom from above.  There will be plenty of strength for my journey too as long as I lean on God.  I need not be afraid or grow weary.  I only need to trust that He will see me through.  However there will be days I don’t feel like getting out of bed or you might find me in a fetal position somewhere.  I am human.  I am discouraged that I once again have a mountain to climb.  I am sad that my thoughts of sitting on the beach in the next couple of months are probably out of the question at this point.  But nonetheless, I have hope.  I don’t know how people get through these things without the strength of God.  I don’t know how they face a deadly disease that has proven to have the power to take a good man down and not acknowledge they need God to see them through.  Call me a wimp.  But without God and His power in my life I am wimpy.  One of my friends said the other day, “You are better wimpy with Him than strong without Him!”  I say “Amen” to that!

You know that’s true.  God doesn’t expect us to move or climb the mountains in our power.  He says if we have just the faith of a mustard seed the mountain will be moved.  He doesn’t need us to be strong.  Rather, He wants us to trust in Him.  So for now I am still and ask God, “What now?”  Apparently the plans I had were not His.  I mentally put my hand into the loving hand of my Father and hang on for the ride down the path He has already cleared for me.  I don’t know where we’re going.  I may whine and cry along the way.  But I know my Father’s way is where I want to be.  So I trust.  I get angry. I cry a little.  Then I get back on the path.  Wipe the dust off, take my Father’s hand again and we walk a few more steps.  My strength is in Him.  What a peace there is with Him in control.

So those things I can’t control on my own…I give to Him.  We will make it—me and God.  He has never let me down yet.  Why would He start now?  Are there things you need to give to God?  Have you been fretting or depressed over things in your life you can’t control or change even if you tried?  Be reminded He cares for you.  He wants to be your Knight in Shining Armor, your Deliverer from whatever has taken you off the path today.  Please grab onto His hand with me…there’s room enough for us all.  Let’s walk together and trust that God is in control so we don’t have to be.  One step at a time…one day at a time…we will make it to the other side.  God bless you in your struggles that you face today.  Whether they are big or small, may God be your Lord over them all!  Remember, be blessed and go be a blessing!

Matthew 17:20  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.