One year ago today, Adam and I sat on our couch anxiously awaiting 2:30 and the phone call – the call that would either put our minds at ease and allow us to breathe a sigh of relief, or plunge us into a new reality that was too terrifying to even consider. I’ll never forget the way I felt when I heard her voice on the other end, and when she said “Unfortunately, it is cancer.” It still gives me chills. All I remember about the rest of our conversation is how hard I was trying to catch my breath and hold back the sobs so that I could listen to what she had to say. I started writing everything she said on a notepad because I knew I wouldn’t remember any of it. Her first words were still repeating over and over in my head. I’d see a surgeon by Friday, and then possibly an oncologist the next week depending on the treatment plan that was decided upon. It was all happening so fast. I felt like she was speaking another language as I hurried to jot down all of the terminology – Her2, hormone receptor status, growth rate, stage. We spent the next few hours on the Internet looking up everything I’d written down. Being on the receiving end of that call was devastating, but having to then be the one to call my parents and deliver that news was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. There was so much sadness, fear, and disbelief that I felt that day.
February 17, 2015 is a day I’ll never forget, but instead of viewing it as the worst day of my life, I want to celebrate it as a milestone that points to God’s incredible faithfulness. When I heard those words that day, I honestly felt as if someone had told me I was about to die any day. I was terrified of so many things and I had no idea how I was going to face all of the harsh realities that cancer was about to throw at me. It’s been a long and trying year, but God did not forsake me for a moment. Though I’ve been called deeper than I ever could have imagined, His strength and grace have been enough every single day. Whether it was struggling to accept that I won’t be able to have children for a while, sitting down in the chemo chair the first time, staring at a bald me in the mirror everyday, or feeling too weak to get out of bed for days, He has gotten me through it and continues to each day. Now, one year later, I’m a survivor!
This song is one of my favorites, and it’s especially meaningful today. “Faithful you have been, and faithful you will be”. Ever Be by Aaron Shust