I’ve been in a bit of a writing funk lately, and I chalked it up to a case of writer’s block. I’m sure this is true in part, but in the past few days I’ve been stewing over something that I couldn’t quite pinpoint.
It’s June. A glorious month with birds chirping, flowers blooming, sappy wedding movies flooding The Hallmark Channel (and yes, I’m watching every one), kids enjoying summer vacation, the Warriors in the finals, the SF Giants playing good baseball, and so much more! There are several reasons to smile and celebrate, yet I also feel some heaviness in my heart.
Father’s Day is in a couple weeks and a few days after that would have been my dad’s 55th birthday. Would have been had he not made an early entrance, (early in my book at least), into heaven after a hard-fought battle with cancer 6 and a half years ago. He was just 48 years old.
Growing up I thought ‘hate’ was a very, very bad word. For all intents and purposes I still believe that, especially with such hatred and tension spewing out from just about every possible outlet these days. But without reservation I will say that cancer is something I abhor.
According to the CDC, 20.3 million adults have ever been diagnosed with cancer, and more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year. It makes me so angry and sad to know that some of you reading this have cancer, and most of you know or have known someone who does.
On social media my heart breaks for the young mom of 5 being told she’ll likely be without her beloved husband soon, and for my friends who courageously share updates of their ongoing battles and triumphs. My heart also breaks for those who suffer privately, silently, or heaven forbid, alone.
From the chemo treatments to radiation, infusions to transfusions, bloodwork, lab results, body scans, hospital visits, nausea, pain, dwindling appetite to withering body, hair loss, memory loss, just plain loss…I’m praying for the day that it can all go away.
When, for the first time in 28 years my dad wasn’t the one making the biggest fuss surrounding my birthday, and I didn’t hear a word from him, I desperately wanted to have things back to the way they were. During our visit the following evening I was reminded that regardless of the outcome he would be with God. I was assured of his salvation so when he passed away a day later I had peace and was glad that I was able to be near him even in the darkest moments.
When you walk so closely to someone who has this kind of disease things are never truly the same. You have a greater insight into a world that you really wish you knew nothing about, and for me, it’s the first time I truly understood what the scripture means when it instructs us to pray without ceasing. It’s a battle and a fight. It’s ugly, hard and relentless at times. But the hope must remain and the victories still come.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 NKJV
Yes, I hate cancer for how it changes lives and alters families, what it takes away and what you can never get back. But I will always pray, always hope, and always believe that next year there will be a multitude more added to the celebration of survivors, and I will cling to the Lord and hold fast to my faith in Him.