life without the big c

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So I changed the title of my blog, gave away the tote bag I used to bring things to chemo and threw out the snacks and stuff I used to bring, got rid of everything I could that had anything to do with having cancer.  Because I’m done with it, right?  It’s gone and out of my life.  Right?

Except it isn’t.  Not a day, not even a few hours go by that I don’t think about it.  Not just the hair, or remembering, but cancer itself.  My body is susceptible.  I get cancer.  Why do I think I won’t get it again?  If something doesn’t feel right, that is the first thought – even though I can quickly think rationally and tell myself why it makes no sense – the first involuntary thought is cancer.  Will it always be?  Will that word resonate in my head for the rest of my life?  Will pictures of the chemo center just pop into my mind at random times forever?

In some ways I feel like while I was going through it, I was strong and dealt with what was happening, and now that it’s over it’s getting to me.  Kind of like how some moms are in a crisis – take care of everything calmly and fall apart when it’s over.  I know that my life is in God’s hands and I can trust him – that has never changed.  I think it’s just that while everything was going on I had a specific focus, whether it was the next chemo, staying away from infection while my counts were low, getting enough rest to recover from chemo… there was always something to put my mind on and energy toward.  Now it’s like the cancer is out of my body, but not my mind, and I don’t quite know how to get there.

I do know that whatever I deal with, I am not alone.  Walking with God doesn’t mean there won’t be difficult times – far from it.  But it does mean that I can count on his love and caring no matter what the circumstances, and that I can know that he is using the circumstances to make me more and more like Jesus.   As long as I let him.

Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want…Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.  I Peter 4: 1-2, 12-13

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