It’s coming up on two years since I first started being passed from doctor to doctor, having one test after another until they finally decided I had cancer. I remember hearing those words and feeling like I had just been tossed into a pool of water, watching the world spin madly on above me as the doctor’s words became muffled and my vision blurred. The whole next year didn’t feel much different.
In the last couple of years I have fought, I have fallen, I have hoped, I have doubted, I have sinned, and I have overcome. I was cast aside and rejected by a few people I thought were my forever friends, which nearly destroyed me. But I was also embraced and given hope by people I never saw coming and by a God who never lets me down.
I was also healed. Last month I got to hear the words, “There isn’t a trace of cancer left. You are cancer free.” I still don’t know how to let those words sink in, so I’ve put off writing this update for nearly a month. I’m thankful. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m shocked. I’m not shocked at all.
I am cancer free!
The clinical trial I participated in is shutting down. When they told me that my cancer was gone, they also told me that the trial wasn’t really successful and they won’t be continuing it at the end of this run. They wanted to know what else I was doing that might have contributed to my healing. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. Everything. But mostly praying.”
I get asked that question more than any other, I think. I have no idea what I did or didn’t do that might have had the greatest impact on my health. I know that I started out eating as cleanly as possible (which, sadly, has gone to the wayside…), I use essential oils, I get acupuncture once a week, I get regular adjustments at the chiropractor, I have stopped allowing people into my life who tear me down, and I choose to instead surround myself with people who are loving and kind. And I talk to God. A lot.
So, I’ll go for check-ups and I’ll continue to try to maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible. When I faced my darkest season almost a year ago, I was too wounded to focus on self-care. I retreated to my old eat-everything-and-gain-weight-so-people-won’t-look-at-me M.O., so I have some work to do and a little weight to lose. I also still have an auto-immune disease that is painful and debilitating at times, but I’m alive. I’m not promised tomorrow, but cancer isn’t getting me today. I am alive!
I’m doing really well. I’m still working two jobs. I just bought a new car. I’m slowly chipping away at the remainder of my hospital bills. I’m loving and being loved. And no matter what the future holds, I always have Christ in me, the Hope of glory. Amen.