One part of survivorhood I never really prepared for was the cancer scares. Sure, I knew that I would need to keep a healthy lifestyle and make sure I went to routine scans, but for some reason the element of the constant scares had never crossed my mind. That is, until about a month ago.
It’s never fun when your doctor calls to personally to deliver the CT scan results. He was concerned, sent me for a follow-up PET Scan, and about a week-and-a-half of anxiety ridden days and nights, I finally got the news that all was clear once again. Apparently, being operated and radiated on as a 17-year-old can have some residual effects like scaring in the pelvis that looks questionable.
While I’m thankful that in this instance, all was clear, it opened my eyes to the long journey that I, as well as all of my fellow cancer survivors, are on. Especially for those of us who’ve been hit with the disease twice or more; it’s an eye-opening and sobering experience to realize that you’ll be fighting a disease for the rest of your life. When I first realized this after my second diagnosis, I was angry. My anger has subsided these days, but it’s still shocking to me sometimes when I realize the risks associated with just living life. I realized as I waited for my PET scan results to come in, that even if all was clear, this wouldn’t be the last time I’d have a scare like this. Unfortunately, this is a lifelong journey.
As I went about church and life group yesterday; however, I began to see a comforting parallel between living with Christ, and my life as a cancer survivor. Both require a “wartime” mentality, as we must always stay on guard for the next attack. We mustn’t be surprised by it, but rather, anticipate that the enemy will work to get us down… whether it’s sickness, debt, rough relationships, sinful temptations, etc. We won’t have these “scares” subside until we reach heaven. So until we’re there, we must anticipate them.We must stay in the fight, and remember that we’re at war.
I found encouragement yesterday in remembering that I serve a God that is here to help. Christ didn’t come down to earth to leave us hanging. He sent the Holy Spirit to get us through tough times, give us unity among one another, and bring about a perfect peace that gets us through any trial. While we can’t always change our thoughts or make ourselves feel differently, we can plug into the source who will “guard our minds and our hearts” with only the peace He can bring. Whether it’s a cancer scare, or any other life problem that gets us down, we must keep pressing on and hold the line in this war.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.