It’s been a number of weeks since I last posted and that break was intentional. I wanted to focus on getting healthy, living my life, to take time to stop and listen to God and to stop putting cancer in the spotlight of my life.  Well, I’m back. And now that I’m here, I’m not really sure what to say. I’m still reflecting on how I spent my time and whether or not I accomplished all or even some of those goals.

I spent a lot of time resting over the last few weeks. Jeff was so generous to let me sleep in most days and I also made of a point of napping with Nathan most afternoons. That rest was both physical rest and healing rest.

So what’s happening today?

About two weeks ago I woke up with some tightness in my lungs. After a visit to my GP, antibiotics, raging fevers, night sweats, two separate nights in the ER, blood work, a visit to Dr. Crump, a CT scan and a visit to the Infectious Disease doctor, it turns out that I had some pneumonia. My blood counts, swollen glands, swollen liver and swollen spleen still point to more treatment. I will see Dr. Crump on Monday to further sort out what the next course of action will be.

Last night I was talking with a friend about some of the upcoming decisions regarding my health. She told me that when she tells others about me she always uses the phrase “living with cancer” not “dying of cancer”. I’ve been deliberate to live my life that way over the past 11 years since my diagnosis. People who have fought cancer and won their fight call themselves “Survivors” (and rightly so!) and I’ve often thought of myself as a “Surviving” since I’ve not yet overcome this disease or been healed of this disease. Cancer does not define me. It is not who I am. I am reminded tonight that I am a part of God’s family, a precious child of God.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3

I mentioned that it’s been 11 years since my diagnosis. That’s a long time… and well, it feels like a long time too. But it’s also a reason to CELEBRATE!  Not just because I’ve been a “Cancer Surviving” for 11 years, but also because of God’s faithfulness to me over these years. I am thankful for these 11 years, for the lessons that I have learned, for the depth of relationships that I have discovered and for the opportunities to share God’s goodness in my life with others.

As always, withjoy,

H.