God is good…ALL the time.
So many thoughts are running through me right now–everything from uncertainty to trust, from frustration to knowing that I am so incredibly blessed, from having so much to say to being at a loss for words.
Let me back up by saying that I wanted to start this so as to not merit my parents’ anger when they see the phone bill and realize that I’ve gone probably months beyond my text-messaging limit. Also, let me take a moment to thank each and every one who has texted back, called, e-mailed, messaged, etc. to offer words of wisdom, encouragement, support, and prayer. I have been brought to tears more times than you can imagine–in fact, most of the times I’ve cried so far have been from knowing that God has so blessed me with incredible family and friends. Y’all have already been such a huge support system, and that has made a world of difference.
On to what we know: I got a call this morning from one of the first doctors I saw in Wheaton–who happens to be a believer, has been praying for me, and is a God-send–and he talked to the pathologist this morning. I officially now know what the biopsy showed, which is that I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the “nodular sclerosing” type. While the fact that I have cancer in and of itself just sucks, if I had to have any kind of cancer, Hodgkin’s is the kind you want, apparently. They say it’s VERY treatable, so PTL (praise the Lord). The other good news is that I still have no symptoms (other than a lovely hole and future scar in my neck from the biopsy)–but no weight loss, night sweats, fever, or fatigue–and they think that it has not spread to my lungs or anywhere else yet, so it’s pretty early.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is pretty rare, I guess–only about 6,000 get it per year, and half of those are women. (I actually received an e-mail from a girl at Wheaton who just finished her last round of chemo yesterday for Hodgkin’s disease, so we make up something like 6% of women’s cases right there.) Here’s a link to the Mayo Clinic’s website on Hodgkin’s disease, which will explain so much better than I can about this disease. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hodgkins-disease/DS00186
While we now know what is going on with me, we have not yet figured out what treatment to have, where to have it (Chicago or Dallas), who to go to, etc., and so my family and I would LOVE your continued prayers and support for wisdom and continued peace as we sort this out. As for me, I am honestly doing ok–at least for now–I can’t promise it will always be like that, but I am doing great right now. There are a couple things in the back of my mind helping me out right now.
First, I’ve had enough injuries (2 requiring surgery and 1 stiches in the past three years) to know that “why” is not the question to be asking God. This year when I dislocated my kneecap during conference of my final season of volleyball, it was so frustrating to see so much hard work and heart poured into a season, only to have it amount to missing half of conference and coming back for the last 2 weeks of my senior season, and clearly not at my top ability. As much as during the injuries it was hard to see why, once again, I was having to learn that lesson, maybe the reason for all of them was to collectively be preparing me to deal with this and knowing that I have to trust in His incredible sovereignty.
Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, I am SO blessed, and that has helped more than you can know in facing this. I was actually shopping with my friend Caroline this morning when I got the call, and once we hung up, I cried for a second on her shoulder (mostly about the potential that I might have to put off my academics for this semester, when I’ve worked so hard to finish at Wheaton). We walked a couple stores down, and before we made it to the end of the row, she had some phone numbers from her mom, boyfriend, and dad of doctors that we could call since we don’t really have a primary care doctor or oncologist in Dallas. Another instance was calling my best friend Sarah to ask her dad (who’s a very good doctor in major Dallas hospitals) for some names of oncologists. Her response was that she would ask him, and she assured me that by the time she called me later, they would have a doctor for me, treatment options, and that everything was going to be just fine.
Instances like these two this morning, along with all of the other calls and messages, have just floored me as I see how greatly God has blessed me. I’d love to brag on all of you, but this post has already gotten way too long, and for that, I’m sorry (I always get in trouble for being long-winded and wordy in my English papers).
As so many have reassured me, God is in control, and nothing is out of his hands. And, as I’ve been learning over the past couple months, God is GOOD, and not out to get me. He is the rock we cling to, and He is so faithful. Give thanks that He is sovereign.
As we find out more info about where and when treatment will happen, I’ll make sure and update y’all. In the meantime, I think my family is taking this the hardest, so I’d love prayer for them, for miraculous healing, for wisdom as we sort out details, and for “the peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your love and prayers.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,