Friday, May 28, 2010
jumping for joy!
(if you're new to this blog, you can go here to catch up on what has happened in the last six months, the first part of this story)
This past Wednesday I had butterflies in my stomach. And I think my face broke out in no less then 5 new pimples. (stress. It gives me the skin of an oily 14-year-old.)
Wednesday was the day my mom had her MRI-- the MRI that would tell us whether her month of radiation had worked or not, the one that would let us know the next step in this journey.
I honestly had prepared myself for bad news. Maybe that was a bad attitude to have, maybe it shows a lack of faith... I don't know. All I know was that while every single part of my being hoped and prayed for good--no, GREAT-- news, I honestly and truly didn't want to get my hopes up. Her last MRI had been so unexpectedly NOT good. And, also on Wednesday, we received sad, sad news about a church family member who is also battling cancer, which broke my heart and brought me to tears. Who was I to expect that WE would hear wonderful news when this family was suffering so much?? It seemed foolish to think that, just like that, the tumor would be gone. I really could not bring myself to get my hopes up. I just couldn't, no matter how much I wanted to be positive.
Well, friends, you know what? God is awesome and amazing. And God has a perfect plan. And thankfully, it doesn't matter what we think is possible or foolish to hope, or how pessimistic or guarded we may be when it comes to our expectations.
On Thursday morning, when I knew my mom was at her follow-up appointment seeing the results of that all-important MRI, right when I thought I couldn't stand another minute of waiting, I got a text message from my sister Lydia. It contained only five words. But I had never received a more wonderful text message.
"mom's tumor is completely gone!!!!"
How do I describe the moment when I read that? It was... amazing. Tears of joy sprang to my eyes, and all I could think was "thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you, Lord!!" I was literally shaking with relief. It wasn't until I read those words that I realized how much I really and truly had not been expecting those wonderful results, because it left me breathless. I know, this all sounds rather overly dramatic, but I want to remember it, remember what it was like. When someone you love is going through something like what my mom experienced, it is always with you. There, always on your mind, waiting to fill your thoughts and make you worried and sad even when you're trying your best not to dwell on it, but to simply trust God no matter what. And then, just like that, for the first time since December 5, that Saturday night when this all started, the weight had been lifted. Gone. I wanted to fly and sing and dance and hug someone while jumping up and down.
It was such a joy, such an amazing thing, to be able to call and text and tell those closest to me the good news-- there was much rejoicing. I spoke with my dad, and of course my mom, and there was a lightness and joy in our voices. I'm pretty sure we all smiled non-stop all day long. I know I did!
I pray with all my heart that my mom and dad, my sisters, and my brother can enjoy this new season of peace and rest after all the turmoil of these past months. I know they need it. We all do.
My family and I were so incredibly blessed by all those who prayed continuously every day for Mom, for all of us. Our prayer warriors. And this includes all of you. There is no way to really tell you what the support and love you've all shown to me and my loved ones has meant, how it has brightened and beamed sunshine into some of the darkest corners within this experience. I am humbled, and grateful beyond what my fingers can type.
If you could keep the prayers coming, that would be wonderful. Lymphomas do have a nasty tendency of coming back; and quite often, if they do, they are bigger and harder to treat than the first time. We are hopeful, and optimistic, that with all of the things my mom is doing to keep herself healthy and of course by God's grace, her cancer will stay gone. There's no way to know for sure except with time. We don't know if this journey is over for good or not... we'll pray each day that it IS.
For now, we'll simply be glad and rejoice in the way things are right now. I am happy. I am grateful. For now, my mom is ok. She's ok!!
A sweet friend shared this song with me after I posted the good news on facebook, and I thought it was so perfect, so rich and sweet and true.
The Healing Hand of God, by Jeremy Camp
I have seen the many faces,
I fear in the pain.
I have watched the tears fall plenty,
From heart ache and strength.
So if life's journey,
Has you weary and afraid.
There's rest in the shadow of his wings.
I have walked through the valleys,
The mountains and plains.
I have held the hand of freedom,
It washes all my stains.
If you feel the weight of many trials,
And burdens from this world.
There's freedom in the shelter of the Lord.
I have seen,
The healing hand of God,
Reaching out and mending broken hearts.
Taste and see the fullness of His peace,
And hold on to what's being held out.
The healing hand of God.
Sweet friends, if you could think to pray for the ones who did not receive good news on Wednesday, that would be great. Her name is Melanie, and she may not have long left to live. The bitter and the sweet so often come together, and my heart breaks for her and her family even while I rejoice with mine. This amazing woman and her loved ones will need all the prayers they can get. Thank you, as always.