"I suppose this will change our lives", I said to the radiologist. "No, it is a detour". She began to explain how.
A simple routine and annual mammogram ("mammogrammies", as our Ethiopian friend called it) had shown something not good in Cheryl's breast. Something had grown. The letter advised to return for another mammogram and a sonogram. Then a recommendation to see a surgeon for a biopsy.
I can't count the times we have prayed for people who have made this same announcement. Little did I know what was welling inside them physically, spiritually, and emotionally. We asked God to let us get the surgeon of choice whom we had recommended to others (because of his success with an in-law's surgery). We had seen the positive results of his skills and compassion.
We decided to tell our church. I guess the only church family we have is temporary, where I am interim pastor. Our membership is elsewhere, but because of the ministry God has given me, we are not there. So, our "interim" family is the one we have with skin on. And they are awesome indeed.
Each step moved us along. See surgeon...walk down hall for biopsy...talk to radiologist...wait...get phone call, "I'm sorry to tell you it is cancer"...come in the afternoon and early evening for other tests...another test Monday..."This is a big cancer"..."We can win this". Say that last thing again, because we are very frightened..."we can win this."
So, we see the Oncologist Thursday morning and at present a port will be implanted on Monday morning. We will gain more clarity in our visit with the Oncologist.
Cheryl and I have prayed, cried, read Scriptures and begun the detour together with our children, grandchildren, and in-laws. The pain, questions, concerns, fears, etc. we have seen in the eyes of others are now in our eyes. We are not alone nor are we in the worst shape.
When we received news she needed to have another mammogram, I began to search the New Testament for every text and context on healing. Did you know that there is no record of Jesus refusing anyone who came to him? So, we prayed for healing. It was not - at least at this time.
I began to cry out to God. Tests were Friday with one more to come Monday. I went to bed Saturday night and was awakened after midnight thinking, 'if you ask for a fish, will he give you a serpent?' I got up and found the verse in Luke 11:11 and the context in Luke 11:1-13. We came back home Sunday afternoon from worship. I shared with Cheryl the verse I had awakened with. That verse in the narrative says "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead?"
So, at least for me, I am calling this "the snake". It is poison and it needs to be killed. I won't argue the theology at this point but just know that our desire is to "glorify God". I am reminded of the John 9 passage. The man's ailment was not due to either his sin or that of his parents. But the glory of God was the display of the work of God in his life. God's work was to make this man whole.
We are believing that God will display his work in Cheryl's life and the lives of the family as he makes her whole. We began the year by asking God to help us get healthy this year. We joined a fitness center and started working out. We both had our "Wellness" exams. Little did we know what detour that desire to 'get healthy' might take. But here we are.
And so we begin our detour. I may get Cheryl to blog her own journey. From time to time, I will be posting some updates here.
We deeply desire your prayers. And we thank you in advance for praying and for caring.