Poured out

I am poured out like water...be not far from me, O Lord; O my Help, hasten to aid me!
~ Psalm 22


Today was my follow-up appointment at Mayo. I had a neck ultrasound, which initially looked grave - several enlarged lymph nodes (one 3 cm), one with very strange appearance, and another nodule (though small) in the area my thyroid used to occupy. The appointment with the endocrine oncologist revealed that the final radiology report was mixed: no mention of the enlarged lymph nodes, the nodule is probably "insignificant clinically", and the strange lymph node is too small to worry about right now. Based on the score they use to calculate risk and odds, the team feels it is appropriate to treat my cancer conservatively - no further treatment at the moment, follow-up in 3 and 6 months, and frequent ultrasounds for at least 5 years.


The difficulties are these: the information was contradictory, very similar to the information we received just before the decision was made to go to surgery (when one pathologist thought cancer and the other - from Mayo - thought benign). In addition, Mayo is the only facility in the U.S. that does not treat all cases of papillary carcinoma - follicular variant with radioactive iodine. The team is asking me to accept their superior expertise and override all the other information I can gather about this scenario. What to do?

I am back at the "dirty dishrag" stage right now - I think there might even be a layer of some slimy orange scum on me this evening (sorry attempt at humor here!). I am wrung out and wasted, completely poured out to the spiritual, emotional and physical exercise of accepting and comprehending the depth and breadth of this trial.

I.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. ~ I Corinthians 15:25-26

Death is an enemy - one I should fight. If what is presented to me doesn't ring true with my past and present experiences, knowledge and intuition, I need to fight to find an answer that does resonate. If I am not at peace, I need to press on until I find that "peace that passeth all understanding" (Phil. 4:7).

II.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:13-14

Death and life are in God's hand, whatever my decision in this. He has laid out a path for me, and He may be asking me to "abide in Him" (John 15:5) through this difficult period of waiting for a clear answer.

The tears ran down my face this afternoon as I recalled the words to this powerful old hymn, and sang it to my children:

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,

Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

~ Frances R. Havergal, 1874, Take My Life and Let It Be