A different path

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

There isn't much that is clear about my situation. At least, that's how I often feel as I muddle through the haze of days of hypothyroidism, medication withdrawal, myriad decisions about which diet to follow, and which set of recommendations regarding radiation precautions post-scan dose and post-treatment dose. What I know is this: I have a rare variant form of thyroid cancer that requires different follow-up and treatment than the more "standard" (papillary or follicular) varieties. I know that I will be having frequent scans over the next 3-5 years. I know that I am at high risk for recurrence, and those 3-5 years may stretch into 20 years of careful treatment and follow-up. I also know that I have 4 small children at home, 5 and under, none of whom understand the concept of 3 feet from Mama, nor what it means when they suddenly can't cosleep with me after years of open access to my bed and bedroom. I know I am in close proximity to my children more (perhaps up to 20-some hours a day more!) than a mother who makes different choices, such as working outside the home or sleeping in a different room than her children. I know I would have difficulty not licking their spoons, or holding them in my arms, or kissing them goodnight - even though I am mature enough to understand the 3 foot rule and how radiation is transmitted through my saliva and sweat! I know that I must carefully weigh not only the physical impact of my decisions, but also the emotional and psychological impact. My children need to trust me when I say I am coming home. They need to trust that I will not leave again as soon as I get home. So I stay away - perhaps longer than necessary - to avoid a second separation. Why put them through that, when they are going through so much already? Why ask them not to hug me when I am home, when that is the deepest urge in their little beings?

We all have a different path to trod. Why does mine include cancer? Why does my particular nuclear medicine physician suggest very strict precautions for me when his colleague might suggest very different precautions for the next patient? I don't know, no more than I understand why God blessed me with beautiful children or the ability to be a stay-at-home mom.

Doubts enter in whenever we let them, don't they? Satan is always ready with self-doubt proferred, whenever we are least ready. I must stand firm on what I do know, and shut my ears and eyes to the doubts that plague me and the questions I can't answer. I recorded a hymn for my children to listen to today, and it captures the resolve of my heart perfectly.

All the way my Saviour leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate'er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.
~ Fanny J. Crosby, All the Way My Savior Leads Me