Another spring

The lilacs were just leafing out last spring, in April, when the lump started to make itself known in my throat. Now, a year later, I am preparing to take a deep breath and walk through the same doors, down the wide halls to radiology. Another year, another ultrasound, another biopsy.

I am scheduled for an ultrasound of my abdomen and pelvis on May 5th, this Tuesday. After that I will be walked down the back halls, shivering in my gown and robe. A mammogram to check a lump in my chest and get a baseline for the many future tests I will require to be certain that my cancer treatment last November isn't creating new cancer.

I remember secondary cancer. Mostly I remember it killing people. The biggest difficulty, for both Aaron and I, is finding the balance between realism and fatalism. We tend to spend a week in denial, not crossing the mental threshold into that dark room called "Cancer". The next week we swing like a heavy pendulum deep into sorrow and grief at what feels like the probability that cancer will do what it has always done to everyone we've known...kill me. To find a place in between seems impossible. Yet this year, we're calmer, in some ways. Resigned. Resolute. In other ways, it is harder not to dread these next weeks, knowing what it feels like to have that type of bad news hit you square in the gut, knock your breath away, leave you gasping. Once you've been in that place, there is nothing you wouldn't give to not go to that place again.

How do I do this well? How do I cope with this news realistically? Who do I share with, and how? Do I weep the bitter tears that choke my words all day long? Do I hold them in, wrap them up and place them like a trophy of unspilt gall at the feet of Christ? I learn more each day, the truth of this Proverb: each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy (14:10).

to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

~Cry Out to Jesus, Third Day