Practice What You Preach

Over the past six months I have repeated the line, “Just let it unfold,” to quite a number of my friends and family who are facing difficult situations. These include things such as a grandma with a cancer diagnosis or no money to pay for college, or an unknown future transitioning out of college, and even a son hoping for a linebacker position on the high school football team. You name it and I can easily apply “just let it unfold.”

What I mean by my oh-so-deep-brilliant line is this:

  • Don’t over-think it
  • Don’t borrow trouble
  • Let it play out
  • Look for God in all of it
  • Just do the NEXT thing
  • Don’t be anxious
  • Keep walking through it
  • God will give you grace in the journey

To me, it releases the burden of micro-managing life events and ignites faith and positivity to dominate our thoughts.

Hah! That’s all fine until it’s ME that needs to “just let it unfold!”

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I know what you’re thinking— she’s way too young to have had colon cancer— and you are absolutely right.  You can read how that UNFOLDED here and here. Anyway………. because of my history I seem to have a colonoscopy just about every year.   Again— WAY TOO YOUNG— I know!  This last colonoscopy earned me a referral to Stanford Medical Center.  My doctor was mildly concerned and felt a specialist should weigh-in on a precancerous polyp needing to be removed. No big deal. Let’s just get it out completely by the most qualified person.

I absolutely was not worried about this.  The frustrating part was taking time out of my summer to drive the almost two hours to Stanford, just to schedule another colonoscopy with this new doctor to easily remove the thing. I was so NOT worried about it that I brought no-one with me.

As I arrived at Stanford, I was greeted with the perpetual chaos of all the construction.  The new underground parking garage was like a mini war zone.  It was every patient for himself to find a parking spot amidst the honks, shouts, and racing vehicles!  The minute I parked I had a line-up of people asking if I was coming or going.  Not a calm start to say the least!

I first met with a nurse practitioner who was a spunky, enjoyable woman. She wore blue cowboy boots and a short skirt.  I think her goal was to create a light-hearted atmosphere while asking the most awkward colon questions.  I’ll spare you the details, but you can just imagine it was all a bunch of crap.  Hah!! …Pun intended.

At one point she asked me, “Do you know why you’re here?”   Hmmm.   Really good question. Next, she mentioned the doctor would do an exam. Hmmm. What could THAT possibly mean?  How do you examine a colon if it’s not a colonoscopy?

Over an hour later (and an almost finished novel) the doctor came in.  I really liked her; personable and easy to understand.  After a few more embarrassing questions she said, “So, we are going to treat this as a cancer finding,” and she began unfolding the details of the treatment plan.   I began my own “UNFOLDING”… aka… falling apart… biting my lip, cheeks, tongue.  DON’T CRY!

I cried.  Pretty hard, actually.  She waited for me to regain composure, probably surprised at my reaction because what she said wasn’t TERRIBLE, it just took me back to what it could mean:

  • Uncomfortable tests
  • Painful IV’s
  • MAJOR chunks of my time seeing doctors
  • Finding babysitters

I wanted to explain these thoughts to her, but I couldn’t recover enough to put voice to my inner turmoil.  Finally, she mentioned that at the very least, I’m facing surgery with an overnight stay in the hospital.  Her next phrase was, “Worse case scenario….”

LOST. IT!!

There was no way for me to convey the horror of that phrase.  When I faced cancer before, I was ALWAYS the “worst case scenario,” — never once did I escape that phrase.  You can read about that here and here.

As the dr. and nurse practitioner waited (probably rolling their eyes at each other) and I chewed my face up trying to stop the tears, a late realization came over me: THIS is a gastro oncologist surgeon and THIS is more involved than a quick fix.

Just let it unfold.

Easy for you…(ahem… ME!)… to say.

39 thoughts on “Practice What You Preach”

  1. Lori you are one of most courageous women I know. God has gifted you with an indomitable spirit and ability to be strong in tough times. But..it is okay to be weak and falling apart-HE is your strength (and great family and friends!) and His great love for you will bring glory to His name in all things. Praying to Jehovah Rapha for you friend.

  2. As you know….Jesus is our healer, comforter and friend. Once more, He will walk with you through this, one day, one exam at a time. Love and prayers!

  3. Lifting you up in the name of JESUS! It is comforting knowing that you have an ARMY of support behind you. Know that you are being held in the hand of GOD and that LOVE is everywhere!!

  4. Lori: When I get so caught up in the “woe is me”, I read about someone who has more on their plate than I do! As a former oncology nurse, I can understand how you must feel! I am going to be praying knowing that “0ur God” is bigger than any situation we face! Be strong and know you have prayer warriors going before the Lord for you! God bless you!

    1. You would be an amazing oncology nurse. I’m sure many people were blessed by your caring spirit. And I feel the same way— there are so many people going through really hard things.

  5. Thank you for sharing from the heart! I am so sorry you are having to go through this again. I’m praying for healing and the best case scenario!

  6. Oh my dear Lori were praying for you. You are amazingly talented with the way you share your thoughts. You walk with such grace and dignity sharing your journey. I can see Jesus at side. I was just talking about your story of Jesus take the wheel. Again your in our thoughts and prayers. Love you Barbara

  7. Lori! So there with you!!! That feeling of having yearly checkups and moments of anxiety…..yep!!!
    But I am praying for you….peace, calm thoughts, warm sense of FATHER’s presence…..and yes, the miracle of healing and wellness. With love.

    1. So great to hear from you, Sharon. I know you know what I am talking about! God is so patient with me and all of my anxiety! He probably rolls His eyes along with my dr.s, waiting for me to land emotionally. Much love.

  8. We will start praying for healing and peace for you and your family as you walk this journey. We can help hang out with Olivia anytime. Just let me know. Love you sister friend,
    Lisa Lebo

  9. This is your dad talking: You r my girl. I sit and read the cards you’ve sent me often. I look forward to many more. I spend a lot of time praying for u and expect good things to happen. Love u. Dad

  10. Lori thanks for sharing your journey. You will certainly be in my prayers. You are so right about our God’s faithfulness and the peace that He gives in the midst of life’s storms. May you sense His presence with you and may He comfort you and Eddie is my prayer. Love and prayers, Ruth

  11. Aww. Lori, I will be praying for you. Thank you for opening up and sharing. Blogging helps me work through things as well. God is good and will help you as things unfold. *Sweet prayers, my friend*

  12. Thanks for sharing what you have experienced, and what you have learned. You are such a trooper who is trusting the Lord. I will keep you in my prayers as it unfolds. God bless you and comfort you.

  13. Dear Sweet Lori, I know how you know and love our dear Lord. I know how He will comfort you and embrace you. I’m so sad at this news for you but I anxiously wait to hear all that the Lord does for you and your amazing family by your faithfulness. Sending great amounts of prayer and love. Susan

  14. Thank you for sharing Lori, will be praying for you, but I needed this reminder.
    I had a scare with breast cancer a few months ago and though it’s not over yet, doing a biopsy in Oct., God audibly reminded me at one point that He decided before I was conceived how long my life was going to be. Cancer nor the doctors had the power of that decision. That took all the fear of it and I do hope that if the biopsy is not good that I will remember God’s words to me and the ones you just posted. So glad to know he will be walking with us at all times. Love you guys.

    1. Alicia!! Thanks for letting me know. I will be praying and, yes– God knows His perfect plan for each one of us. Love you!

  15. Dear Lori, you’re in my thoughts and prayers as you travel this difficult journey. I pray that you will feel the peace that passes all understanding.
    Love to you,
    Marilyn

  16. Jesus has YOU. Covered. He has promise that by His stripes you were healed…believing this for YOUR life!!

  17. Dear Lori,
    The Lord brought you to my mind recently, and now I know why. Do you remember way back when, when we would fast and pray for a baby for you? God answered in a huge Ephians 3:20 way! (Three fold, no less!) He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever! I’m calling on that same Father on your behalf once again!
    Love in Christ,
    Sue Brusci

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *