I originally wanted to name this post, “Ugh!” I met with my Stanford surgeon yesterday to go over the pathology report and my first reaction was… “Ugh!”
There was cancer found in the tumor, which means I’ll be having a lot of follow-up appointments. Every 3 months I will have some type of procedure to make sure cancer has not returned. This will go on for 2 years, and then I can stretch out the appointments to every 6 months for another 3 years. Ugh!
And each appointment will include blood-work.
To me, it was a blow. Right back to square one. I’ve JUST in the last 2 years been able to stretch out follow-up appointments to once a year.
My doctor also stated if a mass comes back in the same spot, we will have a discussion about removing my colon.
And… to top it all off, it took me over 3 ½ hours to get home from Stanford.
So… there’s the cup-half-empty version.
It’s really bothering me that my first reaction was a negative viewpoint, because it is such good news! Though it was a large tumor, the cancer was small and contained. I have clear margins and my lymph nodes are fine. I dodged a bullet and have the opportunity to be closely monitored by some of the best doctors in the world.
Last week a friend gave me a beautiful word picture to help me reframe the way I see things. She said when she prays for me, she envisions me walking with Jesus. Don’t panic. NOT dead as in heaven walking with Him, more of a comforting picture— like a dad with his daughter. She said, “Picture Eddie and Olivia from behind, walking away hand in hand.”
THAT has stuck with me.
I have this mental image of me holding Jesus’ hand as we walk toward a tree. We stop and play under the shade of it, with leaves crunching at our feet and falling all around us. I am small and He’s big, smiling down at me. I picture me standing on his feet, facing Him and holding both hands as He walks… literally stepping where He steps.
Such joy and laughter.
He is my closest friend.
He ENJOYS me, and I LOVE being with Him.
Every time I feel wrong attitudes or negative outlooks creeping into my thinking, I stop and re-create the mental image of me spending time with Jesus. It’s my way of choosing joy. Choosing a cup that is filling up, rather than emptying out.
It’s a special, intimate walk with a good friend.
As I walked toward the cancer center yesterday, out of nowhere, a leaf floated down and landed on my shoulder.
It was my cue to remember the falling leaves of the tree Jesus and I are walking toward, and the assurance He is holding my hand every step of the way.