"I sought the LORD, and He answered me. He delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4
The funny thing about cancer is that I've never experienced moments of fear like this in my life. I'm not a "scaredy cat" by nature. When people talk about phobias and ask me what mine are, I don't really have one. I'm not afraid of thunder, snakes, sharks, spiders, natural disasters, the dark, etc. Now, I don't really like most of those things, but I'm not afraid of them.
So having to look fear in the face over the past 2 months has been a really difficult thing for me. I first felt really afraid in that moment when I was all prepped for my lumpectomy surgery, and they left me alone for a little bit until it was time to roll me into surgery. I cried. When a nurse walked by, I asked if she could get my husband from the waiting room. Fortunately, she did, and when he came in all I could say was, "I"m so scared." He held my hand; rubbed my cheek, and said, "It's gonna be alright." He prayed with me. Slowly peace came as I realized that I'm not alone. I'm not headed on a path of disaster. God's got me.
Another fearful moment was when I realized that I was having an allergic reaction to a medication I was taking. I had almost fainted. I couldn't feel my tongue or my lips, and I was having trouble breathing. I had just taken some benadryl, and it didn't seem to be doing anything. I thought, "I made it through cancer surgery, and now I'm gonna die of an allergic reaction!?!?!" I prayed, "God make it stop!" Not a very polite way to talk to God. But, "This poor man called, and the LORD heard (her); He saved (her) out of all (her) troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them." Ps 34:6-7
Another fearful moment was when the Oncologist was explaining to me my post-surgery prognosis. At first the news was great. The tumor was gone. The margins were clear. The lymph nodes were negative for cancer. "I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will continually be on my lips." Ps 34:1 Then, he gave me the statistics for cancer coming back in the next 10 years and my chance of dying in the next 10 years. They were sobering. Without treatment I have a 47% chance of having breast cancer return and I have a 34% chance of dying in the next 10 years. I will only be 44 in 10 years. If I have chemo, those numbers get cut in more than half. I need chemo. I'm not sure what I was more afraid of - the idea that I could be dead in 10 years or that I needed chemo. All I know is that I felt awful inside - anxious, sad, and afraid."The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those of a crushed spirit." Ps 34:18
I don't think anyone ever really thinks about the likelihood of death or finding a terrible disease. We all have a percentage, but we just don't know what it is. My dad said it best when he said, "If someone would tell us our own percentage, we'd be surprised too." I bet we'd all seek medical treatment, live healthier, look at life differently. Psalm 34:12-14 says, "Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." God promises long life to those who honor him. I'm not sure He even looks at a doctor's percentages.
I won't say I don't still have moments of fear. I do. I did last night as I was trying to fall asleep. Instead of focusing on the fear, I focus on the truth. I am not alone. I have a loving family, wonderful friends, and the best husband who all care for me and don't want me to face this alone. I also have a promise-keeping, ever faithful God. Did you notice that all the references to the LORD were all capitalized. When you see the name LORD in all capitals, it's God's covenant name - the name that reminds those He is in in covenant with that He always keeps his promises.
"A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all." Ps 34:19