This post is a way for me to process my thoughts—four days after knowing that my husband has cancer. It is also for our family and friends who are concerned with how we are feeling with the diagnosis. It is my prayer too that it’ll be a sharing of hope for you.
I remember I told a friend just a short few years back, ‘I hate cancer’. Because I have seen what it did to my mum. And it took her away. I have seen what it did to friends and family.
My hate for cancer stemmed from the fear of losing the people I love. And this fear stemmed from losing control of situations and outcomes.
Now, I’m presented with the similar situation when the doctor shook his head in disappointment and said to my husband, ‘Yeah, it’s confirmed.’
(By the way, get ready for a super-long medical term—nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL), which is an uncommon type of Hodgkin lymphoma.)
So, when the friend whom I declared ‘I hate cancer’, asked me with great concern how I’m taking this—I asked my heart and both my husband and I also talk about it.
How do we feel now?
Our mutual feeling remains as—we’ll do life one step at a time.
Nobody likes to hear this, but death is a default in our earthly life.
To say that the result is not pleasant would be a gross understatement. Yes. We.are.sad. But it’s not a devastating shock to us. We’ve expected either a yes (and what should we do) or no (yay!).
Whether it’s highly treatable or not—my husband and I agreed that we’d pray and seek God’s guidance. We don’t want to overthink and over-plan to the point of being anxious, and being distracted in too many directions as we are sure we’ll be presented with options to consider.
The most important thing is to remember the quality and meaning of life while we are here.
And to treasure moments.
As for me…
I think there’ll be emotional ups & downs for sure.
But, I’m better at navigating through this situation now, compared to if it were to happen last year.
And this is because I went through a nearly year-long ordeal of hurts and great confusion when someone we love dearly, for some reasons, left home and cut us off.
For months, I tried everything with my own strength, will and wit to ‘put everything back into order‘, but nothing works.
One by one, through situations—I experienced my perceived control being stripped away. But, I fight on. Fighting on to wanna turn things around with my own strength.
Finally. It took one incident at dinner—I remember shaking an imaginary fist at God, saying through gritted teeth, ‘God! Even this tiny bit of control you also wanna take away from me!!! ARGHHH!!!’
The defining moment when—I finally get it.
I can’t control life as much as I can’t control whether the sun will rise the next day.
I can’t control life as much as I can’t control whether I’ll still be breathing in the next second.
I got a taste of humility.
Everything can be taken away from me; everything except God and His promises.
It reminded me of this verse in the Bible:
“But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed.” Matthew 7:26 CEB
I also worship with this song through the pain and confusion when my world was shaken:
I will build my life upon your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in you alone
And I will not be shaken.
At my weakest, I got to know God—more.
The more I know Him,
the more I know how fleeting life on earth can be.
The I more I know Him,
the more I know life is not meant to merely lived #YOLO but to live with purpose and meaning that is greater than ourselves.
The more I know Him,
the firmer my foundation became.
The more I know Him,
the more I’m anchored by Him.
This anchor will be the antidote to my fear of what if’s and what’s to come. And through this season—this anchor will be my unshakeable hope.
I don’t know how things would be in the coming days, months, years. But then, I think—illness or not; I would also have no idea of the next minute (there’s this control thing again!)
I just pray that we’ll go through this without our joy being taken away. That despite any possible hardships, we’ll still laugh. We’ll have family and friends around us. And that we’ll still love and be kind to people around us.
Majesty, Lord of all,
Let every throne before Him, fall
You know my heart. You know our condition.
You know everything about what’s ahead. Guide us one step at a time.
I ask You to give us peace. To let us hear You.
We need You. Lord, we need You. Give us peace, not fear.
I know You are the Healer, Lord.
But my cry to You, it’s not merely to heal my husband.
My cry to You is that You’ll be with us.
You’ll be our unexplainable joy.
That even through this, we’ll be salt & light.
That we’ll be the agent of Your love.
That You’ll be our all.
We worship You; we adore You. You are an awesome God.
We love You, Jesus.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.