Thursday, May 19, 2016

Suggestions to You Before You Get Cancer

Another day, another surprise. I am going to miss the days of feeling special as I recuperate from the mastectomy. For any of you who are enduring this same journey, or about to: Take hope. This is me in the picture above, not yet three-weeks post surgery and I just finished ten-miles of walking. The breast reconstruction process is so routine now, and so well-done that no one looking at me would know I had a mastectomy. (At least not as long as I am clothed, which is all anyone reading this blog will see.)

And here's another perk of breast cancer.

Almost every day, some gift arrives in the mail, or on my doorstep.  The day before yesterday, it was six gorgeous Waterford Crystal wine glasses from my son and his wife. Look at what greeted me on my porch when I stepped outside yesterday. (Picture below.) In case you can't see well, that is FOUR bottles of wine, a horse calendar, high protein flapjack mix, plates and napkins, and La Croix sparkling lime water. Oh, and a lovely serving platter to hold it all. This is from my friend Carol who brings ministering to hurting friends to the level of art. Her ability to cheer others is genius. (By the way, those are fine Italian red wines, like my radiologist prescribed to help me deal with breast cancer.) (Just so he doesn't get in trouble, he didn't exactly prescribe fine Italian wine, but he said it wouldn't hurt.)

When I called to thank Carol, she warned me not to drink it all in one sitting. She told me that while she was delivering my wine, she also scared off a political candidate coming up the driveway to chat with me. She did all this without setting off the dog alarm, or waking me from a nap. Like I have told you a million times before, I have the world's best friends.

I would recommend that before you get breast cancer, be sure you have great friends and family. That takes time and investment so start building those relationships now. Besides that, be sure you are working on trusting God in the little things, because no matter how good friends and family are, you are going to need to trust God more than you ever thought you could. But you can. If I can, you can. Best to learn to trust Him now, while things are going well. When things go south, you will have a backlog of experience knowing God is always there.

If you are one of those rare individuals who lives a trouble-free life, you can still test God's faithfulness in the midst of trials. Read the Bible. The Bible is a history of wayward, sinful people (like all of us) and God's relentless pursuit and desire that none should perish and remain separated from Him. His redemption of mankind begins in Genesis and continues all the way to Revelation.

I have read the Bible cover to cover over and over again. Long before I got cancer, I knew that the God who created the entire universe had a special love for humans. I knew before I ever had to lean fully upon God that others in much worse circumstances had been upheld by His everlasting love. I was devastated to learn of the cancer journey I was going to have to travel, but not defeated. I knew God knew before time began what I would endure, and His good purpose would not be thwarted even by cancer.

Today, I was able to shower, dry my hair, and put on all my healing essential oils while looking directly at the result of the mastectomy. With the lights on. With my eyes open. It's really not so terrible.

There are worse things.

Like not having family that spends ten days helping you after surgery or sends gifts of beautiful glasses, pajamas, checks, flowers...or not having friends who look for the exact perfect gift to bring you cheer along with food, blossoming shrubs, essential healing oils and supplements, or not knowing God. He never promised us our bodies would last, but guarantees our soul is safe with Him.


John 15:17 

These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Hebrews 4:16 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


  1. Praise God for Carol, as she was able to provide something other than boxed wine for those beautiful crystal wine glasses!