Well, this is definitely NOT how I intended to spend Advent or any of the next several months! Sometimes, though, life throws a curveball, and you just have to roll with it.
Here's what happened to me. In early October (or was it sometime in September?), I developed a cough, sought treatment, and went through a round of antibiotics. When the cough persisted, I returned for follow-up care, and the medical folks did a chest x-ray. When that showed something a bit unusual, the P.A. sent me immediately to the Emergency Room (CMC-Morrocroft- I HIGHLY recommend!) for a CT scan. At approximately 2:30pm on Friday, October, 28, the Emergency Room doctor came into the exam room and delivered the shocking news that there was a mass in my left lung that was most likely cancer. I thought I was calm and cool, but looking back, I know I was in shock! How could this possibly be? I'm a non-smoker (well, except for those few puffs on a cigarette behind the dorm in college during exams!) I'm healthy. What do you mean I have cancer? No doubt, everyone who has ever heard the dreaded "C" word has said much the same thing.
Fast forward through a month of tests, scans, biopsies, and uncertainty, and we finally learned that I have lymphoma. The good news, in the midst of crummy news, is that we found out it is a form of lymphoma with a very high cure rate. Oh blessed relief! When you have a middle-schooler you want to see grow up and you have lots of things left you want to do in this wonderful life, hearing that a cure is not only possible but probable is great news!
Here's the best part: despite how unwelcome this diagnosis is, I have already experienced an overwhelming sense of God's presence. God has put amazing people in our path to help guide and direct us at Levine Cancer Center and Carolinas Medical Center. Jesus has a LOT of his people working there. I know that by the love they exhibit as they do their jobs and as they go above and beyond to help patients feel comfortable. I'm also grateful for the love and support of family and close friends, including some awesome clergy colleagues, who have put their own busy schedules on hold to minister to me.
I've started this site to keep folks updated, though I can't promise I'll update frequently. It will depend on what's happening and how I'm feeling. Don't assume the worst if there's not a new post. Just keep your good thoughts and prayers coming. Your prayers and words of encouragement left on this site will mean the world to me.
I leave with you a passage of scripture and some beautiful words from Julian of Norwich, a Christian mystic who was born in the 14th century. These words are sustaining me, and perhaps they may be helpful to you as well.
And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. (Julian of Norwich)
Blessings, friends, and thanks for going on this little walk with me. I am grateful for your presence.