Four years ago, in August of 2008, my wife Anne was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even though it was a small tumor (Stage 1), the cancer type was “triple negative” a particularly nasty cancer. After the tumor was removed, Anne had months of chemo and then months of radiation. When it comes to the possibility of returning, the risk of relapse is high withing the first 3-5 years after removal.
Last week, Anne went for her annual screening. Monday morning, we received a call from the scheduling nurse, the mammogram came back “bad” and they needed to get us in for another mammogram and a sonogram. Last night, we returned to Cedar Rapids for our 7:15am appointment this morning.
Anne went in for the mammogram, and then they did the sonogram. The nurse called me into the room; there on the screen in front of me was the mass. It was measured and the doctor came in. The biopsy is scheduled back in Naperville on October 29, 7-something in the morning.
Anne was in tears, John was in tears, and I was in tears. Anne’s mom, who drove down from South Dakota last night, was in tears. God was there with us before, and God will get us through it again.
We do not know what the immediate future holds for us. Perhaps it will be yet another lumpectomy, followed by months of painful chemo where I get to watch my wife again waste away as poison is intentionally put into her body to combat the scourge of malignant cells. Maybe not.
There is another future that I’m longing for. In Revelation, John writes that when Jesus no longer tarries, when the time is right for His return, that He will descend and there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow. The troubles of this life, the pain of sin, the frustrations of a house un-sold, and uncertainties of whether or not cancer will return…each of these things will be gone, not even a memory.
This is the hope to which we cling: the promise and hope of a triumphant Christ calling all to Him out of love. It is my hope that you would come to know this peace.
In the meantime, our family greatly covets your prayers. We’d love to see God reveal Himself to us and through us at this time. Our three children need strength. Anne and I need grace, mercy, patience and peace.
To God be the glory!