When people ask me about my darkest moment during the last year and through treatment, I know exactly when it was. It was a week night and Kevin was relaxing in the living room playing his basketball game. Shiloh was fast asleep in the crib, which at the time was in the corner of our bedroom, and it was one of those rare nights when I was feeling well enough for my mom to go home. It was only the three of us.
I opened my white laptop and with only the light of the screen and a small lamp, I researched, for the first time, stage IV epithelial clear cell ovarian cancer. I settled my still healing body on our bed, which had been my home since coming back after surgery, and clicked away. After finding the specialist doctor who checked up on my every morning at 7:30AM when I was admitted, I played his ovarian cancer research video on YouTube which he presented at a cancer conference. I desperately wanted answers.
I watched as the video progressed from large to small explaining how rare clear cell ovarian cancer was, how much rarer it was to have a successful complete cytoreduction (removing all visible signs of cancer in surgery), and how even rarer it was to occur in someone under 65. I was a percentage of a percentage of a percentage. The tears began to flow and fear clawed at my faith, trying to dig its nails deep and embed itself. Then the 5 year survival rate statistic flashed on the screen, and I paused the video.
According to research, I had only a 17% chance of making it to my son’s 5th birthday. My husband walked in as I broke out into an agonizing hysterical sob – wailing as the screen kept telling me my life was forfeit. Kevin rocked me back and forth and I asked him over and over if I was going to die in five years – If I wasn’t going to be able to celebrate our son’s fifth birthday and instead they would be observing my funeral.
That was the lowest point.
I realized in that moment that I was desperately trying to cling to something to get me through the situation – blog posts, research, medical reports – but none of them were filling that space uniquely made for God – His peace that surpasses all understanding – His reassurance – His report.
I believe our faith is very much like a toolbox. When everything is seemingly okay, we need to continue to fill our toolbox with scripture from the Bible so when we need those tools we can reach in and hold onto them white knuckled. It’s so important to continue to fill our box – our Spirit – when everything is okay. We don’t know when hard times will hit us and as people when desperation or hurt or tragedy or heartache come, we will desperately reach for something. If there is nothing to pull out of our toolbox, we will try to hold onto something else – people (who are fallible), blog posts, medical research, opinions of others, and some will reach for a bottle or other substance to help endure the storm. Some of us will try to flip through the over 1000 pages of the Bible to find something, anything, or Google scriptures on depression or hurt on Bible Gateway (I’m so guilty of this) because we haven’t committed scriptures to our memory. We need something to help us weather the hurricane that hit our life and laid everything to waste.
So at my lowest point, I pulled Psalm 118:17 out of my toolbox, “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done“. I will continue to grip this scripture harder than I grip research, the opinions of others, my own fears, or a doctor’s report. I will not die. I will proclaim what the Lord has done – Healed Me.
I will not die.
**Blog Post Dedicated to my Good Friend Danielle** ❤