My body doubled over in the English workroom. I felt like I couldn’t breathe or think or see as I kept asking my sister-in-law over the phone, “What do I do?” My throat choked on tears and phlegm as I desperately said, “I can’t do chemo again.”
In front of me on an unexplained screen was my worst fear eyeing me dead in the heart. The tumor measured 57.8 x 18.3 mm in my chest: the result of my six month CT scan which was supposed to be clear. All of this was supposed to be over.
As I left work disheveled, everyone assembled as if our town home had a crisis beacon. It almost looked like a funeral: family was everywhere, some were crying, there was an abundance of food, and there was something unspoken hanging in the air. Different from a funeral, there were slivers of hope peeking through the sadness and fear:
The next morning, Kevin and I traded off driving into the Colorado mountains with Shiloh asleep in the back – exhausted from the plane ride. As the mouth of Breckenridge opened to us with the snow kissed peaks, I welcomed the soft nibbles of crisp air on my face. We had to get away to process. I’m still processing.
Why is this happening? Is it cancer again? What if it’s nothing? Could it be a thyroid issue? What if I have to do chemo again? Wasn’t last time enough? Why can’t I have a normal life?
Right now, I’m living off the fuel of faith moment to moment. Some moments I feel robbed of what should’ve been a normal life, but I have to remember that God’s character hasn’t changed just because my CT scan results changed in six months. I don’t know what the biopsy will say. It could be a thyroid issue or something small, or it could be cancer coming for my life again. Right now, I don’t know anything other than there’s something growing in my chest.
I will NOT die. I can do this again if I need to. I can be bald again. I can fight again. I will survive again.
While in a shop at the base of Breckenridge at 9,600 ft, a quote printed on a custom sewn shirt spoke out to me:
“rough winds grow tough trees”
I am a tough tree.