(Update: David’s last treatment was the week of Thanksgiving and he seems to be feeling better everyday)
It seemed unattainable. We have been counting down for weeks and months. I remember when we reached 13. Halfway. We still had 6 months to go. And now, here we are, less than 12 hours away from the last cancer treatment. It has been a hard year watching my big, strong man become weary and tired. He has pushed through, though, and become stronger in ways that only hardship can bring.
I thought I would be excited and filled with joy. I imagined a big celebration and lots of smiles. But I’m filled with fear. What if we wasted a whole year on treatments and the cancer still comes back? What if he never gets his energy back and remains weak and weary? What if his immune system stays suppressed and he is susceptible to extreme illness the rest of his life? What if I’m next on the cancer journey? Could I handle it emotionally? Physically? What if something happened to our kids? The fears have been eating me alive today.
As I sat in a puddle of tears this afternoon, overwhelmed by the unknown fears of the future, I remembered the preacher’s sermon. Be thankful. Immediately my mind reeled through this year of hard stuff. Each treatment. Each step. Each tear. My lips finally parted, and I whispered, “God, this time last year I told you I didn’t want this story. And I surely didn’t want this song. But I told you that if you helped me, I would keep praising you, all the day long. And here we are on the other side.” I paused and took in a deep breath that I knew would be followed by tears, “Thank you, God, for this year of cancer. I never would have asked for it, but I wouldn’t trade it either.” Sure enough, the floodgates opened.
We have learned so much this year. From the importance of family to the reality that some friends become like family. If it weren’t for all of them, we would have fallen flat on our faces. And if it wasn’t for the prayers of those who care about us, then we would have never made it through.
But God has been so good to us and even though my fears are trying to tell me otherwise, I know He will continue to be good. I’m praying for ease and great health, but if that doesn’t come, it won’t change the fact that God is still good and will be there, holding our hand, and walking with us whether we are heading up or heading down.
This is our last treatment. Thank you for all of your faithful prayers this year. It has been a blessing journeying through hardship with a community of praying folks and encouragers like you. “Thank you, God, for cancer. But more than that, thank you for all the friends and family we have gained through the process. We are blessed beyond belief.”