Many years ago, while at a women’s retreat I was leading in the mountains of Colorado, a woman walked up to me and said, “Thank you for being so transparent.” It surprised me a little. Aren’t all Christian retreat speakers transparent? How else could I tell someone what God can do in the lives of others without sharing what He has already done for me in my life?
I’ve tried to be transparent on Write Thinking as well. Sure, I want to be smart about what I post on my blog. We live in a rather crazy world. I don’t want anyone stalking me or my daughters or my grandchildren. I don’t want my identity lifted. I weigh my words carefully and share only what I don’t care if the entire world knows, remembering that what is said on the Internet lives forever, even if you remove it. (Please note: I have not nor will I ever share my weight with you! LOL!)
Thus I’ve had to think about writing this post for the past week. I’ve shared my latest news with my family and my church family and my dearest friends and the community of writers I also call friends and my prayer team. Then, after careful consideration and talking to someone who has “been there, done that” over the past year (meaning she has experienced something similar and she chose to blog about it), it seemed worthwhile to be transparent once again. It just might save a life or offer encouragement to someone in the midst of a personal trial of her own.
Therefore, I shared the news with subscribers of my newsletter last night and now have written this blog post for those of you who follow me on Write Thinking or on Facebook and Twitter through these posts.
I have breast cancer. It was discovered in my annual mammogram. It wouldn’t have been anything I or my doctor could have felt for a long, long time. But because I have consistently had my mammogram every year and the radiologists had plenty of pictures to compare the 2010 films against, a small but obvious change was detected. I was called back for more x-rays and an ultrasound. Then I had a needle biopsy. And on the day before Thanksgiving, I got a call that no one wants to hear: I’ve got cancer.
Which brings me to this question for the ladies: When was your last mammogram? Don’t put it off. It’s so important.
My call from the physician came with good news, too. The cancer was caught early, and there is no reason not to anticipate a full recovery and a long life to follow. Sure, it’s not great to be facing surgery in December and radiation treatments in the new year and some of the possible side effects of the medication the doctor expects to prescribe for me. But all things considered, I can only rejoice at the goodness of God. Already He has shown Himself present in a number of ways as He and I embark on this new adventure together.
I don’t anticipate that I will blog often about this experience on Write Thinking. However, if you would like to follow me and God on this journey, you are welcome to join me over on CaringBridge. You’ll need to enter your email address and choose a password, but nothing else is required. CaringBridge is where I will journal about my experiences back from this diagnosis and my prayer needs. It will allow me not to have to answer many individual emails with the same information. And even if you don’t want to go to CaringBridge, I covet your prayers of faith on my behalf.
In closing, I’ll share the verses God gave to me yesterday:
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man [or cancer] do to me?
(Psalm 56:3-4, NASB)
I love that transition from “when I am afraid” to “I shall not be afraid.” In God I have put my trust. What can mere cancer do to me?
Now, as ever, in the grip of His grace,