When my oncologist said, "You're one of my favorite patients, you know," I laughed and wondered quietly if he tells all of his patients that or if it's simply because I'm still alive after all these months. And I wondered at the courage it takes to come into work every morning and fight grim odds when so many cancer patients die. So I thank him for his commitment. He tells me to keep praying.
But honestly I've never asked God for my life. Not because I don't believe in prayer, but because I trust His brains over my own. Ultimately the life and death decisions are His alone anyway. I know my perception of 'what is grace' can be warped by my desire for comfort and my idea of happiness. So I do not wish to fight His wisdom. The mystery of why I am here and others like my dear sweet cousin Valerie are not, is far too heavy for my very human heart. It is not for me to understand or carry. As C.S. Lewis wrote, each of us are told only our own story.
My own story has had surprising turns this year and now I have arrived at the end of a chapter: Diagnosis, surgery, and chemo. A place that was once very hard to imagine. With my first clear CT scan behind me and no more chemo scheduled there is a new horizon. Uncharted discoveries within the realm of time. A journey to regain strength, discover purpose, and live new chapters.
My courage for the future stems from His provision in the past. And His provision has been miraculous! The miracles of the hospital forgiving my bill of over $100,000 from the hospitalization in January before I had insurance. The gifts of kind hearts who carried me in their prayers and gave generously to keep other medical bills out of collections. Whether I have needed a ride to an appointment, a book to read, vitamins, a song, a meal, or a hug - I have never once lacked! Thank you! My gratitude spills over!