One of the neat things about going thru the experience of cancer, is that you go to new levels in your relationship with God. So many of the truths I grew up with have become so personal and verified. I've felt His presence in familiar and new ways…and a deepening of my dependence on Him for my very life.
I've also seen that just because I'm side-lined for awhile from my "normal life" and I think that I am not really productive during this, God still has plans for me and "steps" each day that He asks me to take.
One particular joy has been a new friend that He arranged for me to meet…in the elevator…at the Cancer Clinic. It was a Divine Appointment for me and for her. She has become a "sister" in our flight against our cancers. I'll call her Alli.
This is Alli with her 12 year old son behind her...
and her 7 month old baby boy...
Alli is 39, with beautiful red hair and a killer smile and personality! She has a loving husband and 3 children - the youngest was born just after she found out that she has colon and liver cancer. Now the baby is 7 mos. old. She's had more chemo treatments than I can count and in spite of so many of them, she was seeing little results. To say that she was discouraged and often depressed is an understatement. Over the past 5 mos. of our friendship, God has allowed me to be her "support group" and to encourage her emotionally and spiritually. We've mostly kept our connection via texts because we live in two different towns and have to travel to the city where we receive our medical care. We've seen each other only a few times.
Meanwhile, I've been praying a lot for her and she has done the same for me. Alli had recently begun running back to Jesus. We've been learning trust God on a whole new level!
A few weeks ago I texted Alli to check in with her. I hadn't heard from her in a while. She responded that she had had an appointment with her Oncologist and her latest scan showed that she had responded so much better to the treatment. Enough that she might be eligible for some surgeries. This was her best hope because without them, the doctor gave her about 24 mos. I know that Alli's biggest wish is to see her children know and remember her, especially her baby.
She explained all that she would have to go through in order to remove the tumor in her colon (and then have a colostomy) and to remove the left lobe of her liver (the largest lobe). That could only happen if there were no other polyps in the colon so she was scheduled for a colonoscopy.
The day before the colonoscopy, Gary and I were in that treatment city and after an appointment of mine we met a friend at a restaurant (Longhorn's! yum!). As we were leaving, I glanced to my left, and in a back booth, I spotted a baby carrier and someone who really resembled Alli…
I walked back there, and just grabbed her by surprise and we hugged and laughed...
Talk about a Divine Appointment!!!
Out of all the restaurants in that city, we were at the same one! She had some family members with her, so it was good to meet them as well. After a short, but sweet, visit, we parted ways again, committed again to supporting each other and praying!
We were praying all day of Alli's colonoscopy.
Finally I received word - no other tumors!…AND the tumor in the colon could be removed without requiring that she now live with a colostomy bag! Not only that, the latest scan showed that the right side of her liver was much larger than normal…she had been born that way! As we praised God for the good news, we were amazed by the knowledge that way back when she was formed, God had already placed an overly large right- lobed liver in her, knowing she would one day need that lobe for her life!
I've been surprised and blessed by the appointments that God has arranged for me here in this journey! I've met some wonderful people that I wouldn't have met otherwise…and have the privilege of praying for others whom I may never meet. God has a purpose for my time here as well, and I love seeing what each day will bring.
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Eph. 3:20