All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is
our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
As my yearly checkup appointment approaches over 3 years later, I think back on the following feelings I then shared with my family and now am sharing with whoever needs some encouragement today… “One Wednesday afternoon, as I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up medicine, my boss asked me how I was doing to which I jokingly replied, “I'm Shining.” That brought this Bible verse to mind:
Let your light shine…so others may see your good works and give glory to God. - Matthew 5:16
I have preached this verse on many occasions to other people. Today I am using it out of context so allow me literary license. Today radioactive I-131 sodium iodide is shining in my neck doing a good work to destroy the persistent cancer cells remaining after my initial treatment in November.
I had planned for the tracer dose that I swallowed Monday morning to reveal a clean scan on Tuesday, so I could move on with my life interrupted by my papillary thyroid cancer diagnosis in August 2015. Yet a remnant of cancer cells still remained. Disappointment.
Wednesday I woke up disappointed. Not angry or worried. Just disappointed that things did not go as I had planned. Perhaps pouting if I'm completely honest.
As I waited Wednesday to take my repeat dose of RAI-131, our group was joined by a little boy who told me he was 2 years old when I asked him how old he was. He had 2 sets of grandparents with him, but I didn't see his parents. As I began to ponder about his story, and pray for God to intervene in his case, my disappointment melted to thankfulness.
I began to think of things for which I am thankful to God. Here is part of the list in no particular order:
God takes care of me. His timing is perfect. Even though I was surprised by the remaining remnant of cancer cells; God wasn't surprised. He has known all along. HE Knows.
Good health insurance provided by Community Trust Bank.
All the prayers on my behalf by my family, friends, CTB employees, First Baptist Pikeville, my special prayer partners, my Sunday school class.
My Pastor John Lucas who just smiled when he listened to my aggressive plan of recovery for the days after my total thyroidectomy surgery (it wasn't a very realistic plan). Also his Mother’s Day sermon "How to live the life you didn't plan."
A cancer insurance policy that my husband Mark bought even though I thought I didn't need it because I lead a healthy lifestyle.
A good income so I don't have to worry about money in making therapy choices.
A good employer that lets me work at my leisure when it fits my personal schedule.
A good husband to take care of me. I don't give him credit he deserves very often.
State of the Art healthcare.
Dr Gal - my surgeon and all his skill. Who scheduled the surgery around my Bucket List trip to Yellowstone National Park that I already had planned.
Dr Ain - My endocrinologist whose life work is everything thyroid.
Regina Marcinek APRN who let me shed my tears of disappointment quietly.
My children and family who have so many questions but know I just don't want to talk about it - so they privately consult “Dr. Google.” Speaking of Dr Google, please always use good sources of info like National Institute of Health - NOT Wikipedia.
Shana Pitts the schedule clerk who was so gracious to me helping me get my referral to UK Markey Clinic Healthcare from Pikeville Medical Center.
Each of the members of the Pastor Search Committee (with whom I was serving at the time) who cried and prayed for me at my initial diagnosis in August 2015.
My good friend and neighbor Jeannie Branham who often speaks of counting our blessings and naming them one by one.
Todd and each of The Nuclear Medicine department workers who are so gentle with each person who is tired and cranky because we haven't had any thyroid medicine in 2 weeks.
Modena Sallee who was my “been there/done that encourager” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
“If you're gonna have cancer, thyroid cancer is the one you want to have.” It has great survival rates (95%). More than likely something else will kill me.
But In the waiting rooms, you hear people’s stories with more grim prospects-some of them are that other 5%.
It’s been about a year (now it has been almost 4 years in 2019) since this chapter of my story began. I recall that day I was also disappointed. Disappointed that my nagging cough and hoarseness continued to be a problem even with my continued allergy treatment. As I sat at a red light in traffic that sunny spring day, I rubbed my hand across my throat and discovered what I decided was a thyroid nodule. I had no idea that day that I would be “shining” a year later. At various times this year, I had thoughts to share but the timing wasn't right. I have come back to the list over a couple of days and inserted and edited. At times, I have shed tears of overwhelming joy as I write.”
So if you have read all this, “Rise and shine and give God the glory glory.” He is Worthy. His Love is Amazing.
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