If you read last week’s post, “Part 2: I Love to Tell My Story—Do You Love to Tell Yours?” you will recall that I shared the account of Steve’s (my husband) brush with death and the highly likely crippling disability that could have stemmed from the paralysis down his right side in 2017. I also emphasized that many had been praying for my husband, and God had answered their prayers. We were definitely excited when Steve was finally cleared to drive, again, and were looking forward to celebrating Christmas and to a better New Year.
However, after consultations with two specialists (one mid-November, the other the beginning of January) regarding a small, .55 inch lesion on my tongue, I was referred to a head and neck specialist for a biopsy. So the holidays were subdued; but we didn’t tell our loved ones about our situation, because we didn’t want to spoil their holiday mood.
On January 11th, we arrived at the specialist’s office, and my heart sank when I noted the sign that read “Cancer Institute” on the office building. The surgeon thought the growth looked ‘suspicious’ and when asked what it was, he blurted out, “cancer”! Then, without missing a beat, he asked if I was ready for him to do the biopsy. When he noted it takes 7-10 days for the biopsied-area to heal I didn’t reply. I explained that it was our 32ndanniversary, and we were planning to have dinner together after the appointment. He suggested we could do the biopsy the following week. When he left the room I turned to Steve and said, “What do I do now?” I was in shock. He replied, “You do what you always do. You go on living your life.” I didn’t know if I could do that.
We did stop for our anniversary dinner on the way home, but neither of us had much of an appetite nor felt in much of a celebratory mood. It did, however, give us some time to talk about how we were feeling about the appointment. Steve reminded me that the doctor had also stated that he believed the cancer was caught in an early stage and that he didn’t believe it had spread to other tissues or organs. We had to wait until the biopsy was performed and the results available before we could decide what to do next. Normally, I love to tell my story about being saved through Christ’s grace and mercy, and all the blessings that He has so graciously given to me and my family. However, this was a story that I wished was not part of my life.
In next week’s post, I will share how God used a number of different avenues to stir up my faith in the midst of the initial dark days of shock and disbelief.
Blessings & PeaceElizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor), Canada