When Cancer Changes Your Life

This post was written by my dear friend, Isabelle, whose mom has been battling cancer. Isabelle wrote this months ago, but her mom is still in the process of recovering. Please pray for their family during this difficult season, and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart through her account.

Nothing that has happened over the past two months has really bothered me because it hasn’t felt real. Until now.

It finally sunk in that I would miss a semester of college. That I wouldn’t see my friends for another six months. That I would be away from my home for three months. All for my mom and her treatments, which she is receiving at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.

It was like I was in a fog. Going from one day to the next. From one task to the next. From cleaning the house to making dinner to walking on the beach.

I knew my mom had been in excruciating pain for the past year and a half. Her tongue cancer made it difficult for her to swallow. But until today when I saw how long it took for her to undergo radiation and chemo, I didn’t understand how much pain she really felt.

Lost and Losing Hope

Now, I’m so glad that I can be here for my mom and support her. But at first, I was unsure about the whole situation. In fact, I had a lot of questions.

How can I trust God when my mom is facing a life-threating illness? Is she going to die? Is this God’s plan? How can it be God’s plan for her to suffer so much? Are my siblings and I going to be able to return to college? 

Those were just a few of the questions running through my head when my mom was first diagnosed. Then we had to decide between surgery and radiation or chemo and radiation. At the beginning, my mom wanted to do the surgery. But after discussing it with a few doctors in our home state of Tennessee, we decided it would be better to do chemo and radiation. Surgery would be very invasive, and my mom would need months of therapy just to learn to swallow and speak again.

For the past three months, I’ve had to learn to depend on God again—in every aspect of my life. I’ve had to trust Him about where my family and I would stay in Florida, what we would bring to live there, and who would take care of our home in Tennessee. I know my mom will mostly likely survive this, but not without much difficulty and pain.

When I was eight years old, my mom had breast cancer, but she didn’t have nearly as much pain. Everything went great. She had treatment, and that was it. Why couldn’t this time be like that?

Hope is Here and Now

Most days, I have so many doubts—about whether or not I can press on and about whether or not I can be what my mom needs. But I know that I have to.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3 NASB)

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