The doctor says, apart from a couple typical cysts on one of my ovaries (which I'll speak to my OB about), the scan was "unremarkable" with nothing on the scan to report. I asked what that meant about the spots on my liver and the masses on the screen, and all that the report says is there are no masses that change the contour of the organ. It's unremarkable.
I should have felt relieved when I got the call. I didn't. Honestly, I think I would have felt better if it were really bad, like, "We need to do tests ASAP because things don't look good" bad. Not because I want cancer. Truly, praise God that I don't have tumors eating me alive.
It really could sound like I want something to be wrong. But that's just the thing--something is wrong and I am so frustrated to not get answers. The idea that maybe there might finally be something actually pinpointable wrong that could be addressed...I didn't realize how much that meant to me until the doctor's assistant said the report was unremarkable and my heart dropped to my feet. I expected to feel so glad, but instead I almost started crying.
When I had no idea that cancer might be a possibility, I shared through tears with some friends that I almost wished I had cancer because I could have a plan of action to attack it. I would get better, beat it, or die. This morning I felt pretty bad about having said that, because I know it's not that simple. Even beating cancer has all sorts of long term consequences on a person's health. So, again, it's not actually that I want to have cancer.
And yet...I think a large part of my peace that the future was good was that I just thought maybe I could finally see part of it. Cancer somehow has become less scary than feeling sick all the time with no idea why and not getting better.
My soul is discouraged. I'm just so incredibly tired. I'm physically fatigued to the point that I start seeing black spots if I stand too long. As in 15-20 minutes too long. (And no, it's not _____ because we have checked and tried that). What is really wearying, though, is the fact that my hope is wearing thin. I keep getting blood draws, adding this food and cutting that one, and adding this workout and cutting that one, adding this supplement and cutting that one, reading books and logging symptoms and taking tests and canceling plans and minimizing activity and feeling so horrible that I can't do normal stuff like grocery shop and wondering if people think I'm faking it and feeling worse and...I'm just tired.
There is deep peace that I am not likely facing an early death, at least not that I know about right now. Gratitude. But I am heartbroken to find that, in place of the flitting thoughts about my mortality, is the denser, heavier remembrance that I am actually really sick. This "it's nothing" call wasn't actually nothing; rather, it was "it's not that."
I want to see that movie, Cake. Not because I think it will have answers, but because I am curious to see the artistic handling of a woman with chronic pain. Just sick and suffering and trying and no change. I know it represents other people struggling similarly to me and there's comfort in that.
Right now, though, I want to just celebrate that today, I don't have cancer. That's my right now. And to keep asking the Lord for the faith to believe the truth that my hope is in him and not getting better. And to be vulnerable enough to ask him to help me get better while fearing that I don't trust him to make me better. To ask for the faith to keep believing him through that, too.
See? I told you in my earlier post that my peace might ebb and flow. Just not like I thought. But through that, I am reminded of the eternal weight of glory.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
[2 Corinthians 4:7-18 ESV]