Every Wednesday at Leaving A Legacy, I’m going to be sharing with you my journey as a breast cancer fighter. I hope you’ll join me on this journey…..I’m going to be very transparent and very real, as I share with you what the Lord has placed on my heart, one step at a time.
A scream tore through the ordinary day, of my ordinary life. It was a scream that started the nightmare. It was a scream that made me grow up. It shook me to my very core.
We had just gotten home from a family errand, my husband had left for work, and there on the answering machine was the message I dreaded most.
Nervously, I hit play, and my doctor’s voice played loud and clear, “Shari, you need to call my office as soon as possible.”
I quickly called my doctor to confirm the news; it was the dreaded C word. “I’m so sorry, you have breast cancer” were the words I heard. I hung up the phone and a high pitched wail tore my heart in two as my world began to fall apart.
I was only 34 years old when I stepped into the world of cancer. I was married 11 years and had two children, our daughter was only 8 years old, and our son, still just a baby at 5 years old.
The thoughts that first raced through were my mind were, “No, no I can’t die. My children are just babies, they need me! Please Lord! Why is this happening?”
My next thought was, “I do not want to lose my hair, and I am not going out in public and have everyone know what is happening to me.”
With a heavy heart, I picked up the phone and my fingers nervously dialed my husband’s phone number, one ring, two….before he could say a word, I screamed into the phone “It’s bad! It’s bad! Come home now! It’s cancer!”
Within less than five minutes he burst through the front door, grabbed me in his arms, and held me as I cried uncontrollably. Again the doctor’s office was called as quickly as possible, my husband had to hear the news for himself; he had to be able to understand what had just happened. The doctor once again explained everything to my husband, trying to assure him that things would be ok.
My husband hung up the phone and looked at me and said, “We can do this, everything is going to be ok. God is going to be with us.”
Have you ever been in a situation where you know you have to do something you don’t want to do, a situation where you muster up every ounce of strength within you to get it done?These types of scenarios usually end up being ones where you go through life in a state of numbness and disbelief as you put one foot in front of the other not knowing where you’ll end up. This is the type of life altering trial that I was facing.
It was as if the rest of the world just kept going, kept living their lives as if everything was alright, yet nothing was alright for me, nothing at all.
Phone calls were made and the upcoming doctor’s appointments were scheduled, along with an appointment to see our pastor. When the time came to see our pastor, I sat in his office with a million questions racing through my mind.
“Why me Lord? Am I going to die? What have I done wrong? Are you mad at me God?” rang loud and clear in my head.
Just then the pastor walked in and said, “Shari, I don’t have the answers to why this is happening, but I do have something better, I have some verses the Lord has placed on my heart that He wants me to share with you, found in Isaiah 42:16 and 43:2,
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known; along unfamiliar paths I will guide them: I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
I didn’t get the answer from my pastor that I wanted, I didn’t get the elusive, “Why me?” resolved.
However, I did receive assurance that God would be with me every step of the way. I told myself that with God by my side I would get through this one step at a time. First the surgery, then chemotherapy, then radiation, and after that making sure I stayed well.
It was then and there that I made the resolution that if this had to happen to me, I wanted to make sure that God would be glorified through it all. I wanted to make this trial have meaning; I wanted to make my story, His story. I wanted others to know that no matter how bad it got, God would be with me every step of the way, and I would praise His name because of it.