Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
There have been days where it seems fear consumes me. Everyday I don’t hear about a transplant match I fear death. I try not to think about it but it is a reality in my situation. I need a match. I fear how my kids are actually handling this trial. They do know the reality of the situation. It makes me so sad that they have to see me so sick.
Understanding my illness has taken a lot of researching , asking questions, and I still don’t understand it. Yesterday while at the BMT clinic I asked a lady what kind of Leukemia she had. She had AML and was on her last round of chemo. She did not need a transplant. I was shocked. I thought anyone with AML needed one. Myeloid Dysplasia I always thought was the beginning stages of AML. It seems I understood wrong. Myeloid Dysplasia turns into AML for a number of people but it is different. Myeloid Dysplasia is cancer, one difference I read is that in MDS the bone marrow is “injured” and then produces abnormal cells. There are also blast cells present in MDS which are cancer usually 5%-20%. AML is a malignancy that overpopulates the bone marrow with immature cells or blast cells. So even though I don’t totally understand it, I see the difference and know why I need a transplant. Sorta…. Many with AML still need a transplant though.
When I say I fear death, I think I mean I fear not having my life. I have comfort in knowing that God is with me and will take me into eternity but Im still scared and sad about leaving here. I don’t think my time on earth is done but it is a reality we have to keep in the back of our minds. I want to live a long life with my family.
I started off 2016 on a bit of a spiritual journey. Things have happened in my past and were happening in my present that were putting a barrier between me and God. I know I love God and I am His but never felt good enough. I always felt like a bad Christian because I didn’t do certain things or connect on a level that everyone else did. Being a Christian was not natural. Church was harder and harder to go to. I felt disconnected from fellow Christians. I spent a lot of time not really knowing what to do. Prayer was not easy. Bible studies didn’t happen. I decided one day after seeing Stepping Stones bible camp looking for older counselors that I would step up to the plate. This was the first step in God preparing me for the journey I am on now. So I volunteered as a cook and was able to scope things out and was ready to be a counselor. I was not ready for the impact a little church camp would have on me, a 33 year old mother of 4. God chose me to be there. He had work to do. I changed that week. I wish I could pin point exactly what it was but I can’t. The girls in my group, my co-counselor/ Sister, the staff, chaplain, all the kids INSPIRED me. God worked through so many of us that week. It’s one of those things that unless you are there and have experienced it, you just wouldn’t quite understand. Thank you God for restoring me. We had also moved to a smaller church in June and I was able to have a “fresh start” with a new church family. We were welcomed with open arms and continue to feel the love and support from our new church home. Everyone feels like family. I feel like its a hidden treasure.
I wasn’t done though. I had a lot of baggage to work though. I joined a group called Freedom Session put on by the North Langley Community Church as well as a bible study at Care’s house. God continued to pave a path to this journey. I was given coping tools through freedom session and learned that things were not my fault that I held so deep inside. I started to heal for the first time in my life. I had a wonderful support group of women who were going through tough stuff too. We prayed for each other, encouraged each other and never gave up on that hope in Jesus. Hope for life!!!! Also during this time I studied Jonah with another amazing group of ladies. Discussing and learning about God interrupting our lives just as He had done to Jonah. We have to trust in the path that Lord lays before us. His way is the only way. God interrupted my life.
Jonah 2:3 You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I can relate to this text. It may not have happened to me like it happened to Jonah but finding out that you have cancer kinda feels like your drowning. Muffled voices and all. So God interrupted my life but not before he planned and prepared me for what is here in the present. I may fear death and fear the unknown but I rejoice that I have hope in this life and the next. His ways are always good. Looking back on this past year, I see His work so clearly. It makes fighting this battle easier because He made me ready to fight.