Today is the last day of 2008 and I have decided to read over my journals from this past year. Here are some of the notations that track my spiritual journey, life experiences, and reflections concerning ovarian cancer and surgery:
(January 4 2008)
"Yesterday I took encouragement from two things. The anesthesiologist's last name was Morningstar - Jesus is described as the Morningstar. When we were trying to find the parking lot at Sunnybrook, we passed by the Wellspring building that was featured in the video from Ovarian Cancer Canada. I was reminded of the women and their stories - that gave me hope; if they made it through chemo and surgery, then I will too." [My husband Dan and I had gone to Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto for my pre-op appointments.]
"In a way I feel as if my life is on hold. My world is so small."
(January 6 2008)
"Yesterday I had two surprise visits. The Sutherlands [longtime friends] gave me several gifts; then prayed for me regarding my upcoming surgery and for healing. My neighbour, Mary, dropped in with a gift bag for the hospital; in it was a purple housecoat and a lilac nightgown. [Purple is my favorite colour!]
(January 7 2008)
"Tomorrow I have my surgery. Yesterday, the songs at church ministered to me. Colleen and Sonja both prayed for me. Others assured me of their thoughts and prayers." [Colleen is a cancer survivor and Sonja is an intercessor]
(January 13 2008)
"What God impressed upon me is that I don't need to try to figure out who will be influenced by my witness I just have to be faithful. When I was in the hospital I was distraught over a comment that someone had made to a relative that maybe I had been misdiagnosed; that maybe I didn't have cancer, which would be why they didn't find any when they opened me up. It caused all the fears, worries and doubts to rise up and burst forth. I tried to call Dan at work, but when my son Tim answered the phone and was asked by a recording if he would accept a call billed to our number he said no. I was then very upset and emotional and I was crying. My blood pressure was very high since I was so distraught. One of the oncologists came to see me and was concerned. She said that it was natural what I was feeling, given all that I have experienced. She said that I was being strong for others, but that I needed to release what I was holding inside. I asked if there was a chaplain that I could speak to. She said yes there was and that she would call one. She mentioned that when her grandfather had surgery he had spoken to a chaplain and that had seemed to help him. The chaplain came and I shared a bit with her. I asked her if she would pray for me and she did. Later the nurse rechecked my blood pressure and it was again in the normal range.
(January 14 2008)
"Yesterday Dan shared the good news at church. He spoke a bit about our journey and how this type of cancer [ovarian cancer], 'is like throwing sand- you don't know where it will land'. He shared about trusting God and how God had answered our prayers. He thanked the people for praying and for their acts of kindness. The congregation clapped in response to the good news. After church people came up to him. Two men were crying and one of them even hugged Dan tightly."
"I got my first real meal - scrambled eggs, toast and cornflakes. I ate some of it; I didn't want to overdo it. It was like a victory breakfast. I was so excited I called Dan to tell him. I started to cry when I got my meal and could eat it. I was going to live! I saved the tray list of the foods I ate as a souvenir. I was able to go home in the afternoon after lunch. I was very emotional and cried a bit as I was being wheeled in a wheelchair to the lobby; and I cried more when I got in the van. I had gone through the surgery and I had survived! I was going to live and be healthy! That was now past and I only had a bit more on this journey toward complete healing. I am to have one more chemo treatment in February."
(January 19 2008)
"I would not have known God's miraculous healing power if I had not been healed of cancer. If I didn't have cancer in the first place I would not have experienced God's miraculous healing power from cancer. It is almost overwhelming to think about that. Yet there is the example of the man born blind. Jesus said it was not because the man or his parents had sinned but that the glory of God would be seen when Jesus healed him." [John 9: 1-7]
"I am glad that I am home to stay."
(January 22 2008)
"I have had so much bottled up inside. When I mentioned a bit to my sister Gayle, she said she wouldn't blame me if I should cry about all that I have gone through."
"I am not in despair; I have been given hope for the future."
(January 23 2008)
"Today I received a parcel in the mail from my sister-in-law Darlene and her family. It was in a bubble package almost as big as a pillow. Inside were tissue-wrapped gifts. In the card it mentioned that these were to replenish the "Sunshine Basket". I opened the first package, which was puffy; it was a snowman candle holder. That was really special." [I collect snowmen]
(January 26 2008)
"Last night I went to 'Change of Heart', [a women's'ministry event]. I spoke to Laura and Judi before the meeting; I shared about God healing me. It was mentioned if I would share this; I said 'I don't know'. I went into the foyer to get a drink . As I was at the table there was another lady standing there and Jodie came to us and said 'I don't believe I know you ladies'. She talked a bit with the other lady and then she turned to me and then said 'I know you!' She put her arm around my shoulder and told the other woman that God had done a miracle. I shared briefly with the woman about having ovarian cancer and when I had surgery they couldn't find the cancer. She was blessed. I know that I was to share so I told Laura I would and she told Judi. We sang a couple of songs The song just before Judi called me up was 'I can't do anything - I can't face anything without You'. It was a perfect lead in . I know God wanted me to share last night; it fit in with the theme of Jesus/God being the Great Physician."
"What came to me as I was lying in bed - I am not to resent this time of rest; recuperation; and isolation - that is all part of the preparation time."
I hope to share other journal entries in other posts. I was encouraged as I read them and it is my hope that they will encourage others as well.