Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Ultimate Challenge

About 5-7 years ago I took a strengths finder test at St. Dominic's and my number one gift deigned on me buy God was Command. Command connotes authority, decisiveness and courage. I admit I was not too thrilled with it at the time. It is not exactly the typical feminine profile. But then again--St. Catherine of Sienna and Joan of Arc had those gifts. Mother Theresa and Mary did as well even if they were more humble and soft spoken.

So now I embrace it…after all what choice do I have? Suffocating a gift is not exactly a good mark of health.:-)

And that brings me to the real topic and a revelation at least for the moment. So first some caveats before I reveal what I am about to reveal. First, prayer and miracles happen all the time and you never know when…persistence is key. Second, I apologize in advance if this news causes distress or for some reason you feel you should have found out another way. Thirdly, It is my sincere hope that this particular blog entry is of spiritual, intellectual and emotional value for you.

So first the news and a lot of pour out of me reflection.:-)

As you know the Big C -- Christ is a big deal to me..HE has been for a very very long time. Perhaps HE has always been and always will be a big deal to me. I can't imagine any circumstance changing that. What the little c has taught me is that I am human, have real fears about death (I really like life)  and that the greatest challenges bring about untold blessing for you and others.

Yes the little c is cancer. So bear with me as I delve into the specifics. On April 6th of this year after monitoring a nodule discovered by accident for about 7 months, I underwent a needle biopsy on my right lung. I received the results on Wednesday April 8th of that week. That nodule was a carcinoid tumor very slow growing but none the less cancer.

Before I could wrap my brain around the news..I was scheduled for a battery of tests for the following week to see if the particular cells involved had gone awry elsewhere or if there was any metastasis. I had never in my life experienced moments of fear and paralyzation as I had about this news. I stayed positive most of the time but subconsciously the fear of the unknown weighed heavy on the back of my mind where I had pushed it. 

My control freak nature went on a rampage devouring every bit of information about the rare form of this particular cancer I had (only 5% of people get it) and there is no known cause or risk factor. I googled a special foundation, found support groups, specialized information, faith resources, and diet resources. And in this whirlwind with the constant support of good friends and family both near and far..I managed to at least still go to daily mass and pray.

Two epiphanies came. One is I was letting fear get in the way of my relationship with God, and two I surrendered and let God know and my cousin who heard my confession that even if it was my time and I was dying I still loved HIM. 

Now looking back it seemed mellow dramatic..but really we don't know when our time will come. It can be slow or it can be fast. Don't get me wrong, I pleaded, begged my Heavenly Father and had my core group do the same for healing for something that had not spread. But part of me finally realized in the end His will would be done. Nothing for me was ever so humbling.

The good news is after being poked a dozen times, going through countless CT scans..laughing and kidding around some of the time with them and then that crazy O scan..the full body scan the results came. They were all negative and my tumor was not very active. I have no doubt the grace of fervent daily prayer from my beautiful friends and family played a role. Right before I got the last bit of most important results on April 17th..I felt this palpable spontaneous peace. So yes if you are going to have cancer this is the best type to have and I am grateful.

I won't bore you with the details of all the due diligence I am doing now but I do know at some point I would like my experience to be a resource for others not only dealing with a cancer diagnosis but any major health problem.

My faith will get me through this, and although I can calculate what is likely to happen, even if I am right, I don't want to short change God and Love. So lets just say I will leave it in the hands of God to see how this chapter ends. But the good news is no matter what, it seems I will be one of the fortunate ones that has an end in sight to killing the cancer definitively. It may not be an easy solution but it will be swift, quick and permanent for this particular cancer if it agrees with God's will.

Ironically, there are a multitude of blessings already gleaned from this experience. Deeper self awareness, my love of life, my love of God, HIS love for me, my love of friends and family and their love for me, reconciliation, deeper compassion, the preciousness of life, greater courage to just stand up for what's right and quit weighing out what others will think and so much more. I have no doubt there are things I can't possibly recognize that are blessings.

So how can I leave you with some value here? Please please remember you are not your weakest moments God is there and the compassion and love people have hidden in the recesses of their heart comes out..God comes out. 

And what is the Ultimate Courage? To put the big C above the little c and every other letter in the alphabet.:-)  How? Well a start would be to acknowledge all of your self in the most trying of moments and never give up on God or Love. To reach up and out and pour yourself out. The biggest gift you have is the biggest gift for you. The biggest gift you have is the love God wants to pour out from you. Don't stop it when it comes because suffocating it is not exactly a good mark of health.:-)


pblk said...
April 28, 2015 at 4:30 AM  

Hi Angela. Thanks for sharing that. Glad everything is going to be okay. I was just going to post this on my Fb page, so I thought I'd share it with you before I do.
To those of you who are worried about the reality that one day you're going to die, don't worry about it... everybody else is gonna die one day too.

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