Have you ever been blind-sided by someone's thoughtless comment? I have on several occasions. Perhaps one of the most priceless ones happened the day before surgery. Book in a Blog continues . . .
It was Sunday morning. The next day I faced surgery for breast cancer. We had a special church service that day and I hadn’t wanted to get peoples’ eyes off the theme. For that reason, I hadn’t told people about my diagnosis. Only the church leadership knew. During an open time of prayer, one of them prayed aloud that the Lord would undertake for me as I faced surgery the next morning.
After the service, I joined Rob at the door of the Church to shake peoples’ hands and wish them well. A few made brief comments about my forthcoming surgery, along the lines of, “I hope everything goes well tomorrow.” I just smiled and thanked for them. Then a lady came out the church with an encouraging smile.
“I hope it’s nothing serious?"
Not knowing how to respond, I blurted out, “Yes it is actually!” with forced cheerfulness.
“Oh I'm so glad!” She beamed and rushed off to join her family, leaving me with my mouth open. She hadn’t heard a word I said. I wondered if I ever did that to people.
Rob and our two sons spent the rest of Sunday together at home. Laughing, talking, sharing, trying to forget. Later in the afternoon I received a message on my computer from Debbie and Craig in Venezuela, in response to my email of the previous day. It was a short message. A difficult message. I understood. They didn’t know what to say. There is no easy way! They loved me. They were praying. The family must keep them informed. I was glad I had told them.
That night Rob and I went out to a restaurant for dinner together. I carefully chose something light to eat. Yet even then it took an effort to empty my plate. Is this the last time we’ll go out together like this?
We drove away from the shopping centre in silence. Is this the last time I’ll be here with Rob? We went quietly to bed, and curled in each other’s arms as we prayed for peace and for strength for the next days. Will we ever lie and pray like this again?
Amazingly, the Lord’s peace came over us both. We slept. We slept soundly. Too soundly. Morning came quickly.
If you face surgery for cancer
* Keep your mind occupied. Try not to dwell on the what if's
* Talk to your family. They need to face the cancer diagnosis as well. Cancer doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects the family.
* Don’t forget your children. Even small children may have heard of mommies or daddies who died from cancer. Reassure them, and make sure someone is looking out for them emotionally while you’re in the hospital.