Dear Faithful Family & Friends,
Summer 2010: Margot & Stephen
[Not a great photo but you can see my new “hair-grow,” as opposed to “hair-cut.”]
This week, I received my last Herceptin infusion! I will continue to take Tamoxifen, for a total of five years. I am now almost 16 months past the date of my diagnosis [June 2, 2009], I have passed a battery of diagnostic tests, and I appear to be very healthy and strong.
So, what’s next for me? Well, in three months, in November 2010, I will have my first office visit with and examination by Dr. Broeseker, my new oncologist. [Dr. Mabry retired.] If I am still healthy and strong [I am not sure how that will be quantified], Dr. Broesker will contact Dr. Crooms, my surgeon, and I will return to the hospital for the operation to remove the Infusa-Port – oh, happy day!
And, when that happy day arrives, together we can give thanks to the Triune God, for I will have finally made it “to the other side,” a reference that I used earlier in this blog. At that time, I asked you to continue to pray for me, until the day that I safely reached “the other side” of the “pool,” so to speak.
I am unceasingly grateful for each of you dear family members and friends, who have supported me, above the water, with your faithful prayers, communiqués, gifts, and encouragement! Some of you, because of your own breast cancer experience, were also with me down in the water, coaching me, and to you I give special thanks!
Speaking of the pool, I continue to be amazed at the progress of Stephen’s swimming proficiency. One of the keys to his recent rapid improvement has been my purchase of a pair of “optic” swim goggles for each of us. Before the new goggles, Stephen felt claustrophobic in the pool, as a result of cloudy, blurry sight and “tunnel vision.” As soon as he put on the new optic goggles, his fear began to dissipate and he made significant progress in his ability. I only regret that I did not discover optic swim goggles earlier because Stephen had to struggle for over a year without them!
However, in retrospect, I think we learn best after a season of being submerged, as it were, in an environment where our vision is limited. I wish I could give credit to the person who wisely said, “We see most clearly in the dark.” Is it the presence of the darkness that makes us desperately yearn for the light? Or does the darkness force us to highly-tune our other faculties, in order to compensate for our reduced ability to see?
At any rate, without those times of darkness, we would never have to depend upon the Triune God and we would not be in a teachable position, to learn the richest lessons. The season of darkness endures and we must learn to patiently bear it. When the darkness subsides, we find we have developed, through the suffering, an improved vision, for God has provided for us a better set of lenses.
In this life, I will soon reach a milestone of health, if it pleases God. Yet, this past year has taught me to increasingly yearn for the presence of the “High King of heaven: When victory is won, may I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun!” It is through the seasons of suffering that we learn to relax our grip on the fleeting things of this life: we begin to yearn for the joy, truth, and beauty of the next life.
“Whatever befall,” no matter what my earthly situation is, the Sovereign Triune God is righteous, just, good, and loving because it is His nature to be so. My circumstances never alter His character. It is for this reason that I sing this hymn:
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; all else be nought to me, save that thou art,
Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord!
Thou my great Father; thine own may I be; thou in me dwelling, and I one with thee.
High King of heaven, when victory is won, may I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall, still be my vision, O Ruler of all.”
[–And I pray this prayer:]
“O Lord, increase my faith, strengthen me and confirm me in Thy true faith:
Endue me with wisdom, charity, and patience, in all my adversity, sweet Jesus, say Amen.”
My dear family and friends: I’ll be continuing to write on this blog, about once a month, on a variety of subjects. So, please check back often and keep in touch!