Sunday, February 24, 2008

Faith and the Big "C"

As I mentioned in a post last week, I have been diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. I spent the better part of the day Tuesday at the Cancer Clinic speaking with an Oncologist. What my surgeon had suggested a couple of weeks prior to that was I was to go through a bout of radiation and in the near future look at having a double mastectomy. The end result of my visit with my oncologist and then again the following day with my surgeon is that I am going to bypass the radiation and go straight for the surgery which will be scheduled in Aprilish.

I had a sort of "out of body" experience as I was discussing everything with my surgeon. On the outside I was sitting there calm cool and collected. But on the inside I was screaming my head off. I am very well trained in the art of appearing like everything is fine which of course they were not. When I got home my husband and I called our children and my brothers and mom. The rest of our friends and families we emailed as I was getting exhausted of repeating the same story over and over again.

I was resigned to the surgery a couple of months ago. Actually I was a couple of years ago when I started having problems. But it still wasn't the same as KNOWING you are going to have the surgery. By Friday I refused to read my emails anymore as they were getting pretty depressing. Every email but one basically said the same sentence in different phrases but had the same meaning "CHOP THEM OFF". I understand everyone was very concerned for my health and would rather have me alive and flat chested then dead in 6 months but it was very disconcerting to have had only one email that asked me how I felt about needing the surgery from my friends.

I love my close friends with all my heart and I know they love me truly and I also know they have my best interests at heart. But to have that many emails come in a matter of 2 days with the same message I was getting very sad. Not only that but I was starting to question my faith. Before I had been diagnosed, I had a blessing from the Priesthood holders in my ward. For those of you who are not members of my church, a blessing is a laying on of hands by worthy priesthood holders. It is done by prayer and the Spirit guides them into saying what needs to be said. I had been getting a blessing in regards to my new job (Director of the Family History Centre) and in the blessing I was told that the diseases of the world would pass me by AND that I would be healed of all illnesses.

That part of the blessing kept going through my mind all week getting to the point where I have been distraught over it just sitting on the couch in a ball. Friday I went out shopping with my daughter to get my mind off of things but I couldn't focus. I talked it out over and over with Keith how I was feeling but all he could do was let me talk and hold me.

I was concerned that I was moving too fast with the surgery. I kept wondering if I shouldn't be putting more faith in God that He would heal me. I kept thinking what if I am hurting His feelings by not trusting Him to do what he had promised to do in my blessing. I know He tells us to do all we can first and then He will help. I thought I had been doing that but what if I wasn't giving Him the time to do what He said He would. But then I would think what if part of the blessing was that He would heal me AFTER the surgery and that I would remain safe during it. What if what if what if.

Yesterday morning we spent 4 hours at the organic health food store to get products to help my immune system. I was getting even more overwhelmed at the amounts of foods that are supposedly healthy but had preservatives in them. I was in tears several times and Keith had to stop and hold me for a bit before I would be fine again. Thank goodness I have 2 of the best daughter in laws on earth. One is a Nutritional Consultant and had sent me information on what to look for and what to concentrate on with my meals. The other one works for an Organic wholesaler and was able to help me with what is available out there and what is really organic and what is not. Thanks Mary and Linda.

But it was a long day and by supper time I was continually in tears as I continued to struggle with my faith.. was I moving too fast was I not putting enough faith in God.. over and over again. Then an angel called by the name of Lareta. Our little granddaughter was very ill and so Mommy asked me if I would teach her little Sunday School class today. I said of course!! I love teaching the children. She sent over the manual and I put it aside till later. I also had brought home a stack of letters that I had gotten when I had been back home with the boxes of pictures and some of the letters were dated from 1909. All in French and so last night I decided to start reading them. The first one I pick up randomly talked about a family member who had died. The person writing was writing to his parents and talked about how they would see her again in Heaven, that we should always be prepared to die as to live our lives in as best a way possible so we are always ready to go with a clean conscience. He went on to say that we must always say our prayers that God does hear us but at times our minds are too busy talking to even hear Him.

I looked at Keith and said how ironic it was that out of the stack I pick one that talked about what I was going through. By then I remembered I still had to prepare the lesson for the class so I put the letters down and opened the manual. Wouldn't you know it... it was on Faith and how Heavenly Father hears our prayers. As I read the lesson from start to finish tears came down. Keith noticed and came over to give me a hug. I told him what the class was on and because our daughter teaches the 5-7 year olds it was written in a language that a child would understand. It was in the perfect language that I could understand. I realized my faith was strong enough and that I would be all right. I realized that God had been speaking but my mind had been too busy "talking" to actually hear what He was saying. I know now that Faith is constant. I know having Faith is about really believing in it. It is easy having faith when every thing in your life is hunky dory but something else when your life is up for grabs.

I realized I AM strong enough to go through with this. Thanks Lareta for asking me to teach your class. I don't know if the children will benefit from it but this Child of God certainly has learned her lesson today.


Marci & Andrew said...

Sally, you truly are an inspiration. I was moved to tears reading of your day and the emotions that went through your heart and mind. I wish I could be there to give you a huge hug right now and let you know that you *will* be healed from your illnesses, but perhaps not in ways you can understand right now. Thank you for inspiring me and for your testimony. Much love.

Sally said...

thanks Marci!!

Carmen said...

It is called faith for a reason - after you do all you can, Heavenly Father will do the rest. And you need to do the right thing and He will ensure it works. I love you lots. I am praying for you constantly. It will be well. All of it will be well.

Sally said...

Thanks Carmen.. We had a big prayer day on Sunday till late in the evening and I feel much better about the surgery now. I know it is what I need to do right at this moment. It doesn't make it any easier to bear or go through but it needs to be done to survive.