HOPE OVERFLOWING

stories of grace, hope and life beyond cancer


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Somewhere between vigilance and paranoia

At the moment this is where I find myself, treading the fine line between vigilance and paranoia. Trying not to ignore what my body is telling me (like I used to before cancer), that aching limb or infection that just won’t improve, while at the same time trying not to be a hypochondriac, trying not to fear that every ache and pain is metastatic cancer.

I joked with my GP the other day that I should get frequent flyer miles for coming to their surgery so often and he just smiled faintly and said that they don’t mind if I visit as often as I like with my random ailments. They might not mind, but the thing is… I do! I mind very much and I would very much like to not see them for a really long time!

That’s one of the (many) things I guess I didn’t know about cancer before I got it… That it’s not over when the active treatment is over. Side effects endure (chemo really is nasty stuff even one year on), the fear of recurrence lurks in the back of your mind, your dreams for having children have to change. The after effects are further reaching and more varied than I ever could have imagined.

This is a strange place to be. Surely I should be thrilled it is all over and just be getting on with things. And I am… Really! I cannot tell you how pleased I am not to be a regular in the hospital anymore and my life is moving forward. But still, a strange sense of desolation remains.

In thinking about this I was reminded of a passage in Habakkuk 3 (v 17-19).

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Saviour.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

I feel that this passage describes perfectly how I feel at the moment. There are many areas of my life that have been devastated and that remain desolate. But, this has not robbed me of joy or of blessing. Even in that place I know the goodness and love of a faithful and amazing God!

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