Since the 21st of March, I have been on a journey that is not unfamiliar to me, but not welcomed. That day, I had my usual six month check up with my dermatologist. And, that day, he found a spot on my chest, very near my collarbone, that he didn’t like. So, the soonest I could get another appointment to get it tested was 20 days later. I really didn’t think it was anything to worry about, although it looked different than any other kind of bad spot I’ve had. If you know me at all, you know I’m a pretty chill person. And so, I didn’t worry about it. I couldn’t really do anything about it anyway, so I waited. And prayed.
So, on April 10 it was sent to the lab, and last Friday my doctor called me to give me the results. Now, I knew it probably wasn’t a good sign that HE called. But, I thought when I heard his voice on the other end of the phone, “Maybe he’s just being nice and doing the calling himself.” Well, that wasn’t the case. He told me that the spot was melanoma. The “M” word. A word that I was determined to not ever hear for myself. And, again, if you know me even a little bit, you have heard me preach about wearing sunscreen. (And you hated hearing it from me every time you went out in the sun.) Plus, I witnessed my mom deal with the “M” word too many times. So, I was actually really surprised to hear my doctor say it on the other end of the phone. “Oh, crap” came out of my mouth. (I mean, I could’ve said worse.) He was patient with me, while the news sunk in. And he even wanted to remove it that day, but it was Friday afternoon, so I had to wait. Again.
The good news is, it was not very deep. And we were both incredibly grateful that he found it early.
At 8:15 yesterday morning, my doctor cut and pulled and yanked at my chest and got that foreign spot out of my body. Now, I pray, with a host of so many of my friends, teammates and family, that the pathology will come back proving that he got it all.
These are all the facts, but I haven’t really shared with you the emotion that emerged within me. From the day it was biopsied to today, so many feelings…
I felt scared. Lonely. Angry. Confused. Depressed. Disappointed. Nervous. And, at the same time I felt peaceful. Loved. Cared for. Hopeful.
On Monday, I just happened to read Psalm 44 and the Lord really spoke to me through it.
O God, we have heard it with our own ears—
our ancestors have told us
of all you did in their day,
in days long ago:
2 You drove out the pagan nations by your power
and gave all the land to our ancestors.
You crushed their enemies
and set our ancestors free.
3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;
it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory.
It was your right hand and strong arm
and the blinding light from your face that helped them,
for you loved them.
4 You are my King and my God.
You command victories for Israel.[b]
5 Only by your power can we push back our enemies;
only in your name can we trample our foes.
6 I do not trust in my bow;
I do not count on my sword to save me.
7 You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies;
you disgrace those who hate us.
8 O God, we give glory to you all day long
and constantly praise your name. NLT (Italics are mine.)
Only by YOUR power can we push back our enemies (like sickness and disease).
Only in YOUR name can we trample our foes (like the “M” word).
I do not trust in my bow (or the doctor’s skilled hands);
I do not count on my sword (or his scalpel) to save me.
YOU are the one who gives me victory over my enemy (cancer.)
And so, I give you glory all day long and constantly praise your name.
This is what I stand on today. He defeats my enemy, which just happens to be a deadly, stupid spot on my skin.
What is the enemy that you are fighting today? By His power and His name, may He give us both the victory we are asking for.