Before proceeding with this, I need to inform you that this is a writing from four years ago. For friends and family who read my blog, I am not in the midst of treatment at this time – I’m really doing pretty well! I ran/walked 3 miles yesterday – YAY ME! – so growing stronger by the day. And my feisty is back!! A scan in another week will provide an indication of how maintenance medications are doing and what next steps are – hopefully increasing meds because my body is now strong enough to handle that! We will see.
For me, this writing is very raw and I can remember the emotions from that time. It was written in December 2014 – after beginning chemo the first time. Thank you for allowing me to share.
This week has been spent weak, feverish and unable to do the things I love to do this time of year; bake, wrap, decorate, plan and prepare. This week has been spent beneath blankets, regularly checking temperature for the dreaded 100.5 reading to appear – which it did several times and even more. It has been spent trying to heal and avoid a hospital stay. I missed “The Nutcracker” with my girls, mom and other members of my family. I missed a night out with dear friends. I missed multiple days of work even as I tried to keep up at home between chills. It has not been a good week.
And in exasperation and defeat I sullenly asked, “Who invited cancer to Christmas?” The question was asked as only a willful two year old can – I felt much like a two year old when asking. With full blown temper tantrum – fist clenched, feet stomping and screeching my anger – I wanted an answer. I shook with rage and disappointment.
This is not how my granddaughter’s first Christmas is supposed to be. I want to enjoy holding her and seeing the magic that begins now, even though she is too young to understand. Instead, I have to be careful around her and everyone else because I’m a cancer patient with scary low white blood counts and my body has nothing with which to fight. So, I’m careful. I’ll be careful around oldest child, her fiancee and her future step child when they come to visit. I’ll be careful around my great niece as we celebrate her birthday. I’ll be careful at Meeting on Sunday! I’ll be careful!
And then, Silence spoke. In the middle of the night after fighting fever for five days, I awakened. In the stillness and the quiet my temper tantrum eased and I lay still. It was then that I began to understand. This what Christmas is. This is what Christmas does! I had it all wrong!.What better place to face down the darkenss of disease than at the birth of Hope, the gift of Promise. So cancer, you can come to Christmas, but I warn you, what you find you may not understand. There is nothing that you can do to me here. Oh, I know, you are taking my hair, you have changed the way I live my life at the moment, you will require painful shots moving forward and you will exact your pound of flesh in the form of more surgeries, but that it is all you can do. Even if it is my life you claim, even that has no power at the foot of the manger. So, I welcome you here because here you are defeated.
But this understanding is really bigger than me and the cancer I fight. As I look around this great big bouncing ball that we all share and the mess that we have made of it – I think there is more that needs to be brought before the Christ Child and laid at the feet of Hope. The cries of grieving mothers, the rumble of empty bellies and the sounds of anguish brought about by injustice – all and more. What if we packaged them up and laid them at God’s feet? What if collectively we acknowledged that we haven’t done such a hot job of making the world a better place and really tried to love according the message of the Prince of Peace – feed the hungry, comfort the sick, turn the other cheek, care for the outcast…and all just because they are fellow human beings – no other reason, no agenda, no litmus test, no judgement, no anything other than an understanding that that is what our God did when he walked the planet.
What would happen if we made our faith a living faith and invited hell-on-earth to Christmas because that is where it loses and Hope wins. It stands no chance against the infants gasp of air and the awakening of Light on the earth. Can’t you see it, imagine it – the darkness shuttering and fading with the coming Light.
And so, while the Wise Men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, I bring cancer and so much more. I humbly ask that God to show me how to stand up from the celebrations and walk out into a hurting world and act according to God’s will. I hope you will join me.