What Led to the MRI?

Melanoma led to the MRI.

On May 4 of this year, I was out celebrating Lisa Warren & Kristen Rodgers’ birthdays. As people were getting to know Lisa, she shared details about her husband Rob’s skin cancer that I hadn’t heard before. My stomach was on the ground as I remembered noticing a mole on my shin a couple weeks prior & had thought to myself, “that looks weird, I should probably go to the dermatologist soon”. I cried driving home from The Cafe that night – something inside of me just knew that there was cancer on my body.

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I called the next day, scheduled an appointment, got the mole removed, & when my pathology report came back on May 18, my dermatologist confirmed my suspicions & delivered the news: there was Melanoma in a mole on my left shin.

I was shocked to hear both my name & the word cancer in the same sentence. But moments later, she was able to tell me the Melanoma was at stage zero & in situ, which means it was sitting on the surface of my skin / growing outward. Surgery was already scheduled for June 2, where a surgeon would remove a larger portion of the area around the spot to ensure all the cancer was removed.

On Tuesday, June 6, I got the call that surgery was successful and no additional Melanoma was found in the pathology report { PRAISE! }. So because I was on way to reaching my insurance deductible, I decided it was finally time to figure out what was happening in my knee. An MRI was scheduled the same week (Friday, June 9) which sent me to Iowa City & here we are now. 

G O O D   N E W S — doctors have confirmed that the Melanoma & Lymphoma are unrelated which 1) is super strange that I had two types of cancer happening simultaneously, but 2) is VERY good news because in my doctor’s own words, “that would have been the worst case scenario”.

When I first heard there was something strange on my MRI & that I would be sent to see a specialist in Iowa City, I hung up the phone & said to one of my staff girls in my office: “I think I have cancer… like, the real kind. I think my Melanoma was just the practice round.”

It’s almost freaky looking back at the timing of everything, but God knew that I would need to learn a couple lessons & hear a couple promises from Him that He would use to sustain me in He knew was to come: 

  1. MY LIFE & MY BODY ARE COMPLETELY AT HIS MERCY – they always have been and they always will be. In Walking with God through Pain & Suffering, Tim Keller writes, “When pain & suffering come upon us, we finally see not only that we are not in control of our lives but that we never were.” YES & yes. God hasn’t given me cancer but He certainly supervises my circumstances. I am completely at His mercy and at the top of His priorities is: ‘how can I shape Kendra into a person who looks, acts, & has a heart that’s more like my Son Jesus’ – NOT – ‘what can I do to make her life easy, comfortable, & free from suffering’. He loves me too much for option 2 & loves me so much as to allow option 1. 

“ Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons…. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  Hebrews 12:7,11

  1. A LIFE OF SUFFERING IS EXACTLY WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR when I chose to follow Jesus. I wrote this somewhere else already, but He’s like screaming it in my ears these days — Jesus faced the ultimate suffering & separation from God 2,000 years ago so that when I said YES to following Him, I would only ever face temporary suffering (while here on earth; spared from eternal suffering separated from God forever). The goal of every follower is to become like their leader; the goal of a disciple is to become like their master. I want to be more like Jesus. Through my time in the Bible the last couple weeks, God’s been showing me a bloody Jesus – One who was touched by the sin & evil in this world, One who can sympathize with MY pain & suffering (Hebrews 4:14-16), and One who has promised to be present with me inside of it.

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God & fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Romans 8:16-18

His timing is perfect. Even if I don’t understand or like it… it’s perfect.

W H A T ’ S   N E X T  concerning the Melanoma: visits to the dermatologist every 3 months for check-ups and no more sun… which felt like such a huge sacrifice a month ago, but doesn’t even matter now { my, how God has refined me already! }.

FullSizeRender 5This photo is from my journal the day before surgery… He’s definitely answering that prayer!