It’s been almost 6 months since I found out I have Lymphoma… so for 6 months, the anticipation for this day has been growing. I felt like a balloon about to pop.
But good news… I’m cancer free!!
My PET scan was scheduled for this morning and an appointment with my doctor late afternoon so he could deliver the news. The scan detected no lymphoma cells & my two knees looked the same in the images!
It feels surreal to reflect on the past 7 months, after being diagnosed with both Melanoma & Follicular Lymphoma. I could talk for days about what God’s taught me during this season and still know that I can only see a tiny sliver from my vantage point. But two things I know for sure He has been doing in me through this trial:
- Helping me to see the Jesus’ suffering a little more clearly. I don’t always remember just how much Jesus had to pay for my debt before God. It cost Him real, actual, physical suffering. He suffered ultimately so that I will only ever suffer temporarily. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, it just means it won’t hurt forever. (Romans 8:17-18, Colossians 1:24)
- Growing my love for Jesus – not just the good things He can do for me / give to me, but just loving Him. In “Walking with God through Pain and Suffering”, Keller articulates this better than I could:
“Let’s say you initially fall in love with a person, and, if you’re honest, it was partly because of some of the person’s “assets” – his or her looks or connections, for example. But as the relationship progresses, you begin to love the person for himself alone, and then when some of the assets go away, you don’t mind. We call that growth in love and character. Now, what if you grew in your love for God like that? What if you could grow in your love for him so that he became increasingly satisfying in himself to you? That would mean that circumstances wouldn’t rattle you as much, since you had God and his love enriching and nourishing you regardless of the circumstances of life.” (274)
It’s true: suffering has a refining influence on you if you know Jesus & walk with Him through it, which is why I wouldn’t trade the trial of cancer for what He’s done in me through it.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7
I will have regular follow-up appointments with my doctor in Iowa City every 3 months, but not have another PET scan until a year from now.