As days pass by, it’s easy to become accustomed to the way things are. Even for me, “normal” is redefined with each weather front, school vacation/camp for our daughters, vacation activity, celebration, sickness and such, but I know from experience that these factors can change at any time. In fact, factors that were previously unrecognized or unappreciated have ways of emerging.
“They found a lump. It is very small, and there don’t appear to be others.” I wasn’t shocked when Mom shared this information last week, but the news was not expected. Her mother, my grandmother, had faced breast cancer about thirty years ago. The recurrence that ultimately sent her Home happened when I was in junior high. On the day of Mom’s initial news, I will admit that tears finally came as I lay in bed that night. Memories are funny things, particularly those of a formerly adolescent girl who is now nearing forty; those memories came in flashes, causing me to contemplate similarities and differences with the current situation.
The time, I know, is a big difference. This is another decade in medical science, and “cancer” has a different meaning than it did in the early 80’s, different treatments… knowing doesn’t necessarily help a great deal, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
One similarity, though, is key. My grandmother always had a serenity about her, knowing that the Lord was her shepherd, and she would not want. As the youngest of her ten granddaughters, I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated when she passed away, missing out on this unique, strong female mentor. But I didn’t really “miss out,” as Grandma and Grandpa had given their children the inheritance of faith and love, one they share with their own children and grandchildren. As I see my own parents expressing their faith each day, I can’t help but smile when Mom lets me know, in the midst of her news, how she would be facing this. “One day at a time,” Mom said, assuring me that she was at peace. “Really, I am,” she said, and I believed her.
We are currently waiting for biopsy results, and like Mom, the family is all taking this one day at a time. As Grandma reminded the adolescent Angie, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” As He leads all of our family, I continue to pray for peace, as we all accept this… one day at a time.
Aug. 4 news: Biopsy results are in: cancer doesn’t appear to have spread beyond the chest, and surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10. Please lift Mom and Dad in prayer, and pray that our entire family can continue to feel that peace that passes understanding. Six more days… as we face this one day at a time.
update on 8-13-11: Mom’s surgery went well, it was on Wednesday and she came home Thursday. She is healing, and in a few weeks, chemotherapy will begin. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support!