The Blues of Cancer News

Accepting God’s Will

by Christie Perkins

So first thing I know I’m in a relentless dizzy whirlwind.  And I’m wondering is it possible to drown in a whirlwind?  And just as fiercely it spits me somewhere in the middle of a silent ocean; on a little rickety row boat I float.  There’s not a breeze, no water licks the sides of the boat, and there’s a shark looming underneath.  I can’t see it, but I feel it in that queasy feeling in my stomach.  My thoughts are loud, extremely loud.  And there’s no escape.

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But I smile.  It’s fake.

I don’t want my kids picking up on my distress signal.  But the warning lights have been flashing for 15 days now.  The biopsy was 8 days ago.  The promised 3-5 day results are overdue.

It is here on this eery ocean I sit quietly and wait for a rescue.   I desperately need a rescue, any rescue.

I’m not so sure I can take one more day of worry.  At this point, any news will soothe.


The Whirlwind

The whirlwind begins when I find my lump next to that dimple.  I didn’t think it was anything to worry about.  But this lump feels different than the ones I’ve had before.  I call the doctor and he tells me he can get me in that afternoon.

Um.  Like, as in, today?

The rush of the appointment concerns me.  What about the typical two week wait?  I was actually counting on the waiting period to process and file away some thoughts.  You know?  Deal with the possibilities.  Today is not good, I have… things to do.  Yeah.

“How about tomorrow?  Do you have anything open tomorrow?”  Procrastinating eases my worries for a brief moment then clenches my stomach for the remaining 24 hours until I actually see him.

“Yes.  You pick the time and Dr. Gatherum says anytime that works for you works for him.”

My emotions are kicking in and I’m getting concerned now.  He’s a doctor that catches babies and listens to women’s complaints.  I know that his schedule is not loose like that.  I am certain of it.  And since when do doctors rearrange their schedules just to fit yours?

Maybe it’s a policy change.

Psh!  Wishful thinking.  That night is the Pine Wood Derby.  And we have a new cub master so things run a little differently that night.  It’s the first time we have a spiritual thought that I can recall.  I am supercharged by the spiritual thought: he shares the miracle of Peter walking on water.

I love, love, love this story.  It’s my favorite story in the scriptures and tonight I was seeing it through new eyes.  And suddenly it feels as if it was me that will have to attempt this feat.  After all, I’ve been stranded for a few hours on this silent ocean.  I’m not so sure I can walk on water quite yet, though.

And my eyes begin to water.  Drip, drip, drip… sniff.  I scooch my chair back a smidge so no one can see me.  I’m the only one crying at the Pine Wood Derby (granted none of the races have begun).  Everyone else is on edge with competitiveness and I’m sitting there weeping.

So, I pretend these waterfall tears belong to my grandpa: he died 2 days ago.  Um, thank you Grandpa?

At the appointment the next day I see furrowed brows as he discovers a second lump.  In less than a week I’m sitting in an ultrasound and am asking them to check the tiny new lump I found that morning.  They scope it all out.  A cobblestone of seven lumps are set in a pattern.  I am chuck full.  A brow furrows again.

“You’re too young.  It’s probably not cancer.”  But their rush of actions discredit his ‘words of comfort.’  A biopsy is scheduled exactly 24 hours later.

A somber dim light shadows the biopsy room.  “We are looking for fluid.  When I pull on the needle and fluid comes out we know it’s just a cyst.  I’m sure it is.”  His face was calm; cool.  If only I could keep his eye contact but he turns away to fiddle with the needle and screen and I’m left alone with my own thoughts.  Tears sting my eyes.  I want to grasp at his faith that it is ‘nothing’ but my thoughts tell me otherwise.

The needle tugs.  And for the third time this week a doctor is furrowing his brows at me.


On The Silent Ocean I Wait

The words benign and malignant keep teeter-tottering in my mind.  I glance at the phone.  It remains silent.  The 3-5 day promised wait has dragged me along for 8 days now.  I can’t sleep because my mind is too stinking creative.  I need to get off this boat.

But first, my knees are feeling very heavy.  I give into them.


The Rescue

I collapse in my bedroom doorway.  My most significant prayers always land face down in the doorway… never quite making it to the bed.  This will be my 3rd significant doorway prayer in about 15 years.

“Heavenly Father, please,” my heart clenches and my throat aches, “I can’t take this any more.  Please, help me to accept thy will.”  At the beginning of the week I didn’t want the news but today I needed the news.  “Whatever the news is I will accept it, I just can’t wait any longer.”

I feel myself sinking.

I end up on the couch.  I am depressed and exhausted.  My husband’s been worrying because every time he checks up on me I’m napping.  But, I have no energy.  Is it the emotions or the cancer?  Is it both?  My doctors tell me it’s probably my emotions.

My energy is depleted, I’ve never felt so wiped out before in my entire life.  My husband is concerned when he leaves to take my oldest to the pregame baseball practice.  He doesn’t say much but I see it in his face.  We usually go together to the pregame practice but this time I decided to come later, after we eat.

About 45 minutes later there’s a knock at my door and my doctor is standing in the doorway in his scrubs.   “It’s not good kido, you’ve got cancer.  You have 2 types of cancer.”  What? Two?  “They’ve had trouble finding what kind of cancer you have and that’s what’s taken so long, I went and tracked them down.”  And you know what?  This news wasn’t quite the shark bite I was expecting.  I was so releived I wanted to hug him.  Strange reaction.  But, it was an answer I needed.

Yes, of course, there were some tears… after he left.  I could fill the night time delivery milk truck with the tears that would come over the next year.

But somehow through it all, I find that I’m walking on water because I feel that this tragedy is coupled in the palm of God’s hand.  He knows my suffering, he knows my pain; he knows my fear.  He carries me.  And somehow it’s all okay.  It’s okay because I know it is God’s will and he will not leave me stranded.

I am lifted up.  When I accept His will I am at peace.  I am able to bear this with much more strength than I expected.  He walked with me on water, of that I am certain.  He, too, knew that I needed to get off that boat and he walked with me every step of the way.  And when I started to sink again he gently lifts down and pulls me back up.

Accepting His will was an amazing experience.


Comfort in Accepting His Will

Accepting Gods will is getting to the end of your rope and letting go; trusting he will carry you in His hands.  How do you know Gods will?

You feel it.  You just somehow know it.

You’re pleading prayers that it’s not cancer never sits right, it never feels right.  You are unsettled, twisted inside.  You are fighting what you know is the truth.  In your heart you know what is meant to be and that peace can carry you.  It’s okay.  It’s okay because there is a gift so much more magnificent awaiting you at the end of your struggle.  There’s something much more than you ever imagined.  You think that a truth such as this would cause you to sink but the truth of God’s will actually helps you float.  It sets you free.

It’s meant to be.

Keep fighting by giving your all and never give up on yourself.  But, don’t fight Him.  You will see the goodness of God when you let go of your fears and trust that he knows what he is doing.

What do you say?  Let’s walk on water.  Take that first step.  For me, it was a little pleading prayer that helped me know his will.  You know what you will need to do.  You will feel it.

Trust Him, because it’s all going to be okay.


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9 thoughts on “The Blues of Cancer News

  1. May 9, 2013 will ever be etched in my mind! The day I received the news that my dear wife had cancer! I remember the sinking feeling in my heart, the fear, the worry. It couldn’t be! There must be some mistake! She was only 34! We had 4 young boys! I remember calling my mom to relay the information and couldn’t speak. Mom knew something was wrong! When I was able to tell her the news she listened carefully and provided the comfort only a mother can give. What a journey! What miracles and tender mercies our little family witnessed! The power of the Atonement is real we truly felt God lift our burden and carry us in the palm of His hand!

    • It truly was a blessing to feel the hand and of God through it all. It was an amazing experience… couldn’t have done it without you!

    • I’m Christie ;)… nice to meet you! What a rush cancer is- pretty overwhelming. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for commenting, I hope others can relate to it too.

  2. Beautifully written Christie. I’ve always loved this quote from Thomas S. Monson “We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.” You are a prime example of this. I feel blessed to know you. You are a beautiful person inside and out. Thanks for your amazing words!

    • Wow. That statement hits it right on the mark! I totally feel like I became stronger. So glad 🙂 I’m blessed to know you too!

    • Thank you so much Kristin! Thanks for reading & being such a great support through it all. I’m very blessed.

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