I'm sure you never think about this word. What it means, what the future holds and how your life will forever change because of it. Unless, of course, you or someone you are close to is faced with this trial and all that it entails.
Personally, I hate the word.
I hate it in all its entirety.
And at the same time, this sickness seems to effect the most noble, the most strong and the most humble.
Well at least in my experience of those I know who have had to battle cancer or are still battling cancer.
With my hate I am humbled.
You see, I have a friend.
She started off as a lady in my ward. Nice, sweet and just a well composed woman.
We connected because her grandson was my Jack's age.
We often talked about them and how much they were growing.
We talked about how much bigger my giant two year old was. And how Jack could be little Noah's bodyguard.
We soon served together in the Young Women's Program. She easily went from an acquaintance to a real friend that I have grown to love.
I shared my testimony with our young women about being pure and virtuous. About how I hope they take my experiences and learn from them.
She later expressed how much she appreciated me and thanked me for not being ashamed to share my story with the girls.
She said it's nice to show our girls that life isn't perfect. It isn't always rainbows and butterflies. That it's our duty as leaders to show them the differences between right and wrong. To help them know that we don't always have to try or do things to know they're not good for us.
She told me she was blessed and grateful to know me.
Last week, I found out she has stage 4 lymphoma cancer. It is very aggressive and within the next few months she will be doing treatments and chemotherapy just as aggressively to try and clear it completely from her body.
She was on my mind all week. I couldn't stop thinking about her.
The promptings were strong that I needed to visit her.
So last Friday I went to visit her. She laid there with confidence. She spoke to me with conviction that she knew she was going to fight this.
As I sat there I had this feeling of peace that although the next few months will be rough and an emotional roller coaster for her and her family that she's going to be fine. You might think this is naive and that this sickness kills so many annually but if we don't have hope and faith then what do we have to live for? Why be down and out? I feel that would only deteriorate your body faster. If she is thinking positively while battling cancer then how can we possibly be upset and complain about things so minuscule in comparison?
Her attitude was amazing.
She was all smiles.
She told me about her experience a few days ago when the nurses needed to take a bone marrow sample and how the nurse that was doing it was training. She told me that the pain was unreal. The nurse didn't take the sample correctly so she had to do it again. She told me that she almost wanted to stop them and tell them no. She didn't want to do it again. She said at that moment she thought of Christ and all the pains He took upon himself. If there was one person that knew what she was going through, it would be Him. She said the second time they took the sample, was easier. The pain was there but mentally, her thoughts helped her escape to a place where she felt much closer to the Lord.
She said that it was funny how you grow closer to God in times of pain and trial.
She said she has no fears because she knows He lives and that He is with her every step of the way.
I pray for her continuously. That her body responds well to chemo and that her body as well as her mind continues to fight. I pray for her family. That they may be comforted. I know there is a plan and I believe God exists.
I feel Him, I see Him in everything around me. I cannot nor will not deny it. We all have our own beliefs but this is one thing I can say with conviction. I will never deny Him. Among the sadness and all the evil in this world, there is so much more good. I dare you to look for it, it's everywhere!
I hope you all have an amazing day!