I’m an oversharer. Totally. Is there a rehab for that?
In my defense, I’ve used FACEBOOK for years to promote my choral program, my church, my politics…. I’ve shown off my family and lots and lots of food. OVER SHARE. Over share on steroids.
But I have to tell you that during this past year, well two years, It’s become a lifeline for me. Being sick, being cooped up at home, worrying about getting COVID while having lung cancer…. my oversharing definitely ramped up. But it was worth it.
Well, most of the time.
My oversharing this week featured my good news. your see, I go to MD Anderson Cancer Center every three months for a PET/CT scan, a MRI and visits with my oncologists. I try to handle the stress and the nerves as best I can, but…..hey, when the good news arrives telling us that the scans are good you just lose control.
At least that’s my excuse.
After texting family and a few close friends, I texted my good news to the world on FACEBOOK. I mean…. I really spilled my guts big time.
Some people keep their emotions and thoughts private (or so I’ve been told, ha)…… but it seems that clearly isn’t me. If I meet you, have ever met you, or you are a friend of a friend, I’ll tell you my life story if you just hold still a while.
Seeing as how I’m the ripe of age of 62, I’m pretty sure I’m not changing.
But here’s the rub my friends. After I had posted my good news and had 700 friends and prayer warriors comment on my post…..well, the guilt fell on me like a ton of bricks. All I could think of was how many of those friends had lost a precious friend, family member or loved one recently. How many widows had lost the loves of their lives…. How many were in treatment for cancer right now…. the mere idea that my good news could be hurtful just got next to me. What was I doing screaming out about my tests when others were in such pain.
Let’s be clear. I’m a believer. Always have been, always will be.
But how does God allow one person to get good news when another believer (much better person, I’m sure) not get the good news? Why does God allow the tornado to blow my house away and save the one next door? What did the young man with a bright future get taken from his parents when another did not? I’m sure you have many more of these questions…. And how often do we use the phrase “I’m so blessed”…. does the connotation mean another person is not so blessed….?
I pretty certain when I pray God shakes his/her head and says “oh good grief, it’s that question woman again”….. Surely some of you feel the same way. A wise Sunday School teacher with the initials Richard Lusby once declared in class that God is perfectly capable of hearing both our truth and our questions. If you believe our God is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent…… then nothing is off limits and nothing has to be held back. God is truth. He already knows my issues. Even if my questions are never ending…. and aren’t answered. Isn’t faith believing when we don’t know the why me or the why not me?
We are born to die. There’s a time to die…. for sure. None of us know when our time will come. ….
But, I still don’t feel comfortable thinking that my good fortune might have been difficult for my friends to hear and for that I’m incredibly sorry.
Nobody said it…but I can’t help but wonder if they felt it.
My 3 month respite is just that. 3 months. I have stage 4 lung cancer. Stage 4…… so the name of the game is to extend my life and postpone the inevitable. But isn’t that what we are all doing anyway? Trying to postpone the inevitable? I happen to have a little advanced knowledge of what’s to come….
Many of you have asked about Keytruda. The drug I’m taking every 21 days for the rest of my life……Keytruda is a relatively new immunotherapy drug. It causes my immune system to attack my specific cancer. After extensive testing my tumors had the right markers to respond. Heave duty medical facts that this retired choral director can barely understand and surely can’t explain.
Funny fact, I trust my doctor. And science. And all I know is that it seems to be working.
I watched both my mom and my sister suffer greatly with cancer. Mother with breast cancer and my sister with ovarian. It was terrible. I know this path all too well. Some of you do too. I pray for you. And I know you pray for me. I pray a little differently now. I’m 62, my kids are adults, life’s been good. I can’t imagine a better one. So I don’t always pray for healing…. it’s mostly for courage in the face of the unknown, for grace and comfort for the journey home.
I’d love to assure my friends that I’ll stop oversharing about all of this life and death stuff but well, we all know that’s probably not happening. I’ll try to keep it positive. I promise.
What I do want to convey is there’s hope for a extended life for cancer patients because of incredibly brilliant scientists and gifted physicians. I am proof of that. To live 2 years with stage 4 is pretty rare. And I realize each 3 month extension is a miracle in itself.
I also have faith in life after death. And yes, I have about a million questions about how that works. But my faith means I don’t have to have all the answers to believe.
I just today visited with a precious friend whose husband recently passed away. Her heart is simply broken, as are many of yours. We talked about grace, about questions and about guilt. What a blessing she is. She’s faced the absolute worst (short of losing a child) so we can talk about the “hard stuff” without the awkwardness. I hope you have a friend like her.
Forgive my oversharing, I’ll work on my guilt….and
May the real GOOD NEWS be ours forever. Not just for 3 months.