Writing, even short personal
notes, has been so difficult for me. In fact it has been so difficult that I
even considered asking Lee Hufhand to do a "summer rerun" in place of my regular
column. The pain of watching my beloved husband suffering through chemotherapy
has left me emotionally drained.
March and April were a blur of doctors and tests, with Bob suffering terrible pain. As we waited for the final test results, I found myself captivated by the view of the majestic mountains from the hospital window. God used Psalm 121 to comfort my heart. "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Truly the God of creation is in control of all that is happening.
The diagnosis of large cell Lymphoma was devastating. Even more alarming was the fact that it wasn't localized at the site of the tumor but had spread through the lymph nodes and was at stage 3 (stage 4 being the most involved).
At times we both resent the intrusion of cancer in our lives. It has taken so much of our time and energy, disrupting every part of our lives. We certainly would not have chosen to walk this path with so many rough spots, but it is the path God has chosen for us.
Bob continues to suffer the many side effects of chemotherapy. He has days when he is barely able to function. We have found that on many days we live moment by moment unable to think of what the next hour will bring. Never before have we lived such a moment-by-moment existence.
A positive result of the chemotherapy has been the shrinkage of the tumor, causing his pain to subside. Thankfully, he is no longer taking pain medication. Each week we pray that Bob will be well enough and strong enough to preach on Sunday. Some Sundays he has had to sit while he preaches, but each week he's been able to share God's Word. I know he is frustrated at being a "Sunday only pastor".
God has been so gracious to us in our time of trouble. We see God's love and provision daily in our lives. He is providing many helping hands here in Alaska. We are encouraged by the cards, notes, and gifts we are receiving from you. We marvel at the numerous ways God is meeting our needs. Very often our needs are being met even before we are aware of them.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). The outcome is in God's hands, but so, too, is the comfort of our hearts.
(Mabel Flatt, Keystone Baptist, August 1992)