Fresh fallen snow trail….A blank canvas….An unpenned page….A New Year….all things that are unmarred, full of anticipation and potential. I guess it’s natural, as one year comes to an end and a new one begins, to reflect on events that have come to pass and to anticipate those which might begin.
For me the highlight of 2017 will be our adventure to Ireland! Nearly 5 months later I am still just as enthralled with the Emerald Isle and have such wonderful warm memories of our time there.
The low-light of 2017 will be my mom’s lung cancer diagnosis shortly after our return from Ireland. We came home on August 31st and she went to the ER on the evening of September 4th, Memorial Day, for chest pain. During the cardiac work-up a 2cm lung nodule was found, which further testing confirmed non-small cell carcinoma. Praise be to God, it was determined to be staged as a Grade I. My mom, who is a very spry 84 years old, was adamant not to be cut open or have chemotherapy….in her mind what good is an extended life if there is such poor quality of life.
Years previous she had watched a documentary about Cyberknife; a very concentrated and precision based method of radiation therapy. We looked into it, found a hospital nearby that offered it and began the adventure of cancer treatment. After a few weeks of pretreatment testing such as blood work, CT scans, PET scans and fiducial marker placement she began the actual Cyberknife treatment on November 27th; it only took 3 treatments and the success rate for this type of lung tumor with Cyberknife is 84%! The actual treatment was accomplished in only 3 days and took about an hour each day. Her only symptoms was some fatigue for about a week after her final treatment. We will have her 1st post-treatment CT scan on January 15th which will serve as a baseline for her 3 month & 6 month CT scans.
Throughout the whole process the entire staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital-Ann Arbor were wonderful. There is a verse from 1 Thessalonians that states we should be thankful in all circumstances, even those that are hard, painful or unpleasant. This verse really became real to me since my mom’s cancer diagnosis. I wasn’t thankful that she had cancer but I was thankful in the circumstance because I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her, I am thankful that we were able to have some very good conversations, I am thankful that we even had lots of occasions for laughter and I am thankful that because of this circumstance we have grown even closer together!
One never knows what the months ahead will hold in 2018 but I look forward with anticipation to what the possibilities might be and to be ready to give thanks in all circumstances!
Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18