“Your wife has breast cancer…She’ll need chemotherapy.”
The first time you hear that, you only feel the blow of a seeming death sentence. You see your future as a widower flash before your eyes. Doesn’t everyone die who is diagnosed? No. But the anecdotes we carry would say so since we remember the awful stories and forget the great outcomes. You cry and ask God for a different story, a different outcome. Let the diagnosis be wrong.
It isn’t. And so you begin to accept the facts of breast cancer and learn what your story contains. You learn some people have wonderful post diagnosis stories and others have painful stories. You wait for confirmation. You talk with doctors, get the scans done and then talk some more.
After surgeries, scans, and appointments, you begin to accept the chemo path. But, you want a second opinion to be sure. Now, instead of praying for no cancer, you pray for the 2nd Doc to give you clear advice–either to confirm the first doc’s advice or to give something so clear that you know that one of the paths is so obviously right for you.
The second doc confirms every piece of advice the first doc recommends. You have consensus. Funny thing, when you hear that chemo is your best option, you are happy and relieved–not because chemo makes you happy but that it really does seem like the best option. Notice the much different response from the first mention of those words less than 2 months ago.
Perspective sure changes how you hear words. Now, instead of a death sentence, it is a way to work towards a cure. Odd, don’t you think. Yes, but also an answer to prayer.
I suspect many of us have a story like this. Initially we can’t believe what we are hearing. Later, we hear it completely differently based on the things we learn, the options we see before us, and a whole lot of prayer.