God’s On Your Map, Guiding Your Journey

Wherever you are on your journey, God's on your map. http://wp.me/p2UZoK-wG via @caregivermom“I want to shout, laugh, dance and sing!
Andrew is in REMISSION!”

I wrote those words in my journal at the end of the first month of chemotherapy for my four-year-old. The hospital staff carefully explained that it was a chemo-induced remission and didn’t mean that his bone marrow was now operating normally or that we were “out of the woods”. But it meant that we could proceed with the three and a half year treatment protocol as planned and not detour to shock his system yet again until we achieved remission. His body had gone into remission as hoped.

Exciting!

After the first successful year, intensive treatment was done and remission was maintained. Now to ease off the chemo and see if his marrow would hold the remission.

Yay for the next step!

At the end of three and a half years the medical team announced chemotherapy remission. But along with the pronouncement were cautionary tales that this was short-term remission and that he was not cured. He would be checked every month, then every three months, then every six months. Remission!

Thrilling.

At the end of those monthly checks, we were reminded that Andrew would be checked for cancer yearly, for the rest of his life. The treatment of one cancer can actually produce other kinds of cancer. He’s on a watch list forever. But, he’d held his remission status. A few more years of that and we could actually label him in “Long-term remission.” The goal of our whole treatment was not “cured”, but rather that enviable status of long-term remission.

Awesome.

Five years went by and we went for his checkup. Remission status upheld. Graduation. Long term remission! Celebrate. Right?

At each stage of remission achieved in this journey, I felt less and less euphoric–which left me feeling baffled and discouraged. We’d achieved our goal. Why didn’t it feel more like a party?

Today I sat with a friend whose husband has just come through a remarkable battle with a rare form of cancer. He’s a walking miracle. She is thrilled.

She’s also scared. Scared and scarred, actually.

Those who belong to the cancer caregiving club know exactly what I’m talking about: The slight sick-to-your-stomach feeling accompanying any conversation about cancer. The teary-eyed feeling when a friend mentions your loved one’s miraculous recovery. The sense of foreboding when thinking about the future.

We feel those things and aren’t quite sure why. We’ve experience the miracle. At least for now. Who knows what the future holds, but for right now, this moment, we have the miracle in the palm of our hand.

The pain of what we’ve been through follows us and the fear of a cancer relapse beats us to the celebration of remission.

Not fair.

So this post is a reminder, dear cancer caregivers. A reminder that there is One who knows the future and One who has plans to prosper and not to harm you. This might or might not mean a triumph over cancer, but it certainly does mean a triumph over life.

God holds you, whether you’re in through the pains of initial diagnosis and treatment or experiencing the worst of the chemotherapy side-effects with your loved one. God wraps you in His arms whether your precious one is in remission or in relapse. God walks with you when your community is overflowing with warmth and support for a new diagnosis or when they’ve moved on to more recent happenings on the prayer chain.

Wherever you are on the map, God guides your journey. (tweet this)

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  • So true, Carol. Giving our concerns to God is hard, and I think it’s something we need to learn. Someone was just telling me that it’s easy to give Him our concerns, but those concerns keep reappearing. It’s not that the Lord isn’t in control, but that we snatch our worries back from Him! It takes practice to cast our cares upon Him and just leave them there.
    Melissa recently posted…An Unseemly Wife (Book Review & #Giveaway)My Profile

  • This is beautiful and hard and so much truth! My BIL just went through a battle with cancer and he is doing great… miraculous, really… answered prayer and all of that… but I can see it just under the surface in my sisters’ eyes… a little holding back from fully celebrating… this post nailed it spot on!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…DAY TWENTY EIGHT – When To Say Yes (and When To Say No!)My Profile

  • Thank you for these inspiring words! God is with us whatever our journey or the outcome…love the phrase: “This might or might not mean a triumph over cancer, but it certainly does mean a triumph over life.” It is applicable in whatever we are going through, whether cancer or dementia or diabetes or simply living our life’s and struggling with finances or jobs. Appreciate this post!!
    Barbara London recently posted…Day 28 – Dementia, I Hate You!My Profile

  • I needed to read this today >> “Wherever you are on the map, God guides your journey.” I will be taking my mom the end of this week for a consult. No matter where we are on the map, God is guiding & for that, I am most grateful. Thank you for the encouragement today! Blessings!
    Joanne Viola recently posted…My Vision ProblemMy Profile

  • Carol, this is beautiful. “The pain of what we’ve been through follows us…” I so identified with your post. My sis was given six months secondary to stage IV melanoma. The fact that she survived the first twelve months was nothing less than a miracle. We are still living out that miracle some 15 years later but I remember…I remember WELL how it felt to wonder for years at every single check-up if time had run out. This is such a needed ministry. Keep on encouraging! (Thanks for stopping over at InspireMeMonday!)

  • “This might or might not mean a triumph over cancer, but it certainly does mean a triumph over life.”

    Oh Yes. What a beautiful reminder that God still holds us in the palm of His hands at any stage of any journey. Thank you for sharing your heart and hope so beautifully here!