A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spiritual Insight

There have been countless ways my friends have cared for me throughout this ordeal. Some have made incredible meals. Some have sent beautiful flowers or plush pajamas. Some have sat with me during boring doctors' appointments or been with my parents during my surgery. And then, there are my praying friends.

I am blessed with several friends who have a strong faith in God and live out their life with depth and meaning. They also pray, so I feel wrapped in safety and love.

When I found I carried the BRCA gene and was going to have to face all these surgeries and body alterations, Mike, a minister friend of mine, told me, "I'm going to bow before the altar of God every day and pray for you." You just can't top a gift like that when you're feeling scared and alone and vulnerable.

And, then when the pre-cancerous cells were found, which meant I would undergo more exploratory surgery for cancer, I received a flood of email encouragement.

My friend, Laura, wrote: "I believe with all my heart that God will provide, but how is the question. Waiting, and remaining calm, is never easy--at least not for me, and I don't think God expects it. He asks us to trust, to have faith, but He knows us well enough to know how hard that is. You are in the dark about the future. You are not alone and God has placed friends close by to remind you."

Sue said: "My first thoughts are that God loves you so deeply. I know you will inspire others to live life as fully as possible, to love and help one another, and to trust Him in all things."

Casey added: "God is on top of this surgery, in it and all around it...and He is passionately devoted to your well-being.

I loved Cheryl's quote, which she had found when she went through life-threatening surgery this past year: "I, who have created time -- and you -- can take it away...can return it to you again. It's not up to you. Therefore, believe you have all the time you will need. You do."

Karen said: "I want you to know, I'm praying ALL DAY tomorrow during your surgery and I'll pray even more specifically for you to be cancer-free! Now, I'll admit that God and I didn't quite see eye-to-eye when you first got cancer several years ago; still, I have utter peace that you don't have cancer again."

Finally, I have a friend who summed up her feelings this way: "Well, all I can say is DRAT. That's how I feel about you going through chemo again. I actually just wrote a four-letter word, but I remembered I'm in an edit bay for a religious client, and they have a filter on their email and I'm quite sure I would be reprimanded for using such language. So just imagine all the fabulous cuss words I'm using in my head."

We all need friends who pray...and cuss.