July 27, 2018

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Believe me, even at this moment, God is sending a message to you

Debra TomaselliAs my husband and I approached the cancer center this morning, I realized we’d been spending lots of time here since my cancer treatments began.

I also realized that, in those nearly three years, this was the first time I felt well enough to drive to my appointment.

Suddenly, I wondered: Will I ever be free of this place? Will I ever be well?

Today was my follow-up appointment to the latest rounds of cancer treatments. They can’t get this cancer into remission, but ongoing treatments may keep it at bay.

The oncologist greeted us, then asked, “How do you feel? What’s happening?”

“Pretty good today,” I said.

But every day isn’t good. He listened as I described the flu-like side effects of treatments.

“Sometimes my bones hurt so bad,” I said. “I felt like someone took my skeleton, poured gasoline on it, and lit it on fire.”

He nodded, studying my reports. “That’s normal,” he said.

“In the bigger picture, though,” I said, “I’m having some better days. Those changes we made to the last treatments really helped. My head is clear. That disorientation is gone!”

I grinned.

“I have a long way to go,” I admitted. “But I think I’m finally at a point where I can begin building strength.”

The oncologist set his reports aside. “I see very little indication of Waldenstrom’s [a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma] here,” he said. “Despite their side effects, these treatments are working.”

“Wow,” I said. “That’s great!”

“These numbers are good,” he said.

“That is great news!” I said. I punched the air. I smiled. Big.

“Let’s make an appointment for you in six months,” he said. “We’ll schedule labs and your next rounds. That’s what’s keeping it at bay.”

I knew that. They’d explained it. I’d done my homework.

But six months! I didn’t have to return for six whole months! It felt like an answer to my silent parking lot prayer. Thank you, Lord.

“I brought a story for you,” I said, reaching into my purse. Before leaving home, I’d grabbed a random article from my desk.

With a quick glance, I realized that the story, written last year, described the events of a day when I attended a weekday Mass, frustrated with my ongoing cancer battle.

There, God clearly delivered a message, and the story closes with it: “Don’t worry,” God seemed to whisper. “I know you inside and out. I’ve got your back.”

Reading it today, after receiving positive results, chills ran through me.

Back then, I didn’t know I’d ever feel this good. I didn’t know I’d drive to my appointment. I never expected the word “remission,” as it’s typically impossible to get this type of cancer into remission.

Today, I realized how accurate the message, received so long ago, was. I realized, once again, we needn’t worry.

God, indeed, did have my back. Still does … from here into eternity.

And, my friend, have no fear: he’s got yours, too.

(Debra Tomaselli writes from Altamonte Springs, Florida. She can be reached at dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.)

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