Cheryl’s Cancer Story

Words can come crashing into your life that change the trajectory of your life. Words like:

“I no longer want to be married to you”

“We regret to inform you….”

“We are downsizing the company and your position is no longer needed.”

Or, in my case,

              “You have cancer.”

Suddenly, all the plans you thought you had, the dates on the calendar that seemed so important, are now filled with new commitments and priorities that fill up your days.  But along with the impact to your schedule come the questions; “Why me?” “Why this?” “Why now?” and “What do I do now?”

And, you are faced with discovering–or even rediscovering—the answer to “Is God really enough?”  How do I deal with the fear that now engulfs me?  How do I muster the energy and strength to deal with my new normal

In 2019, I faced all those questions.  After 5 days of abdominal discomfort, I finally dragged myself to an Urgent Care early in the morning thinking I would walk away with a prescription to ease the discomfort and heal whatever was going on. Frankly, I’d only gone so that if I had an infection, I could be healthy enough to travel on a long-awaited trip to Israel.   Instead, several hours later, I was told I had appendicitis and needed immediate surgery, but that I would have to check in through the emergency room and fit into a surgeon’s schedule. Finally, around dinner time, I was wheeled into surgery and at 9 the next morning, was released to go home. 

It was 2 weeks later at the follow up, that I was handed paperwork showing that my appendix had ruptured while I had sat in the waiting room.  The surgeon then casually mentioned that the pathology showed cancer but continued saying, “don’t worry about it—in fact, don’t even think about it, you are fine.”

It would later come to light that the pathology was poorly written, and that I had Stage 3 cancer with 2 exceedingly rare and aggressive forms of cancer.  I needed further surgery with chemo follow up.  After the mix up here in Georgia, we decided to go to MD Anderson for treatment. 

As a result,  we did not make the trip to Israel.  The unexpected had invaded, and blindsided, our lives. 

So, how do you face the unexpected?  Are the challenges of life simply to be endured?  Probably the least favorite promise of the Bible is Jesus’s statement, “In this world, you will have trouble….” 

Having been “blindsided” myself, I’d love to share and address with you and your group what God has been teaching me.  I’ve learned that when life hands you a “blindside,” it is possible to find an “upside.”  Please contact me if I can help the women in your area deal with life as it comes at us.