I got a cancer in my thyroid. I didn't know or think anything was wrong with me. My doctor heard some symptoms that troubled her expert mind, and when she looked into it she found it was Cancer.
They caught it so early there was no spread, although the little bugger surely had plans to try. Cancer wants to take over the whole body if it can. It wants to metastasize. It wants to be the biggest thing about your life.
It strikes me that I had no intentions of getting medical attention for a problem I never thought I had. A healthy, vegetarian, marathon-running newlywed -- does it make sense if have cancer? No.
And so it also strikes me that I cannot give myself credit for my life today or my general good health ever. I cannot give myself life or health. Once I receive life and health as gifts, I can try as I might but I cannot keep them if something stronger determines to take them.
My life is a gift. I believe it was a gift from God. That fact that He orchestrated any early detection of blood-thirsty, life-hungry cancerous little nodule means that He wants my days on this planet to continue. He's given me an extension of the gift. Praise Him! It can be mighty fun down here at times. And even when it's not, it is still a gift.
The lemon candies I'm eating for the treatment remind me of my childhood in Scotland, where we moved because my dad was in the navy. When we first arrived and we were in temporary lodgings, the innkeeper gave my sister and me lemon drops. I have a memory of narrow stairs, Scotland, and lemon drops. My sister filled in the rest.
It blows my mind right now to think that when I sucked on lemon drops as a child, God knew I'd someday find myself in temporary quarters again, receiving follow up treatment for thyroid cancer, and I'd find such immense comfort in those little, innocent lemon candies. Every inch of this room that I might touch right now is covered in paper and tape, so I don't contaminate anything with radioactive body fluid. The nurses wear masks and slip things in to me through a cracked door like I'm a prisoner in solitary.
But I am not at all alone. I have lemon candy memories.My sister is with me. My family is with me. My husband is with me, wrapped three times around that left-hand finger. My God who has never stopped watching over one iota of my story is with me. I hope the unfolding my story brings Him a smile, as it does to me. He has been so good to me.
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me? (Psalm 116:12 ESV)