Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago this week I found out that I had breast cancer. I remember the details of those few hours so clearly: the hot, sunny day; who babysat my girls while I was gone; the car I drove to my appointment; laying on the exam table while an ultrasound was done; talking with my GYN.

Then just a few minutes later, seeing another doctor for a biopsy; waiting for results while realizing what was happening with me; the look on another woman waiting for her biopsy results; the first wave of panic thoughts; giving everything to God. Another visit with my GYN as he explained the next steps to take; returning home; calling my friend Laura; calling Germany to find Greg - who was away on a trip; talking with Greg; and then finally going to  bed.

Ten years ago.

Ten years ago, life was suspended as we oriented ourselves to what it meant to have breast cancer. We ran into God's presence immediately with tangible care from family members and friends from many countries.

My story has those scary, hard, and uncomfortable parts to it, but God's generous, kind, and specific care is much greater. In fact, I just read over an old email I sent out just 2 weeks after finding out I had cancer. Here is a small portion: 

“The Wonderful and Beautiful things God has done” is much longer than the list of “this is what’s happened in the last 2 ½ weeks”.

Some of those things were our Polish pastor drove us back and forth to Warsaw to get a second opinion; a new friend who worked in an oncology clinic talked us through basic breast cancer treatments which helped us decide which country to have treatment. Within a few days God provided funding and air flights (at a great price too). Quick oncology appointments and treatment, a very kind surgeon, veteran cancer patients to guide me along the way, loving family to care and provide for us, homes to live in, cars to drive, an amazing church to stand with us the entire time, loving friends. So much more.

I am ten years cancer free. 

"This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases (we are not cut off), his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:21-24

This verse has been used in many songs and hymns. "Great is Thy Faithfulness" is one of my favorite hymns which became dear to me when I was a teen and a new believer. Throughout my life thus far, I have always experienced God's faithfulness to me. This 10 year anniversary post cancer is another example of God's faithfulness to me.


Daniel and Iwona Eifling in Poland said...

Dearest Heidi,
As I am reading your story I am suddenly struck that because God free you from cancer, how much more glory He has received in the last years of your life as you faifully live and serve being a testimony of his power in you relationships, ministry.
I am so glad God gave me the last 6 years of knowing you and watching Him get glory from your life!

Anonymous said...

beautiful post Heidi. Thanks for sharing so personally and intimately. It is such a joy to call you friend.

Connie said...

Absolutely beautiful blog post Heidi!! Oh how I praise God for His healing in your body, and for allowing us all to have many more years of life and friendship with you! Love you much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Heidi.
It is a blessing to have you healed by God and to reflect on how He has been faithful to you and given you prolonged days. We are the recipients of this gift too, by the love and service you extend!
When you stopped through London on your way to the US for treatment, you both were burdened with this trial, yet hopeful in God alone. You walked by faith, and found that "underneath are the everlasting arms". Thank you for exemplifying faith to us! Lara for all

Unknown said...
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jen cupery said...

Praise God! It is so good to be reminded of answered prayer and God's provision in all things. Through this and other challenges, you have chosen to trust God and live in His peace and joy- what a beautiful example you are!

Anonymous said...

So great to follow what God is doing in you & Greg's lives. You have a beautiful family! We are praising God for your recovery & look forward to many more years ahead knowing you! ~Kathy & Randy Davis

Just Us - The Carlsons said...

Thank you all for your kind words, but more importantly your friendship to us and your faith in our Great God.
love, Heidi

Unknown said...

Joining you in celebrating 10 years cancer free! Thanks for sharing your journey Heidi. Praise be to God for His care.

Patty said...

Joining you in celebrating 10 Years Cancer Free!!! Praise be to God for His gift of life. Thanks for sharing Heidi.