I awoke yesterday morning, hands cold, from a dream— I’d gone to see my neurosurgeon and he wasn’t there. His medical officer broke news to me that the implant in my spine in my neck had shifted out of place.
I woke up.
God knows how many times I’ve wondered how long the implant will last, if the chronic pain will last forever, if someday in the mission field, over a treacherous pothole, it’ll be dislocated out of joint.
A close friend, a cancer survivor like Cliff, wrote to me, “There was a period after I was done with treatments that I sank way deeper than when I was on treatment— after all the attention from others had worn off. And everyone had gone back to their lives.
Little things sent me into a worrying spiral. I say this to let you know it’s absolutely normal to feel all these feelings. It’s gonna be a long journey, even beyond your 6 months of rehab. You know how you were wondering how your neck/spine is gonna survive the next few decades? Those thoughts are bound to come back even after recovery.
But hey, you’re also someone who’s completed triathlons before. It’s a similar mindset- take one step/stroke at a time. Pace yourself for the long run.”
I remembered what Cliff often says, “I never knew how long my liver transplant would last since I was only ten years old at the time, but hey, look at me. Even my doctors don’t believe I’m living the way I do.”
In the low moments of my days, during painful flare-ups or hard conversations, I remember that my life is God’s and every moment, for what I can do, is a present.
This is a message for the one who’s received a difficult diagnosis for yourself or a loved one, or suffering an injury or chronic condition… and you, like me, have worried about facing the future with it. You know what it’s like to grapple in the night with thoughts nobody knows about. You’re not crazy- it’s normal.
We can face tomorrow, a day at a time. The Lord is with you.❤️🩹💛