Bob has been on my mind more recently. Ok, ok, I know, he’s kinda always ON my mind…
I made my next follow-up MRI appointment and follow up with the neurosurgeon for the end of this month. Somehow, just making those calls is enough to spark fear and uncertainty back up to the surface. Most likely, the report will be the same as the 3 month follow up, no growth. The two most common types of brain stem tumors in adults are a Grade 1 (very slow growing, as close to benign as you could hope for) Polycytic Astrocytoma; or the extremely aggressive Glioblastoma. Since it showed no growth in 3 months, that pretty much rules out the Glioblastoma. And yet… having been told that brain-stem tumors are never considered “benign” and eventually will grow, I’m kinda nervous.
I heard a cool story this morning from a friend which brought me a lot of peace. My friend worked with a man who was always cheerful, smiling, and making people feel good wherever he went. My friend found out this man had terminal cancer and was undergoing regular chemotherapy treatments. My friend asked him how he managed to be so happy and spread so much joy under those circumstances. The man quoted Romans 12:2 from the bible, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” I forget the rest of the story, actually, but that was enough for me.
We are all terminal. My official diagnosis does not state that I have a terminal illness, and I’m sure many of you have not been diagnosed with a terminal illness. But as we live, we are all terminal. We may not know when or by what means we will die, but we most certainly will die. A few months ago, a dear friend asked me what I want my legacy to be. How would I want to be remembered after I die. The story I heard this morning reminded me of that conversation, and of my answer. I want to be someone who delivers a message of hope and joy under all of life’s circumstances. I would like to share my experience, strength, and hope with others and be a light of love and joy. I have not been making that conscious choice on a daily basis lately. Instead I have been conforming to the pattern of this world. I have been conjuring up anxiety about my future and focusing on what I perceive as missing from my life.
Some Christian friends have told me that they find comfort in knowing that after death, they will be in the kingdom of heaven for eternity. It’s not death that I fear or struggle with, it is the living day to day that I struggle with, that I am anxious of. It is in living day to day that I worry about paying the bills, eating enough and the right kind of food, performing well at work, and wondering if I will ever find lasting love. Then sprinkle some brain tumor on top. It’s like Miracle-Gro for anxiety.
So, yeah, sign me up for some of that transformation by the renewing of my mind, please. My attitude and outlook need some refreshing and uplifting; only then can I hope to be refreshing and uplifting to others as I so desire.
Thank you for reading… more will be revealed.