This is a post that I force myself to write each year. However, it is not one that I look forward to in the least. Truth be told, I wish that I never had to give this topic the least iota of thought. Yet, that is not my fate. I have a monster to face, one that I have been battling with for nearly 16 years. Sometimes I hold my own. Other times I nearly haven't made it. This is not something that can be put off or ignored. It is part and parcel of the intricate dance of life and death.
Here are some ugly terms that I know all too personally, transitional cell carcinoma ... high-grade invasive ... metastatic ... malignant ... chemotherapy ... onchology. Sometimes these words have threatened to wash over me in a downpour that strips me of everything that I hold dear. Every truth. Every purpose. Sanity and reason and experience hidden behind roiling clouds of doubt, anxiety, and fear.
And yet ...
Sometimes the hard facts of probabilities and projected life expectancies can come straight at me and miss their mark entirely. Sometimes I can be fully at ease in accepting any outcome in strength. Today I will face one of two roads. Down one path, lies assurance and peace of mind for a year or so. Down the other, there lies an entirely different reality. A reality of appointments and procedures, discomfort, weakness, and the constant threat of those heartless probabilities. I have traveled both roads enough to know the terrain. And yet, I am fully prepared to go either way and to do what I have to, for I do not travel alone.
Be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power. (Ephesians 6:10)