Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cancer is a fool...

Papa & Isamae


My worst fear has been realized. I am losing my husband. The chemo has failed. The experimental drug has failed. Good nutrition has been ineffective. There is nothing else left to try. The cancer has won. Or so it thinks.
I find myself in a bizarre place like a room with a slanted floor filled with uncomfortable furniture, ugly paintings and bad lighting. Try as I may I cannot find my way out. The windows are boarded up and everything about this room makes me queasy. I want to go home.
In his book, A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis journals about this strange room, this horrible place of waiting. As he worked through the grief of losing his wife to cancer, he writes how he “just hung about waiting for something to happen. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much.”
Well, I don’t smoke but I do find myself eating too much. Emotional eating. Mindlessly eating. I find myself folding clothes, getting distracted and then starting to unload the dishwasher, getting distracted again and going to lie down on the couch. Dishwasher door left open. Clothesbasket left half full. Waiting. Wandering. Bumping into walls and uncomfortable furniture.
You know that awkwardness when you’re at the airport seeing a loved one off? You embrace, chat, and shift from foot to foot. You had hoped they’d stay, but you know, in the end, they must go? That’s where I am, this awful interlude to what comes next.  
My darling Hubs has only a few weeks at best. We’re done at Mayo. Hospice has been called in. As I watch him vanish bit-by-bit right before my eyes, I want to beg him to stay. But I love him too much to ask. He’s tired. He’s fought the fight valiantly. Oh, how he wanted to stay. How he fought for months and months to be here, to be with me and our family. But now, his body is just too weak and the cancer too mean. It is time. He wants to go home.
Cancer thinks its won. Cancer thinks its ravished and destroyed. Cancer thinks we are afraid. Cancer is a fool.
It has not won. Its greediness has been turned against itself. Its presence and invasion has unwittingly summoned the Great I Am. Our Great God penetrates this horrible waiting room. His Glory fills it with soothing light. His Arms bring comfort as He reprimands the disease with the same Mighty Voice that so long ago commanded the storm to be still.
Angels have begun to rehearse their song. And in the quiet of the night, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my sweet husband has begun to hear his name being gently whispered from Holy Lips.
No, cancer has not won.


Don McPherson said...

Amen. Jesus. Amen. Everlasting Life.

Terre Jackson said...

Hi Debbie - I'm sure I know what you are going through. I've felt the same way - but you explain it much better. I wanted to hang onto Jimmy - but I didn't want to be selfish and deprive him of his awesome place. It was hard to let him go - and it still hurts - even after 11 years. I'm sorry that I I have neglected to be there - but I have never prayed so faithfully for Anyone in my life than for Gary and your sweet family. Still praying!!!!!
Love in Christ,

Pam Campbell said...

Praise God for a welcome room that is not unfamiliar.I pray for comfort for you and Gary and your family as he steps from this room to the next room in his mansion. God Bless you all. Love , Pam Campbell

Chris Hardy said...

Your words give so much hope, peace and comfort. Thanks for sharing your heart. God is good... all the time. May He give you what you need during this very difficult time of goodbye.

Ksting said...

Dear Clevelands,
You are such a wonderful family. We have many fond memories of soccer with your family, and always enjoyed the positive example you set, and see that in your children and grandchildren. I know what you are going through, and my heart is breaking for you. Thank you for sharing, and may you find peace at this time. Prayers for you all.

Kristi (Fonstad) Stingle

The Three of Us said...

Dear Clevelands,

Tim and I have had a few conversations about you in the last few years as we follow your journey through this hard time. We always speak of you with the highest respect and love because you are fellow ministers. You have fought the good fight, winning others for Christ, and you have won. We appreciate your love for Christ and the love for everyone you meet.

We are praying for you and your family.

Sara (Bukovatz) and Tim Randolph

Clarence Campbell said...

Hello Deb, Clarence Campbell here, yes, it has been awhile. Please know that you, Gary and family are in my prayers. Please if all possible tell Gary what a great influence he has had on my life and ministry. Truly no words can express. This appreciation should have come much, much sooner, but the nevertheless, THANK YOU.

Frank Hutton said...

thank you Deb for sharing your thoughts, your struggle and faith encourage me in powerful way. thank you. So glad that Katie has you for a mother in law! praying for more of the great I AM's prescience and comfort in your life!

Cathy Messecar said...

Deb and Gary, you don't know me. My sister sent a link to your blog because of a prayer request she got to pray for you and Gary. Maybe sometime in the future we can become better acquainted. Until then, you are in good hands--His hands. A scripture that has intrigued me for the past few weeks is Psalm 27:5 "For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling ; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle (pavilion KJV) and set me high upon a rock." I love that earlier in the Psalm David sought rescue, but by verse five, it's God who is active. David longs to be near God, but the picture I get is of God moving, not David walking into the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. God places him there in the inner room for rescue, rest, revitalization, and also for clarity, calm, and comfort. Grace and peace be with you.

The LuLu Chronicles said...

Thank you all for your comments and encouragement. I try to show my heart with hopes it will make a difference to someone. May our God continue in His care of us all... deb

DBG AEGF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DBG AEGF said...

I hate Cancer! I am starting to say this loud and clear.
Thanks for your encouraging words within your pain.