Thursday, 17 October 2013

That Fateful Day

So, I wrote an essay. I wrote it about two weeks ago for my online English class. I had to write a description essay. A description essay is where you describe a word that has changed your life and how you now view it differently. You can probably guess what word I chose. Yup. I wrote about cancer. It was the easiest essay I have ever written. Here it is:

That Fateful Day

             It all began that sunny day in June when I went to see the doctor. Pain in my elbow had bothered me occasionally, and it had gradually gotten worse by spreading to my hand. At that time, after two years of having this nagging pain, my elbow became almost twice the size of the other elbow. We finally found a Christian family doctor and set up an appointment. Subsequent to my meeting with the doctor, followed by numerous tests and consultations, the final diagnosis came in. I had cancer. That one six-lettered word changed my life forever! All those appointments before the diagnosis, the chemotherapy treatments, and the change in my spiritual life, will forevermore impact my life.

            Before the shock of my diagnosis, the many tests that they performed overwhelmed me. It started off with the initial visit with my family doctor, who sent me off to have a few X-rays done. Not many days later, the doctor urgently called my parents and me in to his office, and he gave us the discouraging news. We left the office with instructions to immediately go to BC Children’s Hospital. At this hospital, I underwent what seemed like countless appointments with different doctors and specialists. Surrounding these meetings, I had numerous X-rays, a CT scan, a MRI, a full body bone scan, and a biopsy of my enlarged elbow. During the biopsy, they immediately tested the cells, and they diagnosed me. Without delay, they put a tube inside my chest for the purpose of administering the chemotherapy treatments. Throughout all these tests, I cried many times and pleaded with God asking, “Why God? Why me?” and God answered me. He said, “Why not you?” and I surprisingly agreed. So throughout all the tests, I learned what it meant to trust and have faith in God, and this made me no longer view cancer through the lens of death. Cancer gave me life; a life filled with the love and power of God.

            Following the diagnosis and tests, the chemotherapy treatments began. These treatments are an experience all their own. Imagine a yardstick. Either people have extremely unpleasant side effects or their side effects take place very minimally. For myself, the side effects occurred on the minimal side. I attribute it to the hundreds of people praying for me. Occasional nausea, vomiting, and headaches bothered me. Despite the manageable side effects, however, other things arose that challenged me emotionally, such as hair loss, weight loss and occasional nightmares. This frequently became tough and it did not help that some of the medication made me emotionally unstable. Yet throughout everything, I drew closer to God and He became my refuge and strength.

            While I suffered with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Cancer, I learned what it meant to lean and trust wholeheartedly on God. God has the best plan for my life and I do not, but He will show me, in His good time, what He requires of me. Lying in bed at night, crying because of my situation, I would recite to myself out loud, over and over again, Psalm 27. This uplifting Psalm contains an abundance of hope and joy. Verses one and fourteen, especially, spoke to me and I will always cherish them. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” and “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27)

            To this day, I continue to praise the Lord that He gave me cancer; otherwise, I would never have experienced His love in such an amazing way. My family, friends, and church family supported and encouraged me throughout that difficult time of my life. Now healthy and no longer bald, I realize that that one six-lettered word did change my life forever, but in a good way. I would never want to go back to my life before cancer. God has blessed me so much and I praise and love Him for it. In the words of David in Psalm 18, “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.” 

Friday, 4 October 2013

the blessings of life

Wasn't summer amazing? I am missing it now as this rain seems to be never ending. Our family vacation at the beginning of September was awesomely fun despite the occasional downpour. The great thing about being homeschooled is that you can go on vacation during the first week of school and not even care. You just make up for it later on. It's marvelous. 

On one of the cloudier and windier days, Rachel and I walked to the beach down road and had some fun in the water and sand and we took a few photos to capture the day. 

I was super happy about the smiley face on the road. Whoever did it is brilliant. 

Now that school has started up and fall is coming, I realize how blessed I am.

I am blessed by being healthy.
I am blessed by being happy.
I am blessed by being able to write.
I am blessed with so much more. God is a great Provider and He fulfills my needs every day. He continues to surprise me in so many different ways. 
And I am blessed by being able to play this amazing piano. Oh, how I love it. 

I am doing my Gr. 10 piano exam this year and I know that it will be tough. But I think I am ready for the challenge. I mean, if I can be sick and vomiting for 1/2 a year because of cancer and chemotherapy, I am pretty sure I can conquer a piano exam. But I know that I can only do it if I trust God for His help. 

Have a blessed day and weekend!