I was blessed growing up in many ways. One of those blessings (although at the time, it didn’t always feel like one) was having a job harvesting asparagus. It started in the spring, and we would get up early before school, (when the temperatures were just above freezing) to be ready to work as soon as the sun provided enough light to see. I remember my first trip down the row. It dropped down a hill so I couldn’t see the bottom. If I looked up to try to see the end, I was overwhelmed with the task. Everyone else had done this before and they all seemed so capable. The size of the job and my lack of experience was crushing down on me. I remember my sister telling me, “Just look down at what your doing and you will get there before you know it.” That was the key. Focus on the individual asparagus, knife, grab, and on to the next. Before I knew it, I was at the first dump bin. Then the next. Then the next. And finally the end of the row. It turns out my sister’s advice is pretty good regarding most things in life.
Beautiful is in that exact situation now. We felt like we had this cancer thing pretty well in hand. Yes, she is still in pain and yes she has a lot of healing to do, but we felt like we were managing it pretty well. The medicines were mostly happening on time (I missed one last night for her and that created a lot of extra pain). The kids, with the help of neighbors and other friends are being cared for. Our neighbors, friends and church family are providing meals so I can focus on the rest. All in all it seemed like things were going pretty smoothly. The best part is all the reports we received were incredibly positive. The surgery was an incredible success. Her pathology reports showed the cancer had not spread and all seemed well. We were starting to look down the row to see how far we were before the end. That was when we discovered, we still can’t see the end.
We met with the Oncologist today and he explained that she had the best type of cancer you could get. She had a very small cancer that had only invaded a small area. It was not aggressive and it tested positive to respond to hormones (which means it can be controlled by reducing them). Fantastic news! But there was an anomaly. Her cancer also tested positive for HER2 which is most often found with large aggressive cancers. There are no studies for effective treatment of HER2 positive cancers that are very small because it is very rare to ever have that situation.
The doctor was well into the treatment he was recommending before it registered that he was talking about Chemotherapy. That was a “I just want to sit down in the row and not move until they plow the dirt over me moment.” Everyone has seen the results of chemotherapy, but not everyone has lived it. We haven’t yet, but we have done enough reading to know it is hard. It is hard to endure and it is hard to watch your loved one endure it. What made it harder still was the fact that it was so unexpected. It seemed like things were going so well.
And truly they are. We are still stuck in the middle of the row we can’t see the end of, but we know who made the row. We know that He made that row just for us. He made it so we would be perfected in ways that we could not be otherwise. Today, I don’t know what that future work will be or how this will change us, but I know it will and it will make us better fit to serve Him. We just need to keep our heads on what we are doing. Knife, grab and on to the next one. The glorious end will be here before we know it.