For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
by Susan Dunwoody
Sitting in the doctor’s office with my husband and children, together we received the diagnosis. Ovarian cancer. The room stood still as I went from being in perfect health to the shock of cancer. I was shaken to the depth of my soul. I said to the Lord, “Are you sure you have the right person here? Are you sure that I can do this?” I heard a resounding “yes.”
I have been a believer as long as I can remember, but would the good shepherd carry me through this? And then began the waterfall of people and events that showed me again and again that He is with me; that His goodness and mercy are real. In the beginning, I was out for a walk, and ran into another woman with very little hair. I had not lost my hair yet, but I told her that we had something in common. “Ovarian” I uttered. “Ovarian” she said nodding. When I heard that she had been cancer free for 22 years, I realized that this was a hope I could hold on to.
And yet, as I began the journey in the doctor’s office, I was so sad knowing that my (adult) children would be devastated. All during the meeting with the doctor who would begin my chemo and do surgery to rid my body of the “uninvited guest”, I felt carried by a very present and real God. Slowly, I began to see our family emerging stronger, and becoming more the people God created us to be.
As I began chemo, I knew that I would probably feel sick. Already I was
having increasing fear because it hurt to breathe. However, my doctor said that chemo was going to make me feel so much better. Better? Could I really trust that? Miraculously, I started to respond to treatment within a week. Fear was turning to trust.
My daughters realized that it was important that I maintain my weight, and I needed someone to help with cooking. My husband is unfamiliar with the kitchen. Although he passes through, he rarely opens the refrigerator. And I had no appetite at all. Such a sense of humor, our God has. The last name of the lady we found was Victor (as in victory). Lord, there you are again and again.
The love with which God has surrounded me is a gift I will never take for granted. My husband has never left my side. My children are more loving than I could have imagined. My friends are closer and always with me.
This is not the end, it’s just the beginning. While my body is being restored, my purpose is being re-framed. I see my life as a true
miracle, and I know Thou art with me.