I promise you, I had absolutely no idea today was World Cancer Day, when I got ready to share yet another personal story of my journey upon mother earth with you..
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They’ve diagnosed breast cancer, I was told. And if that wasn’t enough, ovarian cancer too. Early stages, apparently, so there wasn’t much to worry about.
No need to worry? Apart from the third one, which seemed to be rather advanced, they said. Or did they?
I don’t know. I kind of stopped listening after the breast. Three cancers in just one human being? How was that possible. Could it really be; could this be happening to me?
To my mother..
“So, when I shared the story of how they told me they’ve diagnosed cancers…”
What?! When was mom diagnosed with cancer?
The worst news to hit the strongest of us around Christmas.
Just as my world seemed to come crashing down on me, my heart must have stopped beating for a minute, a million and one thoughts came flashing through my mind..
Sudden memories of her “spa vacations”, numerous doctor’s appointments and intensified secluded prayers with my father over the past years.
All this while leaving us in the dark as to what was really going on, for months, perhaps years!? I still don’t know.
And then, sudden memories of her asking me to do this and carry this, help her with things around the house or even outside.
Most often I did so willingly; at other times however, my nonchalant attitude, moments of irritation, childish and arrogant, spoilt, brattish behaviour surprised even me.
But now I see just how painful this could have been, for her..
Being physically unable to do certain things, but yet forcing yourself to swallow and just get on: to save yourself or shield another?
Why didn’t she tell me, my siblings?!
How could she have suffered so much- for years, perhaps-and not tell us? Not tell me?
Surely, she should have known that there was power in unity, strength in the family.
The cares of a mother.
I was hurt, disappointed. Shattered, in tears. But only for a minute, for I understood..
The heart of a mother.
Had she told me, yes, had she shared her pain and suffering, I would have most likely been the one admitted to the hospital; the one in need of care and support.
My heart would have failed me. And even should my faith had carried me, my life would have taken a very different turn. It would have had to be put on hold.
I would never have left, never would have moved to Nigeria, never would have considered to live my life, pursue my dreams, fulfil my calling.
My life would have had to take the backseat; wait for her to get well first.
And she knew.
For the love of my life (not just mine but that of all those she loved and cared about) she decided that The Cord of Three Strands would have to suffice this time around.
The joint prayers of father and mother, and the intervention of a heavenly Father who knew it all and could do all things, would have to suffice.
It humbled me.
It humbled me to once again face the truth of what awesome parents the Lord has blessed me with.
Each and every day I cry and pray to make them proud; make sure I worked and they lived to both eat and enjoy the fruit of their labour, their devotion to people, their commitment to their calling.
And each and every day I remember her prophecies upon my life. Her prophetic declarations upon my siblings and I, the church, the nations.
My mother knows me. You know, often we feel misunderstood, uncared for. We feel lonely and alone, and forsaken. Often we feel as though only God understands.
Of recent I’ve been shown an aspect of myself that I had hitherto not been fully aware of: that I was fully known and understood by my parents.
They understood the things I cared about the most; my heart. They could see further and clearer than I could in many aspects- even those pertaining to me.
And so God spoke to me. About the things I could not see.
His workings behind the scenes.
He showed me that just as there were numerous things happening, even naturally, that I did not see and could hence not comprehend: they were sealed to protect me.
Many of my cries and prayers weren’t denied, but carefully arranged and put on hold.. until the time was right.
Why was it that the Lord would show me some- but not all things?
Why is it that at times I see so clearly, at other times not at all?
For my own protection.
There is only so much you can take, so much your heart can bear.
Of recent, this has lead me to a deeper awareness of my parents love for their children, and God’s love for me.
However, I knew that it would not be so for everyone.
Being now totally cancer-free; I know that this story could have also ended differently.
I know, that not all have this testimony.
And so, I texted my parents for the very first time in my life,
Mommy and daddy, I just wanted to let you know that I love you both very much.
Come what may, I would not ever want to live with the regrets of not having told the people I love the most, how much I loved them.
I guess I should end on some lessons and notes and encouraging statements to promote cancer awareness:
I want to believe that most women are aware of the prevalent cancers: aware of the need to regularly go for smear-tests (paps), self-examine our breasts, see a doctor for regular check-ups, have our blood tested in regular intervals, etc.; I want to believe that we all know and (hopefully) do so anyway. And for the prevalent types of cancers among men (lung, prostrate and colorectal cancers) there is much information out there too.
I want to say all this and more. I too want to create awareness and teach on things to (not) do, early diagnosis and treatment options. I want to say and do all that, really.. I probably should, and more. But today, all I will say is Thank You, Lord for sparing and healing my mother. May you spare and heal other’s too.