Monday, September 10, 2007

The Big C

My mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Well, there it is. I've said it.

Her doctor wanted her to make sure her daughters get regular mammograms, now that there is an immediate family history.

Hm. I hadn't planned on ever having one. I've never had a single risk factor, and I don't think I see the point. I mean, what if they DO find something? What would I do with the information? Am I willing to even consider poisoning my body with radiation and chemotherapy?

Right now I'm at the point that I gotta die of something and I don't particularly care what, all roads lead to Jesus, some more quickly than others.

I'm a believer in providential healing, but know that the Lord chooses to heal sometimes and not others for reasons only He knows. So, if I get the Big C, and He chooses not to heal me, I go to heaven. If He chooses to heal me, I stay here and go to heaven later. In the end, does it really matter, REALLY, what I die of? If He wants me here, won't He keep me here? If He wants me home, won't He bring me home? Why borrow trouble going to look for reasons to bring in the big medical guns and shoot myself in the foot to death? I am beginning to kind of feel that way about all diagnostic testing anymore.

It's kind of related to how I feel about prenatal testing. They wanted to do an amnio on my oldest daughter before she was born. They swore up and down she was going to have spinal bifida. Oh, the agony of those days when I had to decide what to do. Turns out she was fine, and all that faithless angst was for nothing. All my kids got a high score on that test, until with my next-to-last baby I started declining tests. If the Lord wanted me to have a special needs kid, I'd have one, and if He didn't want me to, I wouldn't. I certainly wouldn't abort if my child was less than perfect. But, that is a fallacious argument, because in one case we are talking about (possibly) prolonging a life and in the other ending it.

Ecclesiastes 2:14 puts it this way: The wise man has eyes in his head,
while the fool walks in the darkness;
but I came to realize
that the same fate overtakes them both.

One woman suffers through cancer, the other suffers through its treatment, both die in the same plane crash a week later. It's all meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

(This post was summarized from an email conversation I had with my dearest friend, who was an immense help in crystallizing my thoughts. Thanks, Shandy.)

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