The Breast Cancer Diaries | Part 3Laura Ann Miller
NOTE: This is part 3 in this series, click for part 1 and for part 2
November 22, 2021 | Monday
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
We made it to our mountain getaway. The little cabin in Blairsville, Georgia. It’s a spontaneous trip booked on a whim and a wish for a getaway. Thanksgiving has felt strange and unappealing the last couple years for so many different reasons. A short trip to North Georgia to experience fall feels just right.
I stumbled upon Restoration Retreat’s Bearadise cabin through an Airbnb search. Restoration Retreat sounded like the perfect name. I thought it might just be August, Mike, and me, but our little cabin is full today- Mike, me, August, Ethan, his girlfriend Julia, and Coco (doggy’s first road trip). How strange and wild life rolls along.
Today we rolled along with all of the goodness. We drove and drove through winding fall mountain roads to hike Tallulah Gorge together. Our hike was haphazard and full of stops. Mostly to take in the views and stop for photos. And of course try and ease Coco’s anxious excitement pulling us through the trail. We hardly had time to hike to some of the views we had planned because of all the photos we were taking. But there was a letting go of the plan that felt good. We were all just taking in the beauty of fall and each other and it didn’t really matter what we were doing. I’ve got to remember to do that more.
Ethan asked if I knew anything yet at the end of our hike.
I told him no. No call from the Dr. still.
But dad and I were planning to call again…
Mike and I packed the car for this road-trip with a resignation that we just won’t know the answer before we leave. We tried to let it go and just enjoy our time, but we both thought, maybe we should try calling again…
Ethan said, “No. don’t call. What if it’s bad news?”
I told him everything will be ok no matter what. We’ll be ok. We stood by the car and he just hugged me for a while.
August saw us and got worried. She wanted to know what was going on and I shared with her our conversation. She agreed. Don’t call. She didn’t want to know till after Thanksgiving either.
So our retreat is our hideaway.
We’ll take in the wonder and goodness of these few days here together filling ourselves up with the memories of a cold Georgia fall in the mountains.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
Mike’s Note in the guestbook:
November 21-24, 2021 | The Millers from Fort Lauderdale, FL
We came up on a Sunday after waiting the better part of the preceding week for a Dr. call with test results that never came. It was one of those calls that can change everything, but by Monday, we somewhat stopped waiting and enjoyed the area – The cabin, the fire pit in 3oº weather, the trip to Tallulah Falls. The thing is, you don’t need to wait on a call to determine to enjoy the day in front of you, the people around you, the future that awaits you. Choose to be grateful and cherish the moments. These few days at Bearadise Cabin were a delight for us all and our pup Coco. We hope whoever reads this enjoys it as much as we did.
The Phone Call
November 29, 2021 | Monday 3:45 PM
“Remember that Jesus always tenderly cares for you… ask yourself what it would look like for you to be tenderly cared for today?”
-Caroline Williams, from 10 Minute Christian Meditation to Relieve Stress
This journey of Dr. appointments, mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies has been hard. When I look back, I think the what if’s started for me in September. My first Dr. appointment was on October 1st and now here I am on the edge of December. I still don’t have answers. And although the phone calls with the nurse in trying to get answers have seemed like the news might not be bad, I don’t know for sure. I’ve been relatively patient. Trying to give the situation over to God, but as the waiting continues on I find my stress levels and frustration rising in the fact I can’t get a phone call with results. I don’t sleep well and my hair seems like it’s falling out from stress.
So tonight after work I was unexpectedly dropped off at home, no car, no family. Just the quiet of home. Even the toddlers upstairs are unusually quiet tonight. I put on the Christmas tree lights and opened Day 2 of A Restful Advent from author Mindy Larson. I signed up for her devotion on November 16, the day after my biopsies.
“Whenever we are stuck in an anxious thought, a comparison game, a looping lie of insecurity, or fear we have the power to shift our focus to Christ and find rest… every single time, when we shift our focus to Him, to the truth that He is before all things and in Him all things hold together, we will find freedom and peace.” -Mindy Larsen
I read and then found myself laying on the floor doing 10 minute meditation for stress relief Mindy had included with her devotion.
Caroline Williams asks how Jesus might tenderly care for us and I realize this is it. My tension and anxiety are high and Jesus has given me this unplanned time to lay at his feet and rest.
I’m here, by light of the Christmas tree, quiet, listening to worship music.
I’m trying again to give over my worries to God, to lay those down and trust in him.
This small time alone this evening is a gift.
Help me Jesus to remember.
I got the phone call I had been waiting 11 days for.
I felt calm shock fill me as I tried to listen to what was being said. I jumped up to look for something to write on. I grabbed the little brown notebook on the computer desk. I listened and tried to write down what she was saying. And then I hung up.
I thought I was going to throw up. The tears started to fall and I heard the keys in the front door. I ran to it thinking it was Mike, but it was my beautiful girl holding our pizzas. Mike was close behind her. They weren’t even through the door. They knew.
But just like when you fall down in public in front of strangers and you don’t even know for sure how you are, but purely out of embarrassment and self preservation you immediately say you’re fine, I did just that. I started wiping away the tears and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m okay.”
We hugged and then I showed them the notebook I had found to write down what the Dr. had told me… daily disappointments.
And then we laughed.
I know we really will be okay.
I’ll be okay.
I am praying for you sister in Christ knowing first hand every high and low you feel. It’s crazy that today I would say I wouldn’t have traded my breast cancer experience for anything because my relationships with God is unshakable. That time was so sweet with Jesus as he walked me through that experience to the very last appointment when I drove out that parking lot free of cancer with tears flowing down my face. I feel led to share, I had breast cancer diagnosed Nov. 10, 2011 stage 0. I chose a double breast mastectomy instead of a lump ectomy because I didn’t want to be on the medication the rest of my life. The medication leaves you feeling lousy. I asked God to tell me what Dr. to go to and I wouldn’t go anywhere in the country. He spoke to my heart and said I’m sending you to the best Jewish doctor I have, no joke! I went to Eli Avisar, he with Sylvester Cancer Institute right there in Deerfield beach and it’s a part of the University of Miami. I had the surgery and the reconstruction done all under the same surgery and I was done before the end of the that year. I know each woman has different needs and choices. Grateful you know about it and will be on the otherside of this soon. Don’t rush it, lean on the Lord and thank you for sharing your journey. 💗
Dear Kelly, thank you for sharing your journey with me. I can only imagine how beautiful your time with Jesus and that very last appointment must have been! Thank you for your encouragement and prayers ❤️
Psalm 23 vs 4 has been on my heart concerning you. Psalm 23 vs 4 with my commentary or notes.
Yea, though I (Bob, fill in your name) walk (I do not run or speed through my process I walk to appreciate ALL which GOD has placed before me) through (I am going, it is a process of getting someplace (healing)) the valley (valleys are at the bottom and one can not always see very far ahead but are to be appreciated) of the shadow (shadows are only temporary lasting but for a brief time) of death (since it is a shadow of death it is only temporary a glimpse of what death might feel like), I will fear no evil: for thou (GOD my Saviour) art with me; thy rod and thy staff (HIS WORD the SON OF GOD) they comfort me.
My brother your dad asked me back in July 2005 when I was healed from my Myasthenia Gravis condition which I encountered in February of 2004 what GOD had showed me. My commentary of Psalm 23:4 is part of HIS showing. GOD hadn’t given me a warning to prepare for the condition it just happened, but GOD was there in the midst of it. When your brother was struck by the car in Germany GOD hadn’t warned your parents what was going to happen it just happened but GOD was there in the midst of it! As I read your blog your journey you are now on it seems you have been given a unique insight a hint not the full picture of what is on the horizon. Time to digest, process and share of GODS Glory and to Glorify HIM by proclaim your faith in Christ your Saviour.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question #1:
Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify GOD, and to enjoy HIM forever.
Dear Uncle Bob, Thank you for sharing this. I’m reading and re-reading your words, reflecting on what God showed you in Psalm 23 and His presence in midst of the shadow of death… I’m thankful God my Savior is with me through this valley too.
I love you all so much. I’m reading through these entries with tears, with laughter, with warm joy in my heart knowing God is wonderfully and powerfully good. I’m praying with you and for you. Oh I just want to fly down there so badly for a big hug!
I’m so thankful for you. Even though we’re miles apart and there’s no hugs for now, I’ll take knowing you’re praying us through all this! Love you ❤️