Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Good news!

The phone rang at 8:00 a.m. and naturally, I expected the worst. I had been waiting for a call from my oncologist about the results from my recent bone scan. I assumed, since they were calling so early, that the news must be bad. They were probably going to ask me to come into the office to discuss the test results and come up with a strategic plan of attack for the recurrence of cancer. I had steeled myself for this news and when I received just the opposite, had to ask the office to repeat the information to make sure I'd heard clearly..."Mrs. Annis, we have the results back from your bone scan. There was no evidence of metastatic disease. There was no evidence of a recurrence of cancer." I listened intently and thanked the caller for the good news. Before the call ended, I was told I needed to see a spine specialist to address the pain I'd been having. I'd take that any day over chemo or radiation.

When I got off the phone, I was overcome with emotion. The dam burst and all the feelings I'd held bottled up inside me for the past few days poured forth. I fell to the floor and lying face down, I began to weep. My weeping grew exponentially into torrential sobs of thanksgiving. I was so grateful to God for giving me such good news.

After regaining my composure, I wondered why I expected to receive bad news. Why didn't I expect to receive good news? Was I just preparing myself for the worst and hoping for the best? Maybe that was my coping mechanism or a survival tactic.  In any event, I was extremely blessed and I wasn't going to take this gift lightly. I immediately notified my family so they could share in my joy. My sweet husband wept openly and told me he was so worried and afraid he would lose me. I had no idea he felt this way and my heart ached as I watched him cry. The tears weren't sad ones but still, I felt his pain and the deep love he had in his heart for me. My children were happy and excited. I think they'd been worried the cancer might have returned too.

Thinking back to my initial diagnosis and the results of my Oncotype DX (a test that determines the possibility of recurrence based on the type of cancer and the hormones that feed it) I remembered my score was a 7 out of 100. The number 7 is very significant in Biblical times and is the number of completion. When I was given the results of that test in July 2 years ago, I felt God speak to my spirit and say, "It's over. It's done. It's complete, Bonnie." So I claimed it! I claimed that completeness but somewhere in the back of my mind, a little doubt started to fester and grow. That little doubt turned into a bigger fear and worry as time passed and things seemed out of control. But today, God reminded me of that day back in July. And that's why I was so overcome with emotion. God's promises are real and I know He is faithful. If I'd had time to focus on all of this before receiving the call from my doctor this morning, I would have answered the phone with expectancy. I would have looked forward to hearing the scan was completely clear instead of bracing for the worst. But even though I thought I was going to receive bad news, God blessed me with His very best. I am grateful. I am happy. And I am feeling very optimistic about my future.

As a breast cancer survivor, I can tell you cancer feels like it is constantly sneaking up on me. It seems to be lurking just around the corner ready to jump out and scare me to death. I can't live in fear because I know fear is the opposite of faith. I firmly believe God has honored my obedience to walk with Him in faith and that's why He's given me this wonderful test result. And this proves He isn't through with me just yet. There's something more He wants me to do to glorify Him. I don't know what it is just yet, but I'm going to be seeking His face and asking Him to guide me in the days ahead. Life is good and I am blessed. What more could I want?

© bonnie annis all rights reserved

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