For Everything There Is a Season

Tuesday was the day. The much-anticipated day.

For the past few months, I’ve followed doctors’ orders. On a medical trial for the purpose of eliminating the need for breast cancer surgery, I’ve taken the endocrine therapy intended to shrink my small malignant tumor, and I’ve waited. On Tuesday, a slew of tests and appointments awaited: an ultrasound, a CT scan, an MRI, blood withdrawals, a COVID examination, and a visit with the radiation oncologist.

Sure enough, the real-time sonographic imaging measured a 20% decrease in the volume of my irregular hypoechoic mass with indistinct margins. The medicine that I’ve hated for blocking my hormones has finally done me a favor. It shrunk my tiny tumor, which means no surgery for me. Why can’t I say that with a little extra enthusiasm? This is such great news. Oh wait, my hormones. Going, going, gone. I wonder if I will ever feel like myself again.

For now, I stay the course with the medicine. I tell myself no feeling is final…words have power…God has my back. On Wednesday, I start my radiation, five rounds, every other day. The end. Over and done. And then I wait. Again. I let it all happen and just keep going.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

The Unspoken Promise vs. The Spoken One

Back in January, as other people made resolutions, I told myself I would write one blog post per week, an unspoken promise of sorts. I never told anyone until now or recorded that thought anywhere. It was just one of the many conversations I have with myself.

Instead, I issued myself a proclamation in a single word—GRACE. Sometimes life comes at you in heavy ways. Not everything must be written or even discussed. Some problems take time. The intensity of other difficulties interferes with the inevitable daily good. And while I’ve shed some recent tears, I remind myself that flowers don’t bloom every day. I remind myself of the ancient wisdom: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Good, right?

Somehow, I’ve pulled off that weekly post. Sometimes, it’s about sitting at your computer and just doing it. Sometimes, it’s about having enough GRACE for yourself to move forward differently than planned.

Chagall’s The Ukrainian Family, circa WWII, Prayers for Ukraine and Peace.