I’ve been living in a storm since December.  A storm whose nature twists and turns and changes with every new decision that must be made RIGHT NOW and as new information is learned. That’s what cancer has turned out to be for me.

I have been praying every night since before I received a diagnosis, “God! Please give me peace! Keep my blood pressure down (it has peaked at levels above 200) during all the diagnostic tests  Please let it NOT be cancer.”

But then after diagnosis, my prayer changed to, “God! Please give me peace! Protect my lymph nodes from this cancer.”

With every test, every doctor’s visit my stress grew, my fear became greater. My prayer shifted once again to “God! Please give me peace, protect my lymph nodes and keep them clear of cancer and …. please oh please give me courage to keep stepping forward into this storm.” I’ve wanted more than anything to climb into my bed, pull the covers up over my head and do nothing, pretend that the storm does not exist. I have asked Mark, “Hey I wonder what happens if I stop – just don’t show up for that nother test, exam, doctors visit.” But I know that’s not an option. The storm will not disappear, it will not go away. If I stop stepping forward it will take me over and ultimately kill me. So I keep stepping forward, I keep showing up for the next test, the next consult despite my fear. It is the only option and the quickest way for me to get through this storm. I learned long ago (when my mother died) that the best way through the storm is to turn towards it, yelling, “BRING IT ON”. I may get bruised & battered, even beaten to a pulp, but the storm passes over eventually.

I fall back to a favorite biblical passage that comforts me and brings me hope, “Weeping may endure for the evening, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5). I’m ready for some more joy.

I ‘ve found some great quotes about courage that resonate with me and that resonance helps to keep me stepping forward into the storm:

“All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble.” ~ William Halsey

“Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, ‘I have fallen, but I will get up.'” ~ Maya Angelou

“Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.” ~ Mark Twain