Facing down fear in a health crisis
Recently I faced a health issue that put everything I have spoken about regarding fear vs faith to the test.
I had been dealing with chronic infections that would not go away. I went to my primary care doctor and said that my instinct was that my immune system was not doing what it was meant to do.
The doctor took some tests, and when I went back in to talk to him, he was concerned that given the blood results I might have bone marrow cancer, possibly multiple myeloma. What was so strange is my sister-in-law has been dealing with that illness.
I called the oncologist and got a reasonably quick appointment in four days. For the next four days I literally lived from moment to moment. I spent a lot of time in prayer. I meditated and visualized myself well. Each time the fear would rise I would remind myself that if I had faith to fear, I had faith to have faith. I also reminded myself that all the fear and angst would not change the outcome. I would have to live moment to moment. No what if’s, just one foot in front of the other. I found myself doing various things to distract myself. Cleaning, cooking, taking walks, playing with my dog, and spending time with my husband. I would listen to good calming music and focus on the things I enjoyed.
Yesterday was the day I finally went to the oncologist to find out what was wrong. I had done some research and I felt confident that I was not going to have any sort of bone cancer. Still there was that niggling doubt that kept my heart rising into my throat.
I sat until the oncologist came in and my husband was with me. I had to literally remember to breath as the seconds ticked away. Finally, he came in. He was a very nice person with a calming manner and demeanor. He looked at all my bloodwork and said there was no cancer. I was so relieved and happy! He said that my immune system was low, and I should see an immunologist but that everything in my blood was within normal limits and there were no markers for cancer.
This is the third time in my life that I’ve faced this specter down. Once when I was a young woman and they thought I might have uterine cancer, again when they found hematomas on my liver and were highly concerned that they were cancer, and now again this last week. Creator has been good to me though. When the rubber meets the road, it is Creator that has sustained me, and continues to be a rock in very tough times. I have died on the operating table and returned. Do not think I am brave; I am far from it. But with Creator on my side, Creator is brave in and through me.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things still unseen. Faith and fear are two sides of the same coin. One is negative faith, and the other is positive faith so I will continue to live by this motto: If I have faith to fear, I have faith to have faith.