cancer, what cancer?

“No Mark!” was all I heard. “No Mark…” followed by weeping. My co-worker and I had been waiting all day for the call. Our prayer warrior, our light, our shining example of hope and God’s grace had a mass growing in her ovary. We wanted it to be just a cyst. It was not. We cried. We asked God why?

As the fog began to clear, it was ovarian cancer and she would need chemotherapy. She and her husband, Mark had just adopted a son. They had planned so much. And now they planned chemo treatments. We still asked God why?

That was a few months ago. We had lunch this week. She was so full of life. She laughed as she told me about her wig and showed me her battle wounds from the chemo. She was smiling from ear to ear, telling me all about her son, her church and her journey.

She is half way through 17 weeks of her chemo. “Sometimes we just sit around with our wigs off and talk,” she said with a giggle as she talked about her days at the Cancer Institute. 

“One of my new friends is an 80 year old woman. When we met, she told me that she had never been sick until the cancer and now she is only known as what type of cancer she had. I’ve made lots of friends there.”

As she spoke, I listened intently, her energy and hope was contagious. 

“My oncologist said to me, ‘you are so encouraging to me’, she said with a smile.

Over lunch that day, Cerna was encouraging to me…encouraging me to believe God’s plan and to always cling to hope.