Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PET

PET stands for positron emission tomography. It's a test that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to look for disease in the body (in my case cancer). If you ask me, PET stands for petrified. 

I'm having a PET scan today, and yes, I am absolutely petrified. I'm afraid the cancer has spread. I have no reason to believe there is cancer in my liver, lungs, or bones; it wasn't even in my lymph nodes! But still I weep and tremble in fear. 

Why? Because every bit of this battle has been longer and harder than it was supposed to be. Not one thing has been simple or predictable. And why should I get a pass when so many other people --- great people --- do get a metastatic cancer diagnosis?

So I clench my fist around my hope. I know this God of mine loves me like crazy and won't let me suffer in vain. I promised Him before I was diagnosed that I would praise Him and rejoice through my suffering... and I have... and I will. But that doesn't mean I'm not petrified at the same time. Life --- and faith these days --- are so very complex.

As an aside, September 30th is historically a sad day for my family. My youngest brother, my first best friend and closest sibling, died three years ago today. It's an anniversary that's usually filled with somber stares at the clock. "This was the time his friends realized he was in trouble... This was the time the paramedics came... This was the time I got the phone call." (I woke to hear my father's voice flat and weak on the telephone.)


All smiles. Circa 1980.
After he died, I promised my brother I'd spend the rest of my life living for both of us. His friends told me he always saw hope for himself in how I was able to live a joyful, abundant life. I overcame my own painful obstacles (we all have them), and he was trying to do the same. He just ran out of time and made an irreversible mistake. 

So today I will fight through my fear during the PET scan. I will renew my vow to live for both myself and my brother. To smile his smiles. To achieve his goals. To live in the peace and happiness he so deserved. To love, to be kind, and most importantly now, to spread the message of hope. 

Please pray for my parents today as they grieve their son, and at the same time, worry for their daughter. Please pray for me as I lie still and flat in that machine --- that there's nothing to find, but that they find it if it's there. 

But please pray your very hardest for the afflicted, the addicted, the depressed, and the despaired. May they come to know the joy of the Lord and live a life victorious in Him. 

If you are the one struggling with addiction or despair, please reach out to someone you trust, your local church, or a help line. September is National Recovery Month so it's the perfect time to seek treatment and set yourself free. Here are some resources:
You get one life. Use it for good. Help yourself get well and then help someone else. That's what my brother would want.




Love, 
Emily

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:18-19


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