There is much Divine Guidance along the cancer journey for those who can listen in the midst of the fear, anxiety, great suffering, and grief. It has been much easier for me to see this while watching my sister, Diann, navigate the rigors of cancer treatment than it was for me to see it when I was going through it. Now I am an observer, not the patient. I had just as many occurrences, but often it was difficult to believe in them. Now as a caretaker for my sister, I have had a ringside seats to many of these “Divine appointments and occurrences.” There have been so many to bring hope in the midst of great darkness.
During the past 8 months during Diann’s diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation which is beginning this week, I learned God shows up in different ways for different people. My experiences were more traditional. And my sister’s were more non-traditional. Just like our personalities and beliefs!
I observed it when my sister was newly diagnosed, and she knew immediately she wanted to get treatment at the out-of-town cancer center where I had treatment. We met with the insurance navigator at the major cancer center. In the weeks before diagnosis, my sister had been in the process of switching to an Obamacare health insurance plan before she had her mammogram, not suspecting any breast cancer. A series of “strange events” kept her from signing up – like the insurance agent got the flu, she had to work late and couldn’t meet with him, and this went on and on over the month’s time previous. Had she signed up and let go of the insurance plan she had, she would not have been eligible under the Obamacare plan to seek treatment at the cancer center where she knew she had to be. By remaining on the plan she had, she had coverage at the cancer center of her choice. Thank goodness for those delays!
On the day of my sister’s pre-op appointments, an extremely stressful day, another strange series of events landed us at a Holiday Inn for lunch. We were delayed during lunch because the waitress was very friendly and extremely chatty! Upon exiting the hotel restaurant, my mom, sister and I all decided we needed to use the restroom before the 70 minute drive home. The hotel lobby restroom had a handwritten CLOSED sign scotched taped to it with an arrow pointing us down the hallway of the hotel. All three of us missed the second clearly-marked restroom. Instead, we kept walking and walking and walking, and I was pretty irritated I must say when we ended up in the hotel’s conference center area. Unbeknownst to us, an extremely spiritual woman named “Mother Meera” from India was at the hotel for a prayer service in a rare United States appearance. An appearance, later we found, that was not only rare but very difficult to get tickets to attend. Just her gaze has been known to heal people. Diann and my mom were standing in the hallway unaware what was occurring as we waited for the single-stall restroom to empty. Just then, the diminutive Mother Meera left the auditorium escorted by a hotel guard, walked by my sister and mom. Then Mother Meera stopped and just gazed at Diann before leaving the area. Later we found out about the significance of that encounter and why we ended up in that unusual place!
Every time Diann got extremely discouraged during chemo, she would either sit next to someone in blood draw or another chemo patient would be placed beside her during chemo. Almost weekly, whatever she was struggling with, the other person had been through it and gave her encouragement. It was beyond amazing!! Hope showed up just in the nick of time!
Recently, I turned on Good Morning America which I rarely watch. Robin Roberts caught my attention as I thought how good and healthy she is looking after all of her cancer trials. Just then, the phone rang and it was Diann. She was in the midst of the many side effects from her last chemo a few days previous. Diann was feeling extremely discouraged and felt like the suffering would never end. Trying to cheer her up, I told her about Robin Roberts, the Good Morning America journalist who went through cancer twice. This was a conversation we had never had before. I told Diann I had Robin’s latest book, “Everybody’s Got Something” as my friend, Anita, had given it to me as a gift. Diann said she would like to read it, so I put it on my end table to remember to deliver it to her.
Within two hours, Diann sent me a link her away-at-college son had just texted her. He said his college choir had just sung this song that reminded him of his mom and aunt and our fight for survival. If you have not seen this musical video, it is very inspiring!! If you need encouragement for anything challenging you are going through, this will help! Diann and I both watched with our mouths hanging open! Make sure you watch from the 30 second to the 45 seconds of the video and you will see why!
If you are going through much suffering, look for the signs of encouragement along the way…
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