Living in the present moment abandoned to God‘s will has been my way of life for the past 6 years.
6 years ago I heard the words I thought I would never hear: you have stomach cancer.
The doctor went on to say that stomach cancer is rare, after lung cancer, stomach cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death among cancer.
Fear,shock and disbelief instantly invaded my life. That was the day my life was forever changed, I had to face my possible death. As a mother of seven children all I could think about was who would take care of them.home school, and nurture them, how was I going to tell them I have cancer.
“It is most laudable in a married women to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife; and sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping.” – Francis of Rome
Did I fulfill God’s will in my vocation as a mother? Did my life reflect the love I had for Jesus and Mary and the gift our Catholic Faith is? Would they remember all that I taught them and so seek the truth in all things. This pain was too much to bear, my biggest fear had become a reality.
Within the week I underwent I high-risk surgery. Everything went so quickly leaving me numb. Now I see that this was God’s way of protecting me shielding me from the gravity of what was happening to me.
Surgery lasted 6 hours in which 80% of my stomach was removed along with lymph nodes. The surgeon had to stop surgery because a large tumor was found on my liver and it had to be removed and biopsied. It was benign, how good God is. I was in intensive care for 3 days. The pain was unbearable due to the surgery and the fact I am allergic to most pain meds. The only prayer I could utter was Jesus I Trust in You and to love Him with a love that was willing to go to the cross.
Placing my life and family in His hands I said yes, yes to the life he had planned for me, yes to Redemptive suffering, to love with a love that is willing to go to the cross and so die to self.
As I left the hospital with the knowledge that cancer I had would require a vigilance on my part to be aware of any unusual symptoms and to notify my oncologist. I will never really be what people call cancer free. When I asked my oncologist if I would be cancer free after 5 years his response was, maybe in 10 years. What they didn’t tell me was they didn’t think I would live past a year. Now I know why I am deficient in most vitamins, I have malabsorption issues, (faulty absorption of nutrient materials from the digestive tract) a continual malaise that is worsening, anemia, my asthma has worsened to the point that I need oxygen. My stomach is broken, More days than not I suffer from emesis which limits my ability to go anywhere.
Lord I am the servant of thy servant and I will always say with Mary be it done to me according to thy word. Mother of all mothers that suffer pray for us.
The past 6 years faith has carried me, love has sustained me as I had to undergo many ER visits, countless tests and procedures, Dr appt’s too many to count, hospitalizations I so wanted to avoid.
My life belongs to Jesus as I walk the way of the cross knowing I will die on that cross. Joy!
O my God teach me to be generous; to give and not count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to seek for any reward save that of doing your blessed will. -Saint Ignatius of Loyola
The cross is love, my love crucified with the Love that flows from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as I receive grace upon grace. Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of life, may I never take it for granted but embrace each day with joy.
“Love is more important than suffering: it gives suffering it’s meaning and makes it acceptable. There can be love without suffering. But suffering without love has no meaning; with love accepted as Christ accepted it, as the saints accept it, it acquires an inestimable value.” – Saint John Paul I
I pray for all those that suffer know that your life is precious and a gift from God a life to be embraced. You are never alone Love will never leave your side, God is with always. As I share my cancer journey with you it is my hope that it will aid you in some way as I journey with Christ. I ask for your patience as you read this, my eyesight is so poor due to my health. May God bring you peace and love.Tami Schuelke