Learning to be content

NED2014I had scans again yesterday— a CT scan of my chest and abdomen. It was easy. Drink a couple of bottles of contrast, strip to my undies, lie on a movable platform, hold my breath, and pass through the nuclear donut! Then off for a coffee and breakfast. This time there was no scanxiety. I slept well the night before and didn’t worry about chasing my results immediately afterwards.

Why was this? Is it just that I’ve grown so used to the multiple procedures? No—if anything, my anxiety with chemo has grown worse over time. Is it that I presumed the results would be good? No—I prayed, and asked others to pray, that there would be no evidence of cancer this time round. But I had also thought about what we’d need to do if the results showed regrowth or metastases.

I think the answer is that God had enabled me to trust him with the process and the outcome. I think I’ve been pushed to put my beliefs in God’s sovereign oversight of all things into practice. I think God has been changing me to gradually learn the secret of being content. As the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12-13:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Or to paraphrase this for my own circumstances:

I know what it is to be very ill, and I know what it is to be healthy. I have learned (and am learning) the secret of contentment, in any and every situation, whether good scan results or bad, whether living with cancer or without. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Here I am, sitting in the same cafe where this cancer journey started. I’ve enjoyed a coffee and a bite to eat. The phone just rang. My results…

No change, still NED, no evidence of disease. I’ve been NED for nearly twelve months. Praise God!

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