The day after following my initial diagnosis that I had melanoma, I woke up about 3 o’clock in the morning. I couldn't sleep anymore. I got out of bed and went into the living room. I stood in front of the sliding glass door staring out at nothing. My senses were deadened to what was going on outside, for the news of having cancer seemed to numb my whole being.
Even though I was diagnosed with cancer, the doctors still had to conduct further tests to determine the extent of the disease – was it localized or had it metastasized throughout the rest of my body. If the cancer was localized there was a fighting chance. However, if it had metastasized throughout the rest of my body, then the only treatment the doctors could have provided was palliative care. “A fighting chance or death” was the constant thought in my mind. “A fighting chance or death”.
It’s very difficult to describe how one feels when they possibly have to face the grim reality of death. Your life’s dreams…goals…aspirations…and desires fade away. Nothing really matters but the present moment. All of life’s difficulties and hardships and disappointments no longer have their sting against you. Moreover, the daily concerns of life pale by comparison when you truly sense your own mortality.
I opened the sliding glass door and stepped out onto the balcony. I looked around at the other hi-rise buildings. Then, without thinking I lifted up my eyes towards the dark sky. I noticed the moon’s light piercing through the clouds and the stars shimmering about. And I felt a gentle breeze caressing my face. In that moment, I truly felt His loving presence. He was with me. He was comforting me.
I cried out, “Help me Lord! I do not want to die, but if it is your will, let it be.”
I stood there outside for a while.
This was the beginning of my new trial.