Receiving the most anticipated test results I could receive, “You’re Cancer Free,” was music to my ears. Having a future was finally a possibility for me which brought me the biggest joy that I had felt since before starting my cancer journey. I felt like I was finally released from my death sentence and was freed from cancer. My struggles were over and new life was starting now or was it?
I recall my oncologist telling me he was going to schedule me for a follow-up in 3 months and because I was so overjoyed with the “Cancer Free” news, I didn’t ask why I had a follow-up or anything. I was just so happy and said sure, see you in 3 months. Well, 3 months later, I was called by my doctor’s office to remind me that I needed to go take some tests to check how I was doing. I recall going numb with the thought of having to go get more tests to check up on me. Why? I thought internally were the test results wrong the last time? Am I not cancer free?A million thoughts were going through my head and I went to my follow-up appointment feeling extremely nervous and scared to hear the results. The doctor came into the room with a smile so I thought to myself, thank God if he has a smile then that is a good sign, right? He told me you are doing good; all the tests came back negative there is no trace of cancer. I was so relieved that I let out a huge sigh. The anxiety of not knowing was killing me inside. He told me that due to my particular type of cancer and severity of my case, he wanted to monitor me more frequently. This meant that for this first year, he wanted me to get tests done every 3 months. I asked him, but why so often, did he think I would get the cancer back. He said, well we have to keep monitoring because as I had explained during your last visit, there are probabilities of a relapse. He continued to talk and tell me other important information, but I was not listening very well because my mind was consumed with the possibility of getting the cancer back. My mind was going a hundred miles an hour thinking of the probabilities of the cancer returning and if I could go through another battle. As my thoughts were starting to overtake me, my mom reached out to me and said you will be okay, it is just precautionary steps to make sure you continue to be cancer-free. Her touch and her words stopped the turmoil inside my head and I felt a glimpse of hope.
Meanwhile, I was still recovering and regaining my strength and trying to regain my momentum at work; therefore, I knew I had to take care of myself. I wanted to do everything in my power to stay cancer free. With this in mind, I decided that I wouldn’t go to the movies, go to stores, restaurants or do any activity that would potentially affect me or compromise my immune system. I mean as I stated before I was barely getting back on track. Every time I was invited to a social gathering, I declined every invitation. I would just go to work and back home. Now that I think back on it I put myself in lockdown/ quarantine long before that became a thing like it is nowadays. One afternoon, a friend stopped by the house and asked if I wanted to go to the movies and I politely declined. My mom overheard me and she waited until my friend was gone to talk to me. She said that she was happy that I was taking very good care of myself but she wanted me to remember that I didn’t have cancer anymore. I responded with a serious tone, “I know!” and I walked away. As I walked away, with a little bit of anger I thought to myself, she is right, I don’t have cancer. She made me see that even though I knew that cancer was not in me, I was still letting it control me and my every thought and decision in my life. The thought of “what if the cancer comes back,” was like having invisible chains around me. Restricting me from the freedom to live my cancer free life and enjoy each minute of it. Without even knowing it, I was letting cancer consume my life and forgetting that cancer is not in control, God is in control. It was at this moment that I truly freed myself from the invisible chains that were holding me down.
Do not let fear, doubt, or anxiety take hold of you with the invisible chains restricting your every move. Remember there is nothing negative that can take hold of you for God is in Control. There is no disease or illness that is too great that God cannot heal. There is no storm of life that’s too big that God cannot shield us from and take us through. Don’t be anxious or afraid and try to do things on your own accord, pray to God for healing. God is the guiding light at the end of the dark tunnel. Don’t forget that with God all things are possible.