Be Prepared for Complications
This one is hard to write because I’ve struggled a lot with this. Preparing for the worst always seemed to be eliminating hope for something better. At the same time, being in denial of all the possible complications or even an ultimate sad ending is prohibiting myself from mourning with Travis and softening the blow before we are forced to face it.
Travis, at the age of 29 got Colon Cancer, cancer that they don’t even screen for until you are 50 because it’s not a young man’s cancer. With no genetic markers or any history for it to make sense, Travis became a very low statistic.
I still remember sitting with the Radiologist and her listing all the possible long term side effects. Doctors told us Travis could end up with a permanent colostomy. Travis often wondered what if it’s spread and what if they can’t cure it. All along the way we’ve taken the hardest route and for so long I denied any possibility but the best possible outcome.
As complications have arisen I’ve been constantly shocked. Yes, they warned me, but I didn’t think it would happen to us. Those things happened to other people. Cancer, an ostomy, permanent neuropathy, terminal, etc. happened to older people, not to my young husband.
So, how do you keep hope and also prepare for complications? Well, it’s not easy! It took me denying possibilities for years before I finally fully accepted God’s will. Without God, I’ve found it impossible to be hopeful and still be prepared for the worst. My overwhelming hope for better things made me kind of forget who is in charge. Letting God be in charge and keeping my hope and faith in God has allowed me to accept the diagnosis and still smile. That’s been the key for me, my faith is in God and his power and goodness and not in Travis getting better! I can physically prepare by planning a funeral, but still, hope we won’t have to actually have a funeral for years. I sure hope for Travis to live and for all of his complications to miraculously disappear. But, I also accept that God knows the big picture and that he loves my Travis dearly and has a plan for him. I have faith in God and his plan, which gives me hope that someday things will be glorious. Maybe not on this earth, but someday Travis’ body will be perfect!
Every 6 months I am blessed to hear from my church leaders in General Conference. The opportunity never fails to uplift and inspire me. In one talk, called Fourth Floor, Last Door, given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf he talks of God’s will and our inability to force God to comply with our desires. No matter how much I pray everything will happen the way it’s meant to me. He goes on to discuss that faith is trusting in God’s love. 2 Nephi 26:24 reads:
“He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world…”
God loves this world and he loves each of us that live here. We may not know right now why things happen, but I know that it is all for our good and eventually we’ll know why things had to happen this way. Without my belief in God, I couldn’t be happy. Without my belief that we have an eternal family, I couldn’t push forward. For some reason right now we have to go through this incredibly difficult trial, but it’s for our eternal happiness. That knowledge makes it a little bit easier. Through God everything is okay, and my faith is in God! Accepting God’s Will helps us prepare for complications and for me to survive Travis’ cancer.
Copyright © Stacy Fredericks 2016, All rights reserved