Written by: Margie Aud
I love Thanksgiving, I think it might just be my favourite holiday of the year. There are lots of reasons for that, most of them preferences, not anything deep! I love the early autumn weather, turkey, baking (and eating) pumpkin pies and then there is the summer savory in the dressing. If you’re not a Maritimer, you won’t recognize this spice, but we always use it. If I was living in Ontario, I would love being at our daughter’s for the weekend and enjoying family. I do miss that right now, but this is a season, not forever.
Mandy asked me to write about thanks-giving (small “t”) and the season when I experienced the big C – Cancer. Wow, that made me think!
I have to give you a little family history here so you will know my point of reference. I have lost both of my parents and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins to cancer. Many differing types of cancer, and many ages when they succumbed to it, but all the same result, suffering and ultimately losing the battle. Thankfully, my parents both were devoted Christians and I have the wonderful hope and surety that I will see them again, and they will be whole!
Now, back to me and my cancer. I have had two bouts with it. One, the first was skin cancer and not life threatening. I will tell you, it is still hard to hear that diagnosis. Our minds always go where they shouldn’t, even temporarily. We are human, and God knows that. He made us! I am so thankful that “I have a Father, He knows my name. He never leaves me, No matter where I go”. I am thinking this “going” is not always geographical, but sometimes where we go in our minds.
My second C-diagnosis happened when we were living and pastoring in Montreal, nine years ago. This one was more serious and potentially life threatening. I’d like to tell you that I was brave all the time, but I wasn’t. I was just “me”. I wavered, but mostly I had good days.
My first miracle associated with the cancer was that they discovered it at all! It was not the type that would show up with the yearly examination that we all should have. I went to the doctor feeling very tired and run down. She, through blood work discovered that I was anemic, and quickly sent me to the Royal Victoria Hospital to a specialist for further biopsy and testing. You know how you just know something by the other person’s reaction? Well, that day as I was in the hospital, I knew that everything was not fine and I pretty much guessed the diagnosis even before hearing it officially. That was the day that I got on the cancer bandwagon. I didn’t have to do anything, just keep following the directions from all the doctors and technologists that were soon involved. It takes on a life of its own. My surgeon was one of the top doctors in Canada, and that gave me confidence. But, it was very intimidating going through this whole pre-op process. Many of you can relate, I’m sure!
The official diagnosis came in; Endometrial Cancer. The second miracle was that I was to be operated on in less than three weeks. Believe me, I have no problems with the Canadian medical system! I’m thankful for it, and all that were involved in helping me during that time.
I was scheduled to have the operation on a Tuesday. Some of you know the unpleasantness that the Monday held, taking a gallon – yes, gallon of something called Go Litely. Enough said. Naturally, I was homebound that day with my husband. We were both nervous, wondering what our future held, both immediate and long range. I am so glad that we decided to play some Christian music. We put on a DVD of Donnie McClurkin, Live in London, England. Simple, faith building songs. As we listened, the sweet spirit of the Lord came into our living room and flooded our hearts! The song still speaks to me every time I think of it, it became so real to me that day. “I am under the Rock. Rock that’s higher than I. Jehovah hide me, I am under the Rock. Go tell my enemy, I am under the Rock. Jehovah hide me, I am under the Rock.” In true Jamaican style, it was sung multiple times, and I was glad! Very unsophisticated music and style, but just what I needed! I had peace, and confidence even though nothing had changed, but I knew I was under that Rock! That made all the difference.
Tuesday, and the day of surgery came. I am thankful to say, nine years in the past now, they got all the cancer and it had not spread!
It was a happy day when the surgeon gave her final comments. They were, “it doesn’t get any better than this”. Wow, and PTL! We were still under the Rock.
Why does cancer come? Why does it take some and leave others? I have no answers to those questions. But I do know that His Purpose will be fulfilled in our lives as we yield to Him and His ways. Do we understand this? Not always. Someday we will, but I wonder if we will really even care when that Day arrives.
Trust Him. He knows you, He cares for you, and underneath are the Everlasting Arms. You can lean on them. They are strong enough to hold you!
Margie and her husband Michael have been married for 42 years and have been in ministry practically all of those years. She does love celebrating Thanksgiving and every other holiday and occasion that she can find! Her special joy is in her children and now eight grand children who range in age from 8 weeks to 18 years. If you want to get her talking, just ask her about them – lol!