Tuesday, September 13, 2011

for the love of coco

*** update***  thank you all so very much for praying.  if you're wondering if God has answered them, i would have to shout a resounding yes!  two weeks ago, coco had her first 'clean' head scan in over 18 months... its seriously crazy.  her words to describe the results were to beautiful not to post-- 'i arrived to the appointment wearing a long, bright red dress.  i figured it couldn't hurt to look hopeful.  i waited in my oncologist's office sitting on danny (her husband's) lap.  i sat anxiously awaiting, it had been a long time since he'd been able to give good news, so in some ways i was braced for the worst.  i heard him approaching and i turned to greet him as he paused in the doorway.  he looked up and said, 'well, i've got some good news.'  i literally fell to the floor weeping, red dress and all.  it was the best day i've had in a long time!'  so as you can imagine these last few weeks have been filled with incredible gratitude, humility and just downright thankfulness to the God who can and will heal!  coco is continuing her chemo, so please, please continue to pray for her.  she has these scans every few weeks, and though we won a battle, we have not won the war.  so please, again, i implore you keep on praying!  IT'S WORKING!!!

i have a friend who has cancer.  

i never knew i hated cancer so much.  but now i can tell you that with all my heart i hate it.  i hate what it is, where it came from, what it does to people who love those affected, and even more what it does to the people themselves.  i hate that they have to live in fear.  from scan to scan, from waiting room to waiting room, from specialist to specialist.  little do all these doctors and nurses know, that these cancer patients are hanging on every. single. word.  how its delivered, inflections in the voice, lack of or too much eye contact.  all of it they have to bundle up in a little package and leave.... only to unwrap and examine and analyze it until the next appointment.

my first recollection of her was a smiling face with a mess of curly blond hair.  she exuded a confidence and warmth that few people are blessed to be born with.   i knew her as danny's new girlfriend.  i knew she worked at slo brew, was a massage therapist and a whole barrel of laughs.  years went by and i would run into very sporadically.  at sushi, walking downtown, and then finally one day at our OB's office.  if i'd ever talked to her before i couldn't remember, but that sunny june day she told me she was due any day with their first.  a girl.  i was 4 months off from delivering my third, also a girl.  we congratulated each other and wished each other luck.  it wasn't until a few months later after i had settled into life with 3 that my friend erin called to tell me that there was something wrong with danny's wife's eye. 'like what?'  i asked innocently.  'like it might be cancer.  she has to have surgery.'  heavy i thought.  i'll pray for her.  and i did, but only a few times.

never in a million years would i have thought a year and a half later she would be one of my  very closest friends.  a girl i break bread with every monday night as we dig into god's word.  a girl i have fasted and prayed for with a fervor only god could give me.  a girl that inspires and humbles me in her insatiable hunger for all things jesus.  a girl who loves her own baby girl in a way that makes me shudder when i think of the ungratefulness i sometimes have with my own babies.  a girl that every day has to swim in a seemingly endless ocean of anxiety called what if.  she's 34 years old.  her daughter is 2.

after the thing with eye was straightened out we all felt relieved.  life went on for all of us until the next scan.  when they found tumors near her brain, everyone sobered up.  she emailed me out of the blue saying she knew i had a bible study and would we pray for her, and maybe could she come sometime.  i emailed her back and told her we already were praying and will continue too and yes, please come.  i didn't hear anything for another couple months.  the surgery had gone well, and radiation was to begin.  when it came back for the second time, lealah told me we needed to go to her.  we needed to lay hands on her and pray.

two weeks later, on new years day, we gathered in her home for a session of prayer i like i have never experienced.  we prayed and cried and repented and anointed one another for 3 hours straight. this was undoubtedly the stuff acts was made of.  this was surely what god has intended for us to do more than once in a lifetime. we prayed with all our hearts and i was sure god would heal her.  he didn't.  not yet anyway.  she died to herself that day and truly became alive in christ.  i rejoiced with her a few months later at her baptism.  when you see someone who needs jesus like we need air, you start to see the world a little differently.

the last few months have been a roller coaster of highs and lows.  more lows than highs and its getting harder. i feel satan wanting to crush my less than mustard seed.  i feel him infringing on my faith to move mountains and tumors.  i feel him suffocating me and suffocating her by depriving of us hope.   my friend has cancer.  but cancer doesn't have her.

so it's when we sit in the waiting room as she gets strapped to a table and waits as her tumors are ionized, and i'm barely able to keep from smashing the tv as hoda and kathie lee sample the latest sangria recipe that i know i'll just  have to grit my teeth.  i'll smile and i'll take her hand and walk into the sunshine, because today that's all we really have.  and for now, that's going to have to be enough.

whoever you are, wherever you are, please pray.  not just now, but every  single day.  please pray that god would heal coco.  once and for all.  and so when i post again about her healing you will know that you were part of that.  that god heard your prayers and petitions.  please, i beg you.  i know this can work.  for the love of coco, i implore you. pray.