"Expect the unexpected." This phrase has become a poignant refrain in my life as a sibling of a childhood cancer survivor. It's a rollercoaster of emotions, where days, months, and even years can pass by, with my sister's health seemingly stable and secure. I'd find myself slipping into a comfortable sense of reassurance, thinking, "We've conquered her health issues; she's healthy now."
But then, without warning, another storm would emerge. Boom—out of nowhere, we'd be hit with another wave of serious health concerns for my sister. The worries and anxieties that I thought were behind us came rushing back, reminding me that the journey through childhood cancer is unpredictable, often spanning a lifetime. The life-saving treatments that rescued my sister also bear hidden side effects that can lurk for years, even decades. Now, at 34, my sister is grappling with heart complications stemming from the chemotherapy she underwent at the tender age of two. It's astonishing how these effects can manifest themselves so many years later.
I've learned that childhood cancer is not just a chapter in our lives—it's a lifelong journey. It's an ongoing story of resilience, strength, and unwavering hope. Each moment of calm is a blessing, but it's accompanied by the realization that challenges may arise at any turn.
In the midst of this unpredictability, I've found solace in continual prayer and entrusting all worries and concerns to God. He's been the constant pillar during these tumultuous valleys, the rock upon which I lean when the uncertainties and fears resurface. Learning to relinquish control and place my trust in Him has been a source of immense comfort.
Childhood cancer is a journey that doesn't end with remission. It's a journey of resilience, perseverance, and the unwavering belief that hope can endure through life's most challenging moments. So, I continue to navigate this unpredictable journey, knowing that through prayer and faith, I can weather the storms and find strength in the valleys.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9