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Lymphoma and Pets
Recently, while taking one of my walks around the neighborhood, the sun was shining, and I noticed my shadow on the pavement. It was right there with me, whether I walked slow or fast, straight or crooked. I strolled on for a while and began to think of other things, forgetting about that shadow. But a short time later I noticed it again. It had not gone away just because I wasn't conscious of it - it was still there. And then it occurred to me that my cancer is much like my shadow. It is always there, even if I am not thinking about it. It is always in my body, striving to exert it's terrible influence on my cells and my tissues. It is always seeking to destroy my very being, and my life.
I can only speculate on how many times each day I consciously think about my cancer. It may be just a fleeting thought, or it may occupy my mind for a more extended period. That feeling of fatigue may elicit a momentary thought about it's cause. Or taking a pill in the morning can cause me to consider why that tablet is necessary. And at still other times, for no particular reason, my mind will begin to consider my current situation and my longer term prospects. I can safely say that, since my diagnosis, my cancer has occupied far more than it's fair share of my attention. It is for this reason that cancer patients desperately need to find other things to get involved in, that will keep their minds busy, and away from their disease and it's implications.
But even when my mind is absorbed by other thoughts, just like my shadow, my cancer is still there. I have said to Holly that I have this sense that there is always something lurking just over my shoulder, as if a dark cloud is hanging above my head. It is very difficult to put into words, but the sensation is very real. And regardless of the focus of my thoughts and emotions, my cancer is always with me. It is currently as much a part of me as my right leg, my lungs or my liver.
As I considered the similarity between my cancer and my shadow, and their ever present nature, it dawned on me that God Almighty, my Redeemer and Healer, is also omnipresent and with me at all times. Whether I think about Him or not, He is with me. He was with me before I was formed in my mother's womb, and He has been with me for every second of my existence in this life. Just like my shadow, He is always there. So in the future, when I see my shadow, it will be my reminder of God's constant presence in my life. And that is a far more comforting perspective.