Breast cancer radiation treatment is complete and I am officially cancer-free. I am thankful this journey is over. Now I move on to the process of healing and recovering from the damage radiation has caused to my skin.
Radiation treatment has left my skin red, irritated, and itchy. At times my left armpit feels as though it is literally on fire. Even though the treatments are over the radiation is still at work. Therefore my skin will get progressively worse for about a week.
Some of the radiation damage may be permanent. My skin, at the treatment site, may always be darkened. Also, some tightening of the skin and muscle may remain. I’m willing to live with that as long as the cancer is gone.
To me, the marks and scars left behind by radiation and the lumpectomy are a symbol of victory over cancer and a reminder of all the Lord has brought me through and taught me during a very difficult time in my life.
Some symbols of victory and remembrance are not pretty.
Jesus was beaten and scourged beyond recognition. He carried His own cross up a hill with a crown of thorns shoved onto His head. Once He reached the top of that hill, for all to see, He was stripped of His clothing and nailed through His hands and feet to the cross.
Jesus’ scars are a symbol of victory; victory over sin. Not only are they a symbol of victory but they are a reminder of what He did for us; paying our sin debt; a debt we could never pay.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Isaiah 53:4-5 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds, we are healed.
Our scars may be ugly but they can be a beautiful reminder of what God has done for us, in us, and through us. It all depends on our perspective.
It’s easy to be angry with God when we go through a life-disfiguring crisis. However, what if instead of being angry with God we allow Him to use the crisis to change us and make a difference in someone else’s life.
What if we look at our scars as a symbol of victory over that which was trying to destroy us? What if we looked at them as a reminder of what God brought us through and taught us along the way?
Maybe by looking at our scars from God’s perspective, we can change our world and those in our sphere of influence.
Changing our perspective can change our attitude. When we look at our crisis and the scars that it left behind we can go from being angry with God for allowing the crisis, to being thankful for what the crisis has done in us and through us. And we can do it with a good attitude.
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Sure, life would have been much easier and more pleasant had I never experienced breast cancer but because of cancer, I have gained a greater knowledge of God, His sovereignty, mercy, and provision. I have experienced a deeper more intimate relationship with Him. I have been able to reach out to others that are suffering and able to do so with empathy that I never had before. I’m changed inside and out.
I’m so changed that I can’t say that I wish I would have never had cancer or that I didn’t have these scars. What the enemy intended for evil, God used for my good and the good of others and He was glorified in the process.
What scars do you bear due to a life-disfiguring crisis? Do you despise those scars? Do they remind you of a time in your life you would rather forget?
Would you consider looking at your scars from God’s perspective? Would you look at them as a reminder of how God changed you or someone else during that difficult time? Would you choose to see them as a victory instead of a defeat? Would you choose to see them as a reminder of God’s greater purpose for your pain?
God is good! He is always good! No matter what you are going through or have been through He can turn it around for your good, the good of others, and His glory.
Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
I would like to thank all of my friends and family for all of their prayers, encouragement, and support during this health crisis. It means more to me than you will ever know. You have all made a difference in my life. God bless you.
Prayer for salvation: Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.