Christmas 2012, Painted Papers Collage, Marcia Carole – Christmas cards of this print are available.

Some well-meaning people occasionally come up to me and say, “How are you doing?” in a very grave, dark tone of voice. I could respond, “I’m dying.” but I think better of it. Why burden them? They are having a fairly good day, and it will spoil the flow of conversation.

Today, my day to see the oncologist, was yet another oncology, I am dying kind of day. After today, I’ll forget about it a little. But today I was reminded I have cancer, and no, it isn’t going away. I can slip into my creative world of art making here or in some faraway place, but, I still have cancer. Stage four has a way of holding onto a body, unaware that a person lives in that body, and said person would prefer to be cancer-free.

So, as Mark Twain would say, “What is a body to do?” I discussed this with my doctor, being sober and almost upbeat instead of teary. He said I should be doing what I love to do. He said, taking my daily pill and waiting for my next appointment wasn’t enough. He was happy I had been to Thailand, and he was glad I had sketched portraits of the prostitutes. He asked where I was headed next.

I enjoy hearing people’s stories, and I enjoy helping them process them through art making. Many of the women I work with in other countries cannot get out of their poverty or even their abusive situations. They can’t step away from their troubles. I get that in a deeper way with cancer holding onto me. However, for them as well as me, there is a God who loves, cares, heals. In His time.

The doctor said maybe the tumor is smaller, probably, but he didn’t want to strongly commit.  I still have stage four cancer holding onto me, and I am holding onto Jesus. Why am I holding onto Jesus? As a crutch? No. He proved he loves me when He left His throne in heaven, humbled Himself to become a baby, live the life I should, die the death I should, and rise from the dead to conquer it for me. Jesus loves me, and I love Him. Cancer, can’t touch that relationship.

“Don’t question in the dark what God showed you in the light.” – V Raymond Edman

What to do if you or a loved one has cancer? Click here to listen to a terrific video.


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