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  • jennygoss

Cancer Care Ministry Launch



I recently celebrated 3 years in remission! Unfortunately, it was tinged by the fact that my tumor markers are rising and the break is likely coming to an end, but it was a milestone of three blessed, joyous years, nonetheless. While I haven't been keeping up on this blog, I have been enjoying life. Our little shop closed down for more reasons that this blog post could even begin to house, but it was a fun adventure while it lasted. My next adventure, however, is already here: Our church is beginning training for a cancer care ministry!


Almost a year ago, I attended training with Our Journey of Hope® to be able to lead a training class for our church. It is a Bible based leadership training program which was designed by the chaplain at City of Hope Cancer Centers to equip churches to better serve the needs of cancer patients and caregivers within their community.


I had spoken with our pastor about starting a cancer support group. At the time, our previous pastor, Dr. Bill Bailey, and another beloved man from the community, Jim Hutson, were both going through their cancer diagnoses. I spoke with Jim several times about starting a support group, but it became apparent that I needed training. Our current pastor, Pastor Rick Hillard, encouraged me to look for a training opportunity. When I found Our Journey of Hope®, I was impressed with the program and I signed up.


This past Thursday evening, we held the first of 8 weeks of training to kick off Parkside Baptist's cancer care ministry!


It grieves me that Pastor Bailey and Jim Hutson are not here to participate in whatever this ministry becomes. It is jarring still that two men who were diagnosed after me and seemed in such better health are now with Jesus. There is no shortage of survivor guilt on my end. I have said it many times, but life is so short and precious.


I'm also frustrated at times that I'm likely facing a recurrence now because I have work to do. Regardless, we will keep pressing ahead and working while I am able because that's what is needed in the world right now.


As far as an update on my health: My tumor markers are higher than they were when I knew I had active cancer after surgery but prior to chemo. I had trace ascites (cancerous fluid frequently associated with ovarian cancer) on my last scan and will be getting another scan the 19th of March. Sometime before the scan, I will likely get more tumor markers ran (if I can get up the nerve!), so I'll know the results soon. I am having mild pain and bloating, all which indicate a recurrence is probable, too.


However, I know two things. The first is that our God excels at the improbable. The second is that my eyes cannot see the perspective of God.


God's perspective is unknowable to me. If the cancer's back, if the treatment stops working, if I die... all of these things might happen. And IF those things happen- that's where the rubber meets the road- If so, is He still good?


And the answer is still yes, three years later.

Is it still hard? Yes.

Is it still heartbreaking? Absolutely.


I suppose that's what faith is, when you cut it down to the basics. It is my choosing to believe in God's character rather than my emotion. It is choosing to put one foot in front of the other until I can no longer and praying that my life might somehow bring glory to Him.


So, I am praying that I have a little more time to complete the work set before me. If you'll pray, too, I would be grateful.


And please also pray that this ministry would put a smile on the faces of Bill Bailey and Jim Hutson from heaven. :)

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