Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cookie

It is hard to know what to post right now, but it seems important.

Most people who know Cookie also already know the details of what is happening to her. In the last week the doctors have determined that the mysterious ailment bothering Cookie for the last few months is ovarian and endometrial cancer. This morning in India they did surgery to cut out as much of the cancer as possible so that chemotherapy could attack whatever was left. The surgery began with laproscopy, and that is how it ended as well. There was too much cancer to try to cut it out. The next step will be chemotherapy to try to shrink the cancer so that it can be cut out later.

Yesterday evening our Sunday School class and a few other friends of Cookie got together to pray for her and her family. We recorded the prayers so that they could be sent across the internet to her and to Dave and they could hear the cries of our hearts. Then we went home to pray on our own.

Chuck and I went to sleep in our tent. (We are trying out a new tent that we bought for our coming vacation.) At close to 4 am I woke up hearing three musical notes played in succession on an instruments I don't recognize. It seemed like brass instruments, possibly like trumpets, but more mellow and fuller, and not a jarring way to wake like a trumpet might be. Maybe it was like a brass ensemble playing far away...maybe not. Enough trying to describe the indescribable. Anyway, I immediately had the sense that Dave and Cookie needed prayer and I began to pray. Soon I got up and realized Chuck was also awake. I asked if he had heard the music but he hadn't. I checked the email, thinking there might be word from Dave, but then remembered that even if he had written, I would not receive it until it went through our email prayer chain from Sunday School.

I went back to bed and continued to pray whenever I woke.

At 8:30 in the morning we received two emails that were forwarded from Dave. The first had been sent soon after midnight to let us know the surgery had begun. The second was sent at 4:05 am to let us know that the cancer was too widespread to do the surgery.

It is hard to know that Cookie's life is in the balance. It is good to know that God cares enough about it to wake someone on the other side of the world to remind them to pray.

We don't know what will happen now. Cookie has written that for her, it is OK to die. She has always lived her life fully. The fact that the end might be closer than she had expected doesn't mean that it has been cut short, but rather that she didn't know how long it would be. She hasn't waited to do the things that were important to her. She has done them, even if it meant significant financial loss and insecurity.

Maybe this will heal. Maybe it won't. If it doesn't, there will be all the usual feelings of anger and denial and bargaining and grief. Knowing God is present is good, and I depend on it, but feelings are still feelings. We will have to go through them.