This entry is a part of the blog where you may question what I say. You may ask, "Was Shannon in her right mind to make such a decision?" You may ask, "Why didn’t her husband step in and force the surgery on her?", "Why didn’t her mother vocalize what she felt and scream from the mountains, 'Have the surgery, Shannon! Have the surgery!'?"
This much I do know: our adult children will do as they want, not what we want. I lived this, I know.
It was January 2010; Shannon had finished 6 cycles of her clinical trial treatments. She was starting cycle 7 when she felt a small lump in the spot where the melanoma had been removed from her breast. She and her physician could not be certain that it was not breast fiber, scar tissue or something else for that matter. No conclusive results would be known medically without surgery. If Shannon’s cancer was back again, then for her it would mean going all the way back to Cycle 1 and starting again with 6 more months of the dreaded and sickening stomach shots of IL2.
Before Shannon and Ben told her father and me about the lump, they prayed. Shannon and Ben prayed until they felt they had direction and peace with their decision. Shannon told her father who in turn told me. No one knows about this but her immediate family. I am not sure she told anyone about this, ever. Shannon decided that she felt peace and should not have any surgery. Ben supported her decision. So when Sean told me that is how I was told. A decision was already made. Sean also felt that Shannon made the right decision. Christopher and I both had different feelings about this lump. I was happy and felt great joy that my daughter would trust the Lord with her body. She was exercising powerful faith. However, I felt Shannon should have the lump removed surgically. I felt that this was the only true way to know what it was and then deal with it accordingly. I felt that Shannon was in a fight for her life. I told Shannon one time-- only one time-- that I thought she should have surgery. She shut me down and told me to stop being negative. Shannon said what she needed was positive support. So that is what she got from me. But as hard as I tried I could not shake that uneasy feeling of the possibility of cancer being left to do its deadly work. Throughout the rest of Shannon’s battle that lump would come and go. In the end this is where the spreading began and took off like a wild fire. I never felt sicker at heart that I had been right. I didn’t want to be right.
I have shared these feelings with you for a testimony of what real strength in weakness is all about. What a gift my daughter received that she was able to have so much faith in her decision. For me? Well, for me my feelings are best left at the feet of a loving God, who loves me and will help me to emerge from the ashes I find myself in. I will emerge from the ashes a stronger woman, a more tender woman, who has suffered and learned a lesson that could only be taught by living it.
I know as a reader of my blog posts this one may seem so different to you. But it is an important entry. Shannon was strong in faith. Strong in love, strong really in everything she did. She was a truly amazing person who I respected and admired. She held fast to the promise she felt she had gotten from her Saviour. Was she right? Was she wrong? I don’t know. Is there a right? Is there a wrong? I don’t know. This I do know: Shannon teaches us all by how she lived and how she believed until she had no more breath.