Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ave Maria!!! Cancer Free!!!

Yesterday, on the Feast of the Annunciation, as we celebrated the announcement of the most wonderful news from Archangel Gabriel to Mary that she would give birth Jesus, the son of God, I received the best news of my life.  I am cancer free!!! The past couple of weeks have been rough as doctors have used words like "very concerned" and "bizarre" when viewing my mammogram images. With four children, and three of them still very young, my mind traveled to the unimaginable.  With so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer, and so many of them not making it, the suspicion of my doctors was unsettling, at the very least.

If I said I am unchanged or life goes on as usual now, I would be lying.  My life is forever changed.  I cherish every moment with my family.  Petty things have become just that - petty.  I see things with different eyes - literally and figuratively.  For example, I notice with much more intensity every leaf on every tree, the breeze, the warmth of the sun, the smells, every movement my children make.  I laugh harder and love more intensely.  For some reason, within the past two years, I have stared down my own mortality.  The first was a horrific miscarriage in September 2013 when I almost bled to death on the floor of my bedroom.  Last week, as I lay on the biopsy table, I couldn't believe I was back in that space.  How was it that I, a reasonably young and healthy mother of four, was staring my own mortality in the face.  It is said that hardships in life are God's way of showing us humility and redirection towards Him.  I have found this to be true!  There is nothing more humbling than almost dying or facing the notion that your life might be ended earlier than you'd like, only to be given that second shot at life. You have a heart filled with gratitude and you can only thank God.

Aside from lessons learned, I did have an amazing, or you could say "awesome", experience during the biopsy.  As I lay on the table, I was experiencing pain and I was scared and began to cry.  It is very uncomfortable and a very unsettling test.  I don't normally have pain in a mammogram, but I did with this. At the moment I thought I might scream or pry myself from the machines, I prayed to Jesus for help.  I immediately saw Jesus in the Eucharist! It was so bright and brilliant.  My body went completely numb.  I felt absolutely nothing.  I was at complete peace.  Seriously, I felt nothing.  The doctor and nurse assured me they were getting a great sample because I was so calm.

As my husband was driving me home, I received a text from a priest friend of mine who gave me a message that carried me through the weekend waiting on the results.  He told me that during Mass, he presented me to "Jesus the Healer".  He said he heard Jesus tell him, "All will be well."  It is no accident that as Father presented me during the sacrifice, I was seeing the Eucharist.  God sees no time or space.  I was sharing in that same sacrifice as part of the Body of Christ, which is THE reason for Mass.  Those words carried me through the weekend and I knew all would be well.  Late yesterday afternoon, I received the wonderful news that indeed all WAS well.  I think I'm still in shock, but I will tell you that nothing will ever be the same.

I want to share an extraordinary short video with you all on the Mass.  There is a particular quote in there that made me cry when I saw it over the weekend.

"Without doubt, the Lord grants all favors which are asked of Him in Mass, provided they be fitting for us." ~ St. Jerome

It too was not a coincidence that I would see this over the weekend.  God is always in conversation with us, we just need to listen.  Life is so precious and as always, I place my life in God's hands.  Praise God!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!  Ave Maria!!!  Hail Mary!!!

Go make today the best day of your life!!!  ~Katherine

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