Days after my diagnosis I woke up in the middle of the night and started a little blog. A way to keep our friends and family involved in this new journey. Within days we received an overwhelming outpour of cards, emails, flowers, gifts, and phone calls. It was honestly incredible. It was such a beautiful picture of the body of Christ. For many people, near and far that did not know what to do or what to say our dear family and friends (some strangers too) in Kentucky and Tennessee rallied around us and raised money, made t-shirts, created team libby bracelets, and walked in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Night the Light walk. As we received pictures from the walk. A giant card from our family in northern Kentucky with pictures from the race. Money that was raised. T-shirts mailed to us. We did not feel alone. People were in this with us. And that has made all the difference.
I have completed eight treatments and I have four more to go. At this point we have been given news that my chemotherapy is working and the cancer in my body is not only not growing, but barely exists! God is good. We have experienced much fear and heartache and still do today. As this has been a scary road for us. In the midst of it all we have experienced the love of God in a way we never knew existed. I see life differently now and I think that is a gift. Our marriage is different. The way I love our daughter looks and feels different. Everything has changed. In such a short time. And I am so thankful for that. I did not know anything about Lymphoma before I was diagnosed or about the Light the Night walk. But its such a beautiful picture of family, friends, and strangers coming together for a common goal: to fight this deadly disease.
From my husband, Justin...
What can you say if you have an amazing and extraordinary wife? Not much. You can just be thankful and hope not to mess it up. Many of you husbands know what I'm talking about. As a spouse with a wife who has cancer, I have felt powerless. As a husband, I have felt overwhelmed. As a caregiver, I have felt inadequate. As a Christian, I have felt ALIVE. It's amazing what God will do through our weakness, and He has done much. He has showed me, for one thing, what an amazing wife I have been blessed with.
Mostly I am in awe of Libby. She has endured through pain upon pain, triumphing over despair by continuing to read, pray, dream, and well... blog. Her blog and the attention has reminded her of what I always tried to remind her -- that she has a voice. Her voice includes words and experiences that are being used by God to affect people in transformational ways. I don't have much advice for spouses out there, but if I could say anything, it's this: remind your wife/husband that in the midst of feeling run down, beat up, sick, and tired, that they still have a shot of using cancer. That is can be used for the greatest purpose of a human life: to Glorify God Himself.
Libby's cancer has not been wasted, and darling, I have never been more proud of anyone in my life who was able to transcend a situation and use it for good. Well done Lib -- I could not have done it as well as you with such profound beauty. (Also, you really do look amazing in your hat :) (i have a bald spot that justin just informed me off as i am in hair loss denial...so now i wear hats).
We do have cancer -- but we have each other, and we have Jesus. So in that, we have everything. God Bless you cancer patients and spouses this holiday season. Regardless of where you are at, EXPLORE, O please explore the idea of how not to waste this disease, though terrifying as it is. And may you feel the grace that is yours in Christ this Christmas.