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Saturday, January 25, 2014

In Everything Give Thanks

I realize that this post doesn't really fit with the overall theme of my blog, but bear with me.  I need to tell this story, and this is the best platform I have.

(Just a heads up: this story involves some medical stuff, so if you don't like reading about that kind of thing, you should get out while you can.)

Here's the story.

I have had three bouts of acute diverticulitis in the past six months.  Out of nowhere.  I have no personal or family history of diverticulitis, and there was nothing unusual to instigate these episodes.  Also, I am not elderly, which is the typical demographic for this kind of thing.  It was determined that I needed to have a colonoscopy to see if they could figure out what was going on.

I was super not looking forward to that.  I mean, of course not.  No one in the history of ever has been excited about a colonoscopy.  They are pretty much awful.

But still, it was necessary, so they did it.  I will spare you the details. was unpleasant.

They did not find anything to indicate why I would be having diverticulitis, or any other issues.

HOWEVER, they did find what my doctor described as "a very large mass."

This was a surprise to everyone, most of all my doctor.  In my drug-induced haze, as I got ready to leave the hospital, I heard him say, "It's a miracle that we found this."  It wasn't related to the diverticulitis.  He was sure of that.  It just "happened" to be there.

They did a biopsy on the mass, and I had to wait a week.  That was a very stressful week.  I tried really hard not to worry, but a week is a long time.  The worst part was when my doctor finally did call Thursday evening.  I missed the call, but it was after-hours at his office, so I couldn't call back until Friday morning.  That was definitely the worst part.

When I finally did talk to him, he said that yes, it was cancer.

HOWEVER, the margins were clean, meaning they think they got it all.  This is awesome, because it means no chemo.

HOWEVER, they do want to take out that section of the colon just to make sure it doesn't come back or anything.

HOWEVER, the procedure doesn't involve a colostomy bag, which I was worried about.  They just take out that section and reattach it.  Like a Play-Dough snake or something.  (I dunno what a better analogy would be for that...)

You can see how my emotions have been on a roller coaster of "bad news, but better news, but bad news, but ok news..."

But here's the part of the story I really wanted to share:

My doctor said over and over again after my colonoscopy that this was a miracle.  Again on the phone he said, "I cannot emphasize enough how much it is an act of God that we found this.  We don't even typically LOOK for this kind of thing when we do a colonoscopy.  I was looking for colitis or problems with the diverticula.  This was absolutely not related, but I'm very glad we found it."

Now, you may have a different interpretation of these events than I do, but it's my life, so here's my take on it:

God gave me diverticulitis to show me that I had cancer.

Never have I been reminded more strongly of 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18.  "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

In everything give thanks.

Diverticulitis is extremely painful.  Debilitatingly painful.  But I am so thankful for it.

And I'm thankful for the cancer too, because I know there is a reason for it as well.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm also scared, nervous, confused, and a lot of other things.  But all I can think about right now is how thankful I am to have a God so in control of everything in the universe and everything in my body.

So maybe I was wrong.  Maybe this does fit with the overall theme of my blog.  How can you be awesome at everything?

In everything give thanks.


  1. oh my goodness! Thanking God for you and praying!

  2. Ilia, so glad to hear that they think they got it all. We will definitely be praying for you. My mom had cancer when I was thirteen and I think it was one of the most challenging things I have been through. Please keep us updated. You are a great writer by the way (I love the play dough snake part)!

  3. Your attitude of gratitude is really encouraging also! Thanks Ilia for your love for the Lord, that HE has put in your heart!

  4. You need an 'AMEN' checkbox in the response line! ;) I just wrote down something Beth Moore said in our Bible study video last night: "Sometimes God can do his BEST of work, in the WORST of days." Really resonated with me just in general, but even moreso now related to your situation. How else can we learn to give him the GLORY he deserves if we don't have to lean on him during the hard times? Love you!

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I love that quote! What Beth Moore study are you doing? Love you too! :o)

    2. Beloved Disciple (study of John) :)