Translation – The Life of the "Regardless"

We were on our way to the appointment with the oncologist to discuss the results of my biopsies (liver and lymph nodes).

– “Are you afraid?” asked my husband Fernan
– “No, but I’m anxious because I wanna know already“, I answered.
– “We will believe what the Lord has said regardless of today’s outcome” he replied.

The pathology report confirmed that the cancer had spread to my axillary node and the liver. On March 17, 2015, I was diagnosed with “metastatic breast cancer”. I am part of a “not-that-common group” that is “Stage IV” since initial diagnosis. I want to clarify that according to the doctors, my condition is not curable, but it is treatable. In other words, I’m not in a terminal stage. Currently, many women live with metastatic breast cancer for years as a chronic disease. So the goal of the treatment is to control the progress of the condition and in the best scenario, achieving remission. (This is my reality according to the medical opinion.)

This is the text message we sent to our family that day: “I am officially getting in the “miracles zone”. I have metastatic HER2 positive breast cancer”…it spread to my liver and the lymph node…we are okay..we are believing God regardless.” 

Why cancer? Because we are human,  we live in a fallen world, and we are not exempt from the effects of sin. From this side of eternity we will experience illnesses, losses and sorrow. The Bible advises about this repeatedly. The difference is the word that Fernan used that day, “regardless”. We live, believe, worship, and walk in this world regardless of the circumstances, the logic, a diagnosis or a prognosis. It’s not denial, it is not trust in us, and it is not positivism. It is the gospel. For example,

  • To love and to be a blessing regardless of being treated unfairly (Matthew 5:38-47)
  • To save our live regardless losing it for Christ’s sake and the gospel (Mark 8:35)
  • To see the glory of God regardless of death (John 11:4)

But the life of the “regardless” is not initiated by us nor continued by us. We always want to live and act according to what we see and what we feel, it is an ongoing battle. The life of the “regardless” is only possible because this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus. He came to:

“…provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Only through His sacrifice we can experience:
Beauty regardless of the ashes
Joy regardless of the mourning
Praise regardless of the spirit of despair
Righteousness regardless of our unrighteousness

The life of the “regardless” is possible through Jesus. His sacrifice is evidence that we are not wild trees, we are the planting of the Lord. His finished work on the Cross makes us trees of righteousness. And at the end everything is for the glory of God.

I do not know exactly the what, the how and the when of this cancer. But while I’m waiting I want to live the life of the “regardless”…

This is the last reflection of this series of the management of distress. Thanks for joining me and loving me with the love of Christ. I leave you with one of my favorite verses from this season: “The LORD IS GOOD, a REFUGE in times of trouble. HE CARES for those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1: 7, NIV)

All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla, April/2015