My Darkest Hour: A Personal Letter to a Friend.
It was Spring, May 2011, just three months after doing alternative cancer treatment at CMN hospital in San Luis, Sonora, Mexico. I had stage 4 breast cancer that had aggressively spread to all lobes of my lungs, bones, and lymph nodes. I was in a lot of pain, terrified, and afraid the treatment was not working.
I get emails from brave cancer warriors (Mostly women late stage) asking me how long it took to start noticing my body healing after treatment? My answer is not what you would think because my health got worse before I improved. Publicly I seemed courageous, and I have to say that I’ve had my worst fears and most extraordinary courage through my entire cancer journey.
I feel this letter is imperative to anyone facing cancer, who thinks I was brave through my entire experience. I wasn’t. A dear friend wrote me a short message I believe it is vital to share my response, and want to share it with all who feel bad about “losing it” now and then. Looking back I see clearly now that it was the darkest time in my life, which was right before I started to feel the healing.
If I did not experience this stage of my emotions, I don’t think I would have the insight or empathy to share with others are terrified. This letter reveals how my faith was failing, and fear was consuming me. However, you will see that I still had hope and trust in God at the end of the message.
A dear friend wrote to me to ask how I was doing and if she was bothering me by checking on me?” I am not sharing her actual letter to honor her privacy. My response below depicts the fear, struggle, and anger phase of anticipatory grief I was going through because I had a terminal illness. I do not think she was expecting such an emotional response from me. I want to add that right after this letter, my symptoms from cancer were diminishing and by August they were completely gone. October 15, 2011 I got results from my PET/CT scan that showed I was cancer free and this letter show us how you can be at your darkest hour before you are taken into the light. My analogy or visual is of God’s hand and the shadow getting darker and darker as He get’s closer to us before He picks us up and brings us into the light. God’s will is still with Him ever so close to us.
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
My letter Response: From Shannon Knight
May 3 2011, at 12:33pm
My breathing is getting worse; it’s been hard times, and my lungs feel like there is a knife in it. I am not very positive today and feel so small. Heaven is where God wants us; eventually, He wants us to be with Him, so why do we fight to hang on here? The tumors are growing rapidly, and I feel like I have been wasting my time trying to get well. I know you think this is probably Satan working his stuff on me. We don’t always get what we pray for.
Since we last talked, two women are now in a coma and very sick from chemotherapy. I feel like when we pray, God will do what He wants anyway, and He already has a plan for us. So, are we praying against “His plan”? I hope my letter does not upset you. It’s just me and the pain and the fear (God made me with “all emotions”). I do not believe He thought I would get through life without my fears and be gleeful and joyful all the time. He made me human and I felt guilty for feeling fear that it is not working anymore. Fear is an emotion, and satan did NOT have a hand in our creation. God created my entire being, my anger, my joy, my fear, etc. I am trying to come to terms with my emotions, and it’s hard. I watched a true story last night. I was saddened to see all the Christians killing the Pagans. Our world is full of craziness, and it has me so sad. What a mess!
Forgive me for being so blunt, and I do not mean to sway you at all from your faith; I admire it, but I lack it right now. I am one woman just clacking away at a keyboard in a big universe. Do you know how tiny that is, with the billions of people on earth? People are being tortured and murdered, pleading for God’s help in the Congo with the horrible genocide, and Juarez Mexico dealing with femicide.
I am so small to be expecting Him to answer my prayers right now. If I am worse this week, maybe, it is just meant to be; I’m only Shannon out of how many Shannon’s and how many women who are fighting this disease?
We have free will, and we must choose the right treatment, and I am trying so hard, but I feel it is so futile when I see so little change after being so confident and full of hope. I have never been like this, and here it is, I am finally to the point where I just think God lets us make choices, and then we all die at different times, “but eventually we die” and go to a better place. I don’t think praying anymore will change what God has already planned for me. I believe in Him, I believe He sent His son to die for our sins that Jesus is our Savior, but right now I think, that death does not mean the same thing to God as it does to us. “We are afraid to let go and return to Him.” He knows it’s the best place we could ever hope to be and yet we don’t dare pray for it because to do that, we would look suicidal.
We pray to stay alive and expect God to answer that prayer. He takes us when He wants to!
I know how lost I seem, I do! I am sitting right now wondering if I will scare you away by hitting the send key to deliver this letter. I love you, my friend, and I am so glad you are in my life, but what if I bring you down? What if I insult your faith with my angry interpretation of God’s will?
Why am I so jealous of survivors right now? What the heck is wrong with me? Why do I want to just for once cook whatever I used to cook because it is delicious? Homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn, my homemade Italian meatballs are simply the best with angel hair pasta and sauce, which is also out of this world. I miss my favorite pineapple, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I am tired of waking up, and everything has to do with this disease. I am supposed to eat all the foods I don’t even like (and that’s healthy?). You should taste my homemade lasagna. I even make the best pumpernickel croutons. Now, everything I love to eat is not supposed to be healthy for me! To hell with it!
Forgive me for being so honest about how I feel, please forgive me. I don’t want to scare you away; I need your friendship, and I am hurting.
PS. To answer your question, you don’t bug me too much; you never have, and you never will.
Let me say today;
I pray to God, and I know I am worth it!
My faith is strong.