Holding Onto Hope in the Unexpected | A Purpose in Pain Guest Post
On Monday, I walked into work just like any other day. By Friday, unable to bear more than a little weight on my left leg, I relied on a crutch to get me from the front door to my desk.
The inability to use my leg in a normal capacity was not something I had ever contemplated. For twenty-seven years, I had been an active individual. Fifteen years of dance classes. A member of the golf and tennis team in high school. Weekend hikes. Walks around the neighborhood. Regular yoga classes. Movement has always been a given—never something that could be rapidly taken away.
Three months before experiencing mobility loss, I had been diagnosed with a recurrent tumor. The first attempt at surgical removal had failed and its return was aggressive. A rare tumor with no standard, one-size-fits-all treatment plan, trial and error ensued as my medical team sought a way to control its growth.
When the first treatment proved ineffective in slowing the tumor’s growth, the tightness in my leg began to increase—slowly at first and then day by day. A few weeks into trialing a new medication and I found myself unable to bear my full weight on my left leg. The growth had constricted my gastrocnemius to the point of impairing the function of my knee and ankle. In a matter of days, I went from walking to barely being able to stretch my leg past 90-degrees.
Crutches and a scooter became my lifeline. As my body continued to decline—and there seemed to be no straightforward path to shrink the tumor and regain mobility—my trust in God was put to the test.
What if we don’t find an effective treatment to shrink the tumor?
What if I never walk again?
What if my leg has to be amputated?
These questions lived in the back of my mind but were rarely voiced. Vocalizing the fear felt like naming them as real possibilities. None of what I was experiencing felt real. I felt like I was watching someone else’s life unfold. I could not comprehend how life had so drastically shifted. I was left with two choices: turn away from God or turn toward Him.