I (Chris) cannot think of a better way to describe the post-chemo recovery process than to liken it to the aftermath of a major earthquake. (I’m from So Cal after all.) You might also compare it to any other major disaster if you like (whatever is easiest for you to relate to). Everywhere we look we are forced to deal with some form of unthinkable devastation neither of us expected: something we have either lost which can never be replaced or something that’s been destroyed which will take years of hard work & the grace of God to rebuild. The emotional spiritual & physical toll that cancer & chemo have taken on our marriage, our family & our individual emotional states is simply beyond belief right now.
And although we didn’t ask to experience these losses, to have our lives reordered or dismantled in the way they have been, there is precious little we can do about it on our own because we were never in control of our own lives to begin with & we both know it, even if we forget it at times. We were led here by the One who made us for Himself & saved us in Christ to begin with. So whether by direct intervention or allowance, it matters very little in the end. He led us here for His own special purposes & glory. And we both must learn to except that and walk in that by faith. It is not like He hasn’t already proven to both of us that He is with us & for us no matter what happens to us. He certainly has. So we can put our trust in Him & rest in His work through this as well.
Although we have no idea what that will actually look like in the end or what good can possibly come from the craziness of this past year. we do know that He does. And that’s enough for us. Personally I can think of no better place to put my own faith than in Him. I’d rather live through 50 devastating storms with Him than travel the road of this life in ease without Him. And that’s the truth. But where does that leave us as a family practically? Where do we go from here in the long term? How are we supposed to assimilate back into an ordinary life after going through something like this? What IS normal these days anyways? Recovery is a slow & painful process, one that is clearly going to take a lot more time & patience to get through than we ever thought it would before.
And from where I am standing the only thing I can see that we CAN do is move forward in faith that God will see us through. We must learn to put our faith in Christ and rely on His sufficiency in everything anyways, right? Why Not here as well? Why not in the recovery process? After all, we are not alone in this. We have a Heavenly Father who gave the only Son of His love on our behalf to live & die in our place for our benefit. And we have the Holy Spirit who groans for us with words unspoken & points us back to Him when we falter and fail. And if that’s not enough we also have the church body to lift us up in prayer & stand beside us in the many difficulties to come. And that is more than enough for anyone; more that enough for our present needs anyways. So we are clearly in good hands.
Although it is true that chemo therapy recovery is a VERY difficult place for anybody to be in, we both agree it could be so much worse than it is. Despite the difficulty & damage that have followed we are both so grateful to God for all He has done on our behalf, so much more than either of us really deserve. So while anyone would agree it is not the ideal place to be on the surface, we have both seen it to be the gift of God to break us & change us, mold us & shape us & ultimately ground us in the deeper revelation of the sufficiency & supremacy of the Son of God who gave His life for us. For me personally I can honestly say, in spite of all, it has actually been a positive life changing experience, one that I have certainly taken for granted, one I am sure to look back on with great fondness and miss when it is all over & done with. And that is the truth.
As for Cindy’s health, I’d be lying if I said everything is much easier post-chemo. The truth is as grateful as we are to be through it all, it is still not without its difficulties. For example she now has an edema in each of her feet and still suffers from pretty bad neuropathy. Her body still aches the majority of the time and it’s still very difficult for her to think clearly about even the simple things. She still struggles to help take care of our children and she can only do so much before she begins to shut down physically mentally and emotionally. Of course it doesn’t help that we are currently preparing Josiah for kindergarten or taking Noah to get tested for ASD (autism spectrum disorder) or even that our Becca has become quite the little ball of non stop energy keeping us both on our toes at all times. But life moves on just the same and we do our best to keep on keeping on, resting in the strength of our Savior.
In conclusion, we want to thank each of you again, for the many kindness you have shown to our little family through the past year. I cannot imagine where we would be without your gracious love and support. May the Lord bless you as you have blessed us and keep you in the power of His Spirit.
The Broniste Family
A Few Family Prayer Requests for the Road:
– Wisdom & understanding for Chris & Cindy to deal with Noah’s ASD results
– Grace for Cindy to adjust to helping with the kids & getting used to normal life
– Provision to pay for nannies until Cindy can take over
– Grace & wisdom in the increase of spiritual warfare (the result of sharing the testimony of Gods work in our lives this past year)
– For Chris & Cindy as they adjust to married life again (emotional & spiritual healing in the re-connection process)
– And finally for our family’s emotional state in general (there is a lot of hurt and pain to wade through as a family)