Dear Elmwood Family and Friends,
It is with great praise and thanksgiving that we share this special
update from Elizabeth Bakewicz. As we
recall the great goodness of our LORD and His amazing love and provision this
month, it is fitting to hear from Elizabeth her heartfelt thanks to God for
sparing her life. Truly, we all have so
much to be thankful for. As God’s people
may we live each day with an attitude of deepest gratitude. With great thanks for each and every one of
you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Alive and Pressing On
Another MRI, another great report from my neuro-oncologist. It seems I
may live quite a long time, a long time indeed. My doctor did a longevity
study on my MRIs, showing me how my tumor looked back in May 2008 when it was
first discovered versus today. The image changes are beyond dramatic.
Back in 2008, the mass in my left frontal lobe looked like a big egg taking
up space where it didn’t belong. It was pressing on the fluid in the interior
of my brain and on the outside near my skull. It was thick and dense and
definitely not supposed to be there. I remember one doctor (a radiation
oncologist) telling us we needed to act immediately while so many others saying
that there was time because the “egg” looked normal, homogenous,
Today, the MRI shows scar tissue of what remains of the tumor. It is
a half-moon size of what it used to be, it looks thin by comparison, and there
is no pressure at all whatsoever on the fluid in the center of my brain. It is
a mere shadow of what it once was. It is quite astonishing to see that
all that suffering can produce such results. Which leads me to this sort
of philosophical quandary…. Why me?
I think perhaps I should have felt more of this in the beginning when it
all started. Why do I have a brain tumor? Why do I have cancer? Why do I
have such a dismal chance at a full life? But I didn’t – I somehow knew
that God had a plan and I trusted that plan. I was miserable, and heart broken,
and sad for me and those I loved. But at the beginning I never really
asked “why”. However, as time went on and my seizures have ebbed and
flowed with headaches and fatigue and too many doctors appointments the
question has become more real to me.
But now, now that my doctor tells me I am in great health from a cancer
perspective and that I have hit the point, statistically, that I will likely
live a long life….now I ask why? Why me Lord? Why did you choose me
to live and not the many others I have known and not known who have died from
cancer? Why am I to live and not be brought before You in Your thrown of
Glory? Why am I still here and what now is your plan? So many real
and hard questions.
I am brought to tears this morning, thinking these things. Thinking of
the marvels of science and creation. Thinking of the amazing grace of my
life. Thinking of the miracles of our children. I look out at
the October sky and remember a similar day seven years ago when I had lost much
of my hair, my daughter was a mere five-months-old, and I could barely
eat. Others cared for me and my family. My mother spent immense
amounts of time in my home, providing for us in ways I could not, loving on my
family, and bringing me my Ensure shake each morning. I think of the
holidays to come and remember that seven years ago I could barely eat
Thanksgiving turkey and pie and even Christmas cookies had lost their
luster. The sadness in my husband's eyes.
Isaiah said in chapter 6:8 - “Then I heard the voice of
the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here
am I. Send Me.’” I remember thinking these words and wondering if I told the
Lord, “Here am I. Send Me”, what would he have in store for me? To speak
to a people with eyes shut, ears never hearing, and hearts calloused?
Would they turn and be healed, or would I turn and be healed? So many
questions as I continually prayed as Jesus prayed: Not my will Lord, but your
will be done. And so, eight years of His will have passed. Who has
seen; who has heard; whose heart has opened to the wonder of the Lord?
And as the Lord’s will has been done, what now? What is His will for this
new phase in my life and my family’s life? So many questions. Why
me oh LORD, why me?
So I cry tears of gratitude and again pray that His will be done. My
suffering and the suffering of those around me continues in other ways, some
the same, some different. I have seized eight of the last ten days.
I am tired and weary. My heart wanders to a time, now long ago, when
things were “different.” But we press on, and I ask why. What a
funny thing. I praise Him and ask why.
As the sun continues to rise on this day, I write to you and know that your
thousands of prayers have been heard by the Maker. The Author has heard
and answered and we are grateful. I am still here!! Perhaps this is
what I should rest on. I answered Him, I trusted Him and I am still here.
There is more to come. This morning I asked, Lord, what should I do
today. This morning the answer was clear - write.
“The Lord has done great things for us; we are GLAD!” Psalm 126:3
Press on; continue to pray for the battle rages on and there is more to
do…otherwise, perhaps, He would have called me home long ago. To my
friends who have lost loved ones during these past eight years my heart cries
out for you. I cry with you in your anguish and I pray that your sweet
ones are with the LORD. If you question where you will go, all you need
do is answer Jesus’s request, “Follow me.” He came to us, and requires no
more than for us to follow Him, answer His call. He promises to do
marvelous things as we praise Him and honor His holy name.
evangelist, alive and pressing on,