The Discovery Curve

April 10, 2015

Walk with Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly, as she lives through cancer. This and other reflections will appear on the web page "Each New Day."



I learned of my diagnosis almost two months ago now. All of the appointments, tests, and visits piled up quicker than I could process. Each scheduled meeting was important, perhaps even lifesaving, but I found myself going through the motions. I was doing what needed to be done. It was one of the most overwhelming times of my life and, though I knew that each appointment was important, I found myself asking the same questions over and over again. My brain just couldn’t file everything that it was taking in.

What I have learned thus far is that it is possible to sit in the transfusion center hooked up to an IV pole for hours for my chemotherapy treatment and still feel like it’s surreal. I can see my husband sitting next to me, chatting or watching videos to pass the time, and find myself forgetting that it’s all actually happening to me. I’ve gone through the proceeding days with the effects of the chemicals coursing through my body, gauging what is said to happen on paper with what actually occurs. It’s real and yet impossible.

Many people speak of the emotionally draining part of this journey and I’ve had to be gentle with myself to acknowledge it. Early on, making two phone calls to doctors’ offices could take most of my energy in one day. Now, I wake up in a given day to feel a rush of energy or the weight of a to-do list.

I’m relearning what it means to honor self-care by reconnecting with my body’s voice and actually stopping to heed its needs. I pause for rest instead of pushing to finish that one last thing on the list. It’s time to explore strength and healing while being extremely gentle with myself. Everything else can wait.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matt. 6:34, NRSV).

  1. We just received the "Come to the Waters" PW study. I have read some of your suggestions for leaders and am certain we will find them useful. So, as we study we will keep you in our prayers and thank you for your good work and wisdom. We hope you will have opportunities to share your faith with those who care for you.

    by Jan Beran

    April 13, 2015

  2. Thank you for your words, Larissa. Continuing prayers for you and your family. May you feel the support of the wide community that surely surrounds you with God's love and care.

    by Linda Wygant

    April 11, 2015

  3. I listened with awe to you as the GA streamed into Monte Vista Grove here in my Assisted Living room in Pasadena and was thrilled. My prayers continue for you. God is good for us all.

    by Evelyn Thomas Heyne

    April 11, 2015

  4. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

    by Phyllis G Thomas

    April 11, 2015

  5. You may feel the physical and emotional weakness of the moment, but your courageous witness and heart-felt updates are evidence of a strong spiritual presence within and around you. I pray that strength will sustain you.

    by Greg Coulter

    April 10, 2015

  6. Dear Larissa, thank you for telling your story. Many will gain strength from it, including you. Believe in yourself and your body's ability to heal. God is already at work within, making you brand new. May there be blessings along this journey. As Christ's disciples, we are known as people of The Way. We have a magnificent Guide. You are not traveling alone.

    by Jana L. Johnsen

    April 10, 2015

  7. Your experience is normal. Your life is being threatened and your mind is overwhelmed. I remember feeling that way seven years ago when I received my diagnosis. It's okay to be scared and weak and sad and lost if that's how you feel. Acceptance will come little by little and you will learn so many wonderful things.

    by Beverly Steed

    April 10, 2015

  8. I met you at GA 2014 in Detroit, and I was so impressed with you. You are a lovely and dynamic lady. May God be with you and your family during this time. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily.

    by Polly Wild

    April 10, 2015

  9. My prayers continue to be with you and your family, Larissa. May you rest in God's loving arms and continually be aware of God's loving care.

    by Ginny Smith

    April 10, 2015

  10. Do be gentle with yourself through this process! You and yours are in my daily prayers.

    by Judy Kolwicz

    April 10, 2015

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