For nearly a year, I spent more time than I needed worrying about whether or not I had stomach or colon cancer, because test results were coming back inconclusive. I'm happy to say that all the biopsies came back negative and in fact there was nothing at all in my intestinal tract that wasn't supposed to be there. There, were, however, a couple of large polyps in my stomach, which turned out to be benign, and are in the class of "I had a stomach infection which didn't turn up in any other way and wasn't treated and irritated my duodenum and have been given a course of antibiotics to take care of any bacterial infection that might be left."
But to spend that time worrying that you might have cancer, the not knowing, and the places that your imagination can go has the potential to invade your every thought, especially when you're not occupied with something else. The mind never seems to jump to the positive, usually the negatives. What if I have cancer? What if it's not curable? What will my family do without me? Will my children grow up without a mother? Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) really is the best of planners, but sometimes, we cannot understand why Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has given us these challenges.
I thought more about this today when I read the blog post of a dear friend who is undergoing tests for uterine cancer. The cancer that her mother eventually died of began as uterine cancer. And I thought about the tests that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) gives us throughout our lives. The loss of parents, the loss of children far outweigh the loss of material goods that we may come up against due to floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. When we come away with our lives and little more, we often look around us and say "what have I done to deserve this?" when sometimes, I think we need to say "God, you've given me this challenge to show me how strong I am, when I most doubt the strength that you have given me. My life is not mine, but yours." To those not religious, to those that doubt or completely disbelieve the existence of God (astaghfirullah)