Where it all started
A year ago I was wondering about life and where it was gonna take me. I just didn’t know, but I knew there was something big on the horizon. I didn’t know what it was. It’s like that feeling that there’s so much change about to happen but I don’t really know what it’s gonna be. Then on January 11, 2012, I found a tumor under my arm and by March of the same year I was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma, which is a rare form of cancer.
Abigail Smith (photo above) was diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma
My name is Abigail Smith and I come from an absolutely amazing family. I have four brothers. Two are older than me and the other two are younger. We are very blessed to have really awesome parents who raised us up in the country so we grew up with a good sense of learning to work hard and be as independent as we can be. My parents have a book publishing business, so we had the privilege to travel all throughout the US. With all the traveling we did, we were able to make a lot of friends and learn about more than just Duncan, Oklahoma. We were blessed with parents who just felt that the world is not just in our backyard.
“God, I know that You’re holding me in Your hands and You know about every little thing that is happening before it even happens and I can trust You with anything.”
Following My Passions
With each of my brothers and I, my parents have completely supported us and any of our passions that we had. It’ s just amazing how many people I have gotten to meet through photography. At the age of 15, I decided that I’d like to go into it as a business. Being homeschooled made it possible to really focus on learning the techniques. I did wedding photography for five years. My favourite, though, is senior portrait photography. I love high school seniors and I love families. The connection I have with them is just very special. Now that I’m 23, I still love doing it and I’ve never been more passionate about it than now.
Abigail is very passionate about photography
Learning To Bring God My Fears
The hardest thing was just waiting. Waiting to find out what it was, waiting to find out what kind of fight that we were gonna have with it because it’s easier knowing how to win the battle if you know the enemy’s name. I got diagnosed in March. From there I had surgery to get the tumor removed and we felt like the next step immediately after that would be to do radiation treatment. I went through 37 treatments of radiation. During one of my times when I was getting radiation treatment, I had to lay there for 30 minutes. I would make it a point to just talk to God. I did that because it was painful and I didn’t want to be there and it was just a great time for me to focus all my energy on talking to God and just praying for anyone I could think of. I think it was one of those times I was laying there that I was like, “God, I know that You’re holding me in Your hands and You know about every little thing that is happening before it even happens and I can trust You with anything.”
Abigail getting radiation treatment
Cancer Had Spread
I finished radiation in June 2012. I was feeling really good but when I went back to get a check up, the doctor found that the cancer had spread to my lungs and that it was just all in my lungs. There was no hope for surgery because we can’t really do anything about it with where it’s located. It’s hard when someone tells you that you have this terminal illness. It’s really shocking to hear that news. I just wasn’t prepared for it really. When you hear something the first time, you think that the next time you hear it will get easier. I don’t think it ever gets easier if you hear something like that. The doctor recommended that I do chemotherapy, but with only having a 30 to 50% chance of slowing down the cancer and not even curing it, I felt like it was not something I wanted to do.
Struggles, Questions, and Confusions
I have definitely struggled with thoughts, emotions, and the questions like, “Why would this happen to me?” because I’ve never gone to the doctor one day in my life. The year 2012 has been the first year that I’ve ever seen so many doctors. And it has been hard because nobody can explain why it happened. There was so much confusion. Just dread, absolute dread regarding if I should do chemotherapy. When I found out, I went to bed crying, and I woke up crying and I cried a lot of the day because I was just like, “God, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna know whether or not I need to do this because this is kind of the biggest decision I’ve had to make so far.”
My Turning Point-God, I Rest in You!
I realized that He is the only one that’s gonna give my answer. And it was just amazing how He brought it about somewhere, and instantly I knew without a doubt that it was not the path that I should take. And the next day, I went to bed with hope, which I hadn’t had at all. And I was like, “Oh God, I know this is You” because I had really no hope before and I had no peace. But then I woke up with hope and peace the next day. It’s a challenge knowing that I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I had peace with the decision that I made and I know that I am trusting God for the final outcome, no mater what it is. I know that He has got me in the palm of His hands. You know when you need to do the right thing. When you get through that and you have hope and peace.
What I’ve Learned From My Cancer
If I could go back and tell myself what the hardest struggle was, it wouldn’t be cancer. It would be myself because I almost made it out to be even worse than it was. I was constantly having to deal with feelings of anxiety, fear, and all these things. If I would have only taken it one day at a time, only one minute at a time, one hour and put my complete trust in Christ. That is what I have learned to do and am learning to do. You can go through suffering with or without Christ. I mean, it’s your option if you’re gonna go through suffering. I never felt so loved and cared for by Him than this year with the way He worked out all the doctors that I was lined up to see. I’ve never felt more like He understands what I’m going through than now because I know that He went through the worst possible pain that you can go through as a human and I know He knows exactly what I feel. And I think that is the main reason why I can turn to Him because He’s been through it all already and He promises to help us do that.
Cancer Treatment Today
As far as the treatment plan right now, we are doing everything we can to naturally build up my body. I’m having a healthy diet by cutting out all sugars, all refined processed things like flour and grains and such and then just some other natural things that we’re doing as far as a treatment plan goes. My past medical bills for this whole 2012 have been about $60,000. To continue on my treatment that I plan on doing is gonna cost about $2,000 a month or so for this year.
God is Where I Find My Rest
It’s a daily walk with God. That’s where I find my rest. You really don’t know how much you need each other until facing cancer or any kind of tragedy, trauma, or hardship. He’s just so incredibly faithful and He cares about you more than anything. And He’s there to walk you through whatever life may hold.