Year of first diagnosis: 2012
Type of cancer: endometrial uterine cancer
My first reaction was not of shock, nor was it a question of “why me” but of “why NOT me”? People contract cancer daily and what would single me out? St. Paul stated that, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Either way it is a win-win situation. Hopefully we become more aware of others’ needs and less of our own.
My greatest learning experience was ascertaining what the Lord wanted from me as His servant. He wanted me to grow in love not only with my fellow sojourners but also with myself – learning to take better care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have pleasantly found that humor is a great healer of all of the above. Not only does it take the edge off of one’s pain but can actually heal. Humor is not a placebo but a tangible factor in making one whole again.
What has proved most helpful is not so much in dwelling on the cancer but on dwelling on the fact that I beat it. Cancer certainly makes one sit up and take notice of changes which must take place. It makes one realize that life is a gift that should not be wasted. None of us knows how long we are destined to live, so we should squeeze the essence of each day and make our lives mean something. It’s kind of sad that it takes something earth shattering to appreciate life but I consider it worth the suffering if we finally come to this conclusion.
There are a number of people that have encouraged me through this journey. When I first received this disconcerting news, I sought out a long time friend whose own cancer bouts have led her to thrive and help others through humor, love and great compassion. She was always there for me, even if not physically present, ALWAYS there for me in spirit. The best advice I could offer to a new cancer patient is to get as much information on your type of cancer. Find a good oncologist but most of all seek the face of God. Trust Him with EVERYTHING!
Keeping a positive attitude helps but some days lucidity will completely escape you. Don’t worry because most of that is caused by pain and drugs. When prayer deluded me, my friends told me they were standing in the gap for me. Somehow I was reassured that God knows our heart and my faith was intact and even deepened because I KNEW God was there and so were my friends.
At the risk of sounding “clicheish”, I would tell someone who was just diagnosed with cancer that where there’s life there is hope. There will be times when you’ll want to throw in the towel, but PLEASE… don’t!! Live for each day and don’t dwell on the past because it is over and all we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on. Don’t worry about tomorrow because we might be fretting over something that might not even happen. Live each day as the gift it truly is. Rest in God and allow Him to carry your burdens. Believe me, it is so liberating!