Joe’s Story

Name: Joe

Year of first diagnosis: 2006

Kind of cancer: bladder cancer

 What was your initial reaction to hearing “you have cancer”?

 When I first heard I have cancer from my doctor I was at work. My initial reaction was shock, tempered by a feeling of strength and faith in God. I told my wife that evening and we held onto each other tightly and shared a good cry.

 What has been your greatest learning experience?

   My greatest learning experience was that you should spend no time wondering “why me?!” Rather, focus on “why not me?” It cannot always be someone else and I certainly would not want to give this to someone else just so my life is easier.

 What has proved most helpful in staying with the process?

   There is no other process to stay in! Hold onto Jesus (talk to Him), be strong for your family and not vice-versa. I stay engaged in life. Remember, if you want to fall apart and just be a miserable person, Jesus is watching! You are still here and He still expects something out of you or He would have taken you already.

 What resources (people, places books) have offered the greatest support?

   My resource is the Bible. It’s the greatest book ever written and there will never be another like it. My family has also been fantastic.

 Has your own spirituality been enhanced or lessened by cancer?

   My faith in Jesus Christ has been greatly enhanced! He is always by our sides and we decide if we want to access Him. I would say to anyone whether you have cancer or not, make Him a big part of your life. He just wants us to talk to Him and He will pour out His love and contentment on us.

 What would you say to someone who was diagnosed with cancer today?

   Be strong, cry, hold unto family, rinse and repeat. Put Jesus in the center of it all. He knows we are all human and He is there for all of us! Do not go the “poor me” route. It solves nothing! Don’t blame Jesus because He loves you! This is all part of your life’s journey. Make Him proud of you!!!

 In closing, all of our lives are in the Lord’s hands. We only realize it or want to acknowledge it when our lives are at risk from cancer, etc. People in these situations have a unique perspective. If you are a Christian, be jealous of people who have gone through the cancer experience. People who go through cancer see life so clearly! … It is also a period where you are so close to Jesus once you surrender to Him. Your life will never be the same!

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