If you’re dealing with cancer – either your own or someone you love, do not feel obligated to hide or “handle it” perfectly.
In my chaplain role, oncology patients have taught me so much. One spunky, very ill, older woman said she had so much cancer in her family that she always knew without a doubt that her turn would come to battle it. She already studied a lot on the subject, to help support family members. She felt well-prepared for the time when it knocked on her own door.
She told me that when it actually happened to her, she realized she wasn’t as “good” at cancer as she thought she would be – it turned her world upside down and she had a much harder time emotionally than she expected to. She ended up with the same fears, devastating thoughts and initial hopelessness that she saw in others.
Another woman I spoke with said the worst for her was losing her hair, no matter how perfect her wig was. She didn’t feel like a woman anymore. Another woman didn’t care so much about the hair stuff, but she could barely deal with losing a breast, and now she was losing the second one. One man was sure his wife would not love him anymore, but would only stay with him out of obligation, hoping to find a “whole” man after he passed.
This cancer monster is so diverse and sneaky in the way it attacks each person! It attacks ones psyche, spirit and body. It finds each person’s own unique vulnerabilities and attacks.
If you are in a place where you can hear this, take heart and have full confidence in the presence of God in every aspect of your life. Even cancer. This is really hard. You are a whole person, who happens to have cancer. At times you may feel consumed by it, defined by it, in ways no one else can know.
Please know at least this one thing, beloved, God does care and will never leave you. You are not alone, even in those dark quiet moments, when anguish washes over you. God’s Holy Spirit accompanies each of us into our most personal battles, even the ones where we feel so alone and abandoned – He IS with you now and every tomorrow.
Peace be with your spirit, RevDonnaH