Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What can cancer really do?

The following poem was given to me when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  I see it posted in lots of places such as hospitals and Physician offices. 
What Cancer Cannot Do
Author: Unknown

Cancer is so limited...

It cannot cripple love.

It cannot shatter hope.

It cannot corrode faith.

It cannot eat away peace.

It cannot destroy confidence.

It cannot kill friendship.

It cannot shut out memories.

It cannot silence courage.

It cannot reduce eternal life.

It cannot quench the Spirit.

I read the poem and really had no thoughts on it at the time.  I was not convinced that it was completely accurate but didn't dwell on it.  I assumed it was my lack of faith that caused me to question the poem. The emotional roller coaster of having cancer is a rough one.  Some days you go on with life and don't give it a thought.  Other days - not so good.  I, for one, believe that having cancer can certainly rob you of many of the things listed above.  And I absolutely believe that when approaching a cancer diagnoses relying on one's own strength then it is certainly possible to have your faith shattered.  It can certainly shatter your hope and corrode your faith.  Your confidence is definitely shaken when you have no hair and people stare at you. I've witnessed first hand how it can rock a relationship when a couple had a weak marriage.  It made my marriage stronger because of the way my husband reacted.  Others are not that fortunate.  A woman living without her breasts can be a very difficult battle. Some days you just don't have the courage to go on.   These are the things that can also make you stronger when you are diagnosed. Fear can be crippling.   It is a choice to fight through these feelings and to rely fully on God and His strength.  2 Timothy 1:7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
God  is the reason we are able to endure and to not stop.  There are so many unknowns when diagnosed but there is one constant.  God.  He is constant.  He cradles you in His arms and carries you through.  When you are in the midst of the fire (cancer diagnosis and treatments) you often don't know how you managed to get through another day.  When you look back on things and reflect you know exactly how you got through.  It was God carrying you.  The poem about footsteps is far better suited for a journey through cancer because God most certainly carries you through those dark days. 
During treatments and more so after treatments stop - there are lots of what it's.  Lots of fear of the unknown.  Often times we worry about what may or may not happen.  I've seen the grave more times than I can count.  I've walked in the Oncologists office with highest of expectations to be shot down with lab work concern.  Other times I've gone in with no expectations and leave with the best possible report.  It is a constant battle - a struggle of the mind.  I sometimes think that God is sitting on His throne smiling at me - saying "I told you I would handle this!" and me thinking "yes God I know - but I just thought I would help you along."  As usual I get reminded that He does not need my help and that if I will allow Him the battle He will fight it for me. 
My point in this post is to remind you that those going through the cancer battle have many emotional swings.  Some days are good ones and some just simply are not.  When someone faces this diagnosis be considerate of them when offering unsolicited words of wisdom.  Offer to be a shoulder to cry on and ears to hear if they need it.  Offer scripture to encourage.  Wrap them in your arms and love them up! So many did this for me and I am forever grateful.  They loved me no matter what my mood was and they understood the emotional and physical battle.  I was so very blessed.  Cancer can give you many blessings if you look for them.  I was blessed beyond measure by my family, friends and church.  I was given a much stronger faith in God by having cancer.  It challenged my control and made me realize who was in charge and who was the Great Physician.  The last two lines are perfect truths - Cancer cannot reduce eternal life.  It cannot quench the Spirit.  God cannot be quenched.  We may walk away from Him - but He is Sovereign and He reigns.  He is the great I Am. 
It's not hard to find someone touched by breast cancer or another kind - so be a blessing to them.  Encourage them.  Share the love of Jesus with them.
Love you all,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Diane.