Sunday, March 4, 2012

Putting cancer on the (endangered) list

On Sunday mornings in Sunday School Bible study we first discuss our prayer list. How those that have been on it are doing, if there is anyone to be removed, if there is anyone to add. This morning there were several names added-all because of cancer. A new Believer's dad has been told to get his affairs in order as his time is short. His bones are riddled with cancer. People with liver cancer, colon cancer were on the list of new additions. Remembering families of those who have lost their battle. To cancer. Most of the additions or people discussed were because of cancer.

People who had been going about their daily business, working, going to school, sports or hobbies. Regular every day things that were suddenly very rudely interrupted by cancer. Everything then immediately changed. Life in the every day was forever changed.

Now in the midst of the ordinary there are tests, doctor visits, surgeries, treatments and new things to be learned. The every day ordinary person becomes a cancer warrior. Learning how to deal with everything that comes with having cancer. Those not fighting but caring for the fighter has to learn how to care confidently. Love is never a question, but doing things you had never had to do before competently is a challenge.

Lifestyles change to some degree, thought processes change, eating habits, exercise habits, the very way one perceives things around them changed. Small things make a big difference. You see the beauty in the flowers, in the song of the birds, the dance of a butterfly. You understand how the laugh of a child is special. This is not something you wanted, but you take the challenge and go forward.

An old saying once was "life begins at 40." My cancer was discovered shortly after I turned 50. My life began again right then. Everything I knew changed, turned upside down. I fully understand how someone newly diagnosed feels, how it feels to have to tell family, how it feels to undergo the tests, the surgery, the treatments. I know how it feels to be on a prayer list. My cancer was caught early, but I learned a great deal from it. I have learned more since. It is the things I have faced that are the inspiration and reasons for what I do now. I was once told that it is a noble thing that I am doing. I smiled as I quietly disagreed. There is nothing noble in my greed, for more survivors, for more warriors to fight against the enemy cancer. Together, we are strong. Together, we can help others have more birthdays. Together we can keep families and friends together longer. Together we can learn and share what we learn.

Then prayer lists can be filled with praise rather than requests..

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