“I am available.” That is my prayer, I am available.
I don’t know how far-reaching F.A.I.T.H. will go. I don’t know how or who might receive my flyers, I don’t know if we’ll ever meet face to face. I do know this blog can be shared and forwarded to hundreds of people, some who may personally benefit from the information shared here and others who are wondering how to relate to a loved one or friend who has cancer. I had two women thank me for this site because it helped give them insight in understanding in how to support those who have cancer.
I recently handed out flyers at two women’s Bible studies. I introduced myself and asked the question how many women attending the study knows of someone with cancer or personally has had/has cancer. There was a low groan and every hand raised. A male friend of mine mentioned to me at his men’s Bible study their prayer list has over 54 names of those with cancer to pray for. We all know someone with cancer; stop for a moment and count how many people you know with cancer, you’ll probably be shocked.
Cancer is a world of its own. It is life changing, it has its own schedule, the patient and caregiver are at the discretion of the medical team, it is unpredictable, it is wearying, it is mental, emotional, physical and spiritual in every way.
Today I corresponded with a caregiver. The caregiver recently started her role in supporting and coming alongside her loved one. She said it feels like it has already been forever and “I just feel I’m living in this different world right now. All you can think about is . . .” and she proceeds to name her new “duties.”
Four years ago I distinctly remember talking with my parents about all the people on their street who had cancer; we were astounded. My feelings were “I’m glad its them and not me” and felt removed and a bit indifferent. But I was always saddened to hear “another” person was diagnosed with cancer. Just months later I was on the other side of the fence, I was diagnosed with cancer – and my world changed.
One day while in treatment I thought about the two worlds I lived in; one, without cancer and the other, with cancer.
The world prior to cancer was like I was standing on the seashore looking at the vast ocean. I thought about how the water starts out shallow and then plunges into a world all its own and this world went on for thousands of miles to the other “some where” shore.
In this ocean world life was so very different than the land world. In reality I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what the ocean world was like with all of the sea life including vegetation, cliffs and canyons, reefs and mountains. From watching T.V. documentaries I was familiar with the variety of fish and dolphin and whales, coral and seaweed but over all, this was a vague world to me.
The ocean world is like the cancer world to many of us, vague yet vast in size. It is hard to comprehend if you are not directly involved.
I hope to help caregivers and family and friends in how they can support and encourage the one they are concerned for. For me the best support and encouragement I received were all of the prayers offered on my behalf followed by email notes and notes in my guest book on my CaringBridge site. I looked forward to reading those notes daily as they buoyed me up and helped me along to face another day. I will write more later on how you can be the best medicine for your loved one or friend, even stranger as I had people I didn’t even know write me and that was wonderful.
I started another link menu called, “Words from experience . . .” Under this link category will be articles, blogs and videos from Christians who have traveled this cancer road. Today I posted Pastor Matt Chandler’s account of his brain cancer diagnosed in 2009. After having listened to the video, Matt assured me that life is tentative yet soundly rests in the hand of a sovereign God. The following is a link to an article interview written one year after diagnose:
So please consider who you might send my blog site to and then encourage them to send it on to someone they know. This cyber world (another world!) is amazing as it allows us to connect in so many ways. May this blog be a connection to those who need to read about and listen to those who are either in the ocean world or made it to the “some where” shore!