Friday, January 11, 2013

Pondering the "Benefits" of Cancer

Yesterday, as I was waiting for our visit with Dr. Lin, my mind wandered and I got a little panicky and a little pissed off at cancer.  So, I posted the following question as my Facebook status:  

Just wondering if y'all can help me make a list of the GOOD things that come with cancer. (Not counting loving family & friends... I KNOW THAT part ♥)

And, this is the "conversation" that followed. I found it encouraging. (Bear with the whiny me that you'll see in the conversation.) I still struggle with cancer (or any illness that brings suffering). I don't understand why my father had to have Alzheimer's. Don't understand why the massive heart attack Mama had didn't kill her right away and instead she "suffered" (or what looked like suffering to me). But, I still find comfort in the words of my friends (and family) who contributed to this "conversation." Perhaps you will, too.
  • Ann Starr Jones The chance to share your journey with others traveling the same road and offering support to those you meet along the way.
  • Karen Oglesby Perkins Immediate reaction is how GOOD you and Harv are.....and how many people are being touched by your lives...You Chutes are the honest to goodness real deal!
  • Ann Starr Jones The gift of loving and living each day to the fullest, and not taking anything for granted.
  • Cathy Gray Fosaaen Leaning on God more--learning His care in the small things. Especially in this fallen world.
  • Cindy Wescott Peterson The opportunity to see God at work. I see Him building my character and that of my husband and kids. I see Him provide tender care for my son. I see Him provide answers from old college friends that "happen" to read my posts and hear about the excruciating pain my son is experiencing and lets me know how it can be done differently because she had been through cancer with her daughter 15 years before me.
  • Carrie Hall Chute (Reading Anne Lammott's book "Help Thanks Wow" and it's making me cry... Just finished the Help chapter... And your answers make me cry, too.... Can't we just learn all those things without cancer, though?)
  • Cindy Wescott Peterson I wish I could say that I am always looking to see where God is at work but I'm not. C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."
  • Shelley Knebel I have a podcast on my iPod from a few years ago that I listened to a few times after one surgery by ken Hutchinson... I will see if I can find it online...he called cancer his discipler:-)
  • Terri Suwwan Taught me that I could do what I thought I couldn't, surrounded me with love, brought me closer to God than I had ever been. But still, Carrie, I.HATE.CANCER.
  • Shannon McColaugh Waterman It has drawn the girls closer to each other, as they've walked this road together. It's created a special bond between all three of us. We're stronger, perhaps more compassionate...I hate cancer and death, but love my little family.
  • Laura Bass Laffoon Sometimes in the midst of it all we cannot see the reason or the good...but when we come thru the other side we have clarity. I always wondered why my daddy had to have all the challenges he did but I can't tell u how many people I meet that grew up with sick parents and my story has helped them....Soooo may be your girls will have a story that will effect many? We never know!
  • Cat McAlister I LOVE all the wisdom your friends have shared, (and I agree with them)
  • Laura Elizabeth Hall Not counting loving family and friends....well, I don't think it has made me stronger I just figured out I was stronger than I thought. Also, it has made me get my "stuff" in better order for my children. This is a really good thing for me! I do probably appreciate just the little things more than I use to but some of this may be my age. But I guess aside from the not counting stuff you mentioned, my favorite part is using my cancer card when all else fails. Telemarketers and other solicitors don't ever know what to say to me when I say well I have cancer and can't answer or afford at this moment to think about donating to whatever it is. Also, sometimes you get to go in line first and other things like that. (Really, I don't like this kind of stuff...especially people feeling sorry for you, unless I am just fed up with everything...then out comes the cancer card☺) Since you are a caregiver you can do the same sorts of things. You might just have to adjust the wording a little.
  • Cindy Wescott Peterson Though I am grateful that God has chosen to bless others with our story, given the choice, I would never choose cancer. If I am honest, I'm very selfishly committed to my own and my family's comfort. (That is not said with pride).WE HATE CANCER!
  • Laura Bass Laffoon None of us want the story...I wanted a dad who could run and jump and walk me down the aisle....but God had a different story for me.
  • Carrie Hall Chute I try not to wallow, but sometimes I feel kinda like a kid having a temper tantrum with God. Then I "LIGMO" (term coined by Laura Elizabeth Hall which means "Let it go. Move on.")
  • Betsy True It made me treasure every minute I had with my dad more...times I would have taken for granted otherwise. Thinking of all of you, Chute family!
  • Sandy Melow You know Carrie, God never tells us to figure these things out. There is no "good" rhyme or reason to it. He just tells us to trust Him because He already has it all figured out.
  • Christie Yarbrough Bumgardner I believe that cancer (rather, the cancer my daughter endured), gave me more opportunities and made me bolder to share Jesus with others. Before, I felt like I really had no powerful testimony of my own.....nothing earth-shaking to tell platform. Now, I can boldly tell people what God did through Weslyn and how He worked in our lives as a family because of her illness. We can help and encourage others who are going through it now. I wouldn't have chosen it, no. But since it happened, finding the good in it is the only way I can make any sense out of it. Now that she is cured, we give Him all the glory, and look forward to seeing how He will use this in His plan for Weslyn's life in the future!
  • Molly Hayes The love and support you have felt over the last year are not because of cancer. You established that foundation. It has always been there. Don't give cancer credit for that! I believe it is okay to feel like there is nothing good about cancer. Make a list of all the great things happening in your life because YOU made them happen. You decided that you would put family first. You loved three girls, gave them a fabulous foundation so that they could support each other during times of hardship and celebration. You decided to spend time at home and away from home with your family. You built friendships that have been a support for you over the past year. You made delicious meals that fed your family. You made time for yourself. Cancer didn't make you do any of those things. You did them. Then put that wonderful list right where you can see it. In a nice frame or on the fridge. Then write cancer on an ugly old piece of scrap paper and throw it in the fireplace.
  • Brenda Belcher-Winters I love this string and these women and I don't even know them. And now I'm crying too. . Life is so precious
  • Stephanie Zimmerman Kuhn So appreciate the comments... and I so appreciate where you are Carrie... one major thing Jesus taught me when I thought Mike was dying in front of my eyes was that all my religious jargon about His Sovereign, good control began to take root in the deepest part of my being...I cannot for a minute believe God wants pain to mold us, but He sure is there at the darkest hour.

I know people who don't really see the benefit of Facebook. This, to me, is an example of a community of friends supporting each other and learning from each other. There ARE times when cyber "hugs" can truly be felt.

♥♥♥Many blessings, to you all! ♥♥♥

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