“Cancer brought me to my knees.” I got the call with the diagnosis of breast cancer in August 2006, but it wasn’t until months later that I would understand what impact it would have on my life.
I was blessed to have a good Christian friend who’d take me out for a beer every few weeks to ask how I was doing and to see if I needed anything. He’d lost a son to cancer; he understood what I was going through.
“What do you fear most about the cancer? Are you afraid of dying, a recurrence, or the pain of more surgeries?” I’d shared with him how ugly I felt after a single mastectomy. “Is it the disfigurement of the cancer? What is causing you the most fear, right now?”
Tears started to well up in my eyes as I was finally honest with myself: “I don’t fear more surgery, the pain, my disfigured appearance, or even death. I am most afraid of losing my faith.”
“Let me explain: everything about cancer is awful. For the first few weeks, I was convinced that I would die within six months. When the surgeries started, I was afraid of the pain. Then I was afraid of being lonely when I realized that people were avoiding me because they didn’t know what to say, or they had trouble looking at me because my appearance had changed. In my loneliness, I was afraid I’d get cancer again.”
“But now there’s only one thing I’m afraid of: Losing my faith.”
“You see, I’ve realized that everything begins and ends with my trust in God and my belief that I will have an eternal life with Him. That is why I have hope.
If I lose hope, nothing else matters. If I have hope, nothing else matters.
My faith sustains me through every trial and tribulation here on Earth whether it is cancer, pain, rejection, betrayal, loneliness, or a disfigured appearance. God cares for me and walks with me every step of the way.”
Now it’s April 2012 and my last fear is gone. I’ve spent 5 years recovering from the dreaded diagnosis of breast cancer; my doctors tell me I’m “cured”. I still think about breast cancer each day, it never leaves you, —but I also think each day about my faith in God and how He has walked by my side through those darkest of days.
Each and every morning I am thankful that I am alive and grateful for my faith.
What is your greatest fear: losing your good looks, your job, your money, your wife, losing a loved one, or getting cancer?
Have faith; God will love you through it.
Your Sister in Christ,