When God and Cancer meet…

I received the book When God and Cancer Meet yesterday in the mail from a reader, and I haven’t been able to put it down since… (Thanks Lisa!)

I want to write about some similarities in her thoughts and mine.

For three hours I lay in the room thinking about what it is going to be like to chemotherapy pour through my veins. I had a little conversation with myself as I tried to control my weeping

Get a grip on your self, my head told my heart. What are you so afraid of? You were sick night and day for six months with all three of your pregancies. Mouth sores? You have had them before? Needles? You’re not afraid of them. Losing your hair? It’ll grow back. Don’t be so vain. But my heart didn’t buy it. I just cried harder as I stroked the hair that I so desperately wanted to keep.

Yes, thats what I am afraid of, I admitted. I don’t want to look sick for my children and my husband.

I had every.single.one. of those feelings and fears. I sat in the hospital bed, all alone for an extended amount of time after the surgeon came and told me that it was cancerous, and that the biopsy of the tumor was worse than he expected. I heard the words “I’m so sorry Mrs. George” for the second time in my life, first being when I was told my daughter wouldn’t be born alive. I was in shock, unable to dial the phone because I couldn’t remember the numbers to my parents or my husband, so I just held the phone in my hands and pushed all the numbers while crying. I couldnt ask for help because I couldn’t talk. So there I was, literally all alone with the reality that I had cancer.

I was sobbing like a baby when my parents and husband arrived, and I couldn’t tell them what the surgeon had told me. It was the loneliest point of my life, alone with my fears and unable to express them.

The look on my husbands face, I will never forget that look. All he could do was hold me and cry. I am sure that fear was etched all over my face, because I knew what was going through my mind and heart, and not being able to express that verbally came out in other ways.

My odds weren’t good.

Later in the the first chapter, she writes..

When I was diagnosed I was told that I had, at best, a fifty fifty chance of surviving. It seemed to me as if someone was going to flip a coin:heads I live, tails I die. It drove me crazy thinking about it.

And then, an even better truth hit me: God wasn’t playing roulette with cancer.

He didnt have His fingers crossed.
He wasnt going to wish me luck.
He wasn’t taking bets on my future.
He didnt need good odds to heal me.

You need to know and believe that cancer is not an automatic death sentence….Doctors do their best at predicting cure rates and odds of survival, but these predictions are just educated guesses.

I’m reminded of the scripture in 1 Peter 5:10 that I wrote about a few days ago…

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.
He gets the last word; yes, he does.
1 Peter 5:10

I have no fewer days left on this earth than I did before cancer entered my life. I trust that, I believe that, but it is human nature for one to question their future when given such grim statistics regarding prognosis. It is human nature to question anything and everything that you felt secure and solid, not only with the diagnosis of cancer, but anything that shakes your world to its core.

But we, as Christians, have something more. We have peace. When the world falls down around us, like it did in that hospital bed back in Mayo for me, we have the promise of peace. When you think that you can’t face another day, He is still there. When you feel alone in your grief and worries. He is there.

Trust that.

It is a peace that makes no sense.
It is a peace that cannot be explained.
It is a peace that goes beyond our human mind.
It is a peace that only God can give.
It is a peace I hope you’ll feel today.

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Comments

  1. Amen to that!

  2. IF I believe in God, in a Being who made me, and fashioned me, and knows my wants and capacities and necessities, because He gave them to me, and who is perfectly good and loving, righteous, and perfectly wise and powerful,–whatever my circumstances inward or outward may be, however thick the darkness which encompasses me, I yet can trust, yea, be assured, that all will be well, that He can draw light out of darkness, and make crooked things straight.

    –THOMAS ERSKINE

  3. peace to you

  4. what you wrote- about having no less days than before you knew about the cancer- that is a brave statement. thank you for sharing and please know i pray constantly for you.

  5. Mark George says:

    tell it like it is

  6. I love love that line that you have no fewer days on earth because of cancer… what a great reminder that God has planned it all from beginning to end. Nothing can change His plans – not cancer, not anything!!

    You are an encouragement and your honesty breaks my heart often as I read. Thnk you for blessing us by sharing your journey.

  7. I read this quote on another blog today:

    “Concretely, abandonment to the will of God consists of finding HIS purpose for you in all the people, events, and circumstances you encounter. If God tears up your beautiful game plan and leads you into a valley instead of onto a mountaintop, it is because He wants you to discover HIS plan, which is more beautiful than anything youor I could have dreamed up. The response of trust is “Thank you, Jesus,” even if it is said through clenched teeth.” ~Brennen Manning

  8. Wow. Those are some POWERFUL amazing truths. Thank you for that. Thank you for directing it back to HIM. Awesome. I’m praying for you!

  9. campstamper03 says:

    Only GOD can give us the peace that we need in our everyday lives no matter whether we have cancer or not. It is that peace that we depend on, we hold on to and need especially when we have cancer. I’m praying that God continues to give you this peace.

    Hugs ‘N Prayers,
    Norma

  10. This peace we receive from Jesus is something that cannot be duplicated,
    conjured up, brought about by positive thinking, does not exist unless it is given to us by Him. It is His true manifestation of His loving arms wrapped around us, holding us close to His heart, an inner knowing deep in our soul that where He holds us safe is truly beyond any human understanding. It is His precious gift to us as He walks the valley with us. It is a warm and soft blanket of His trustworthy love. God is so good and loves us so much.

    Have a wonderful and healthy day in peace,
    Laurie in Ca.

  11. Wow! This was a really great post, Heather. And I’m so glad you’ve received this book and its message. Thank you for sharing some terrific insight with us today.
    Blessings,
    ~Toni~

  12. Right on Heather!!! Your words give everybody here strength and i hope that with our strength you feel it too!!! Sending good healing thoughts your way!!!
    Michelle

  13. Goosebumps. And the compelling thought that, Heather….you MUST write that book.

  14. And this is what sets us apart from those who face life’s circumstances with no hope–and makes peace possible. You are such a powerful witness of what God can do in a life truly given over to Him.

  15. I haven’t read this entry yet, but I just wanted to say I love your new look; it’s gorgeous!

  16. Yes *He does get the last word:yes he does*
    Awesome post Heather.
    Sending prayers your way…Kerry

  17. Okay, now I read it; praise God for all He is teaching you, Heather. You are such an inspiration to me!

  18. Great post Heather! You have such perspective. Nice new look. Looks like someone has been busy! Enjoy a wonderful weekend.

  19. Amen!!!
    By the way, love the new look. Very nice.
    God bless :)

  20. This post totally spoke to me. I don’t have cancer but I do deal with my own share of “issues” and this post really spoke to me about God always being there. Thanks for that.

    Praying for you everyday.

  21. Heather,
    You’re thoughts today reminded me of so many things that our family has thought and felt…It is so hard to give up control, but once you do it is so liberating. And, today is precious because we don’t know what tomorrow holds, and the length of our years is already written.

    But as I was reading, I just kept thinking about your ability to speak. Is it getting better? I pray it is.

    Thank you again for the wonderful thoughts today.

  22. Thank you for sharing! You are an amazing woman and an inspiration. Praying for you and your wonderful family!

  23. Amen girl!! That was profound… “I have no fewer days left on this earth than I did before cancer entered my life.” I have to meditate on that one for a while.

    I LOVE the new look!!!

  24. Amen, amen, amen! I cannot thank you enough for your continued faithfulness. Praise be to God that He has taught you so much and is using you in such powerful ways.

  25. As always, thank you, Heather. I am so encouraged by you. You are a gem.

    Continuing to pray for you from Maine…

  26. “He didnt have His fingers crossed.
    He wasnt going to wish me luck.
    He wasn’t taking bets on my future.
    He didnt need good odds to heal me.”

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
    that’s my King!

    blessings,
    karla

  27. Hi. It’s my first time coming by your blog…and your post actually brought tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to find out I, as a young mom and wife would have cancer. But yes, I do know that we do have the peace and love and help of our mighty God. Wow. Thanks for sharing!!!

  28. I love that book too! I also loved the sequel ” Living in the Light of Cancer’s Shadow”.
    There was one more that was so helpful to me called ” Praying Through Cancer”. It is a devotional compiled by Laura Geist and Susan Sorensen. I highly recommend it!
    Love your new backdrop!
    Gina

  29. This sounds like a wonderful book. I’m gonna look for it for myself.

    Great post!

    I love your new blog “look”…very fresh looking.

    Hugs!
    Kat

  30. Thank God for you, Thank God for your blog – you have no idea how much you touched, and continue to touch my heart – Life for me right now has not been easy, I am not totally sure why I have been feeling the way I have, but a great sense of loss, has been filling me up…I feel compelled to DO something, I am just not sure what…I hear God calling, just not sure how to intemperate what He’s saying. I know in my heart, that you are so right, in all that you say…and am really beginning to trust that God has a plan for me…it’s hard though.

    Many ((HUGS)) and lots of Prayers.

  31. I’m out of this place at the moment, Heath. I know we haven’t talked since I was sick last week, but we’re in a tough place right now. I Read this and I just don’t know right now. Completely. Part of me, somewhere, knows it’s all there but we’re playing lefthand/righthand right now. Wish you were closer. I really do. It’s one of those push me, pull you times, I guess.

  32. (“we” doesn’t me you and me. I was referring to our family, sorry. It came out weird).

  33. Loving the new look of your site!!!!

  34. Oh what a gift from the Lord Heather…that peace that you have!

    I like the new look too. somehow it just suits you!…Love Terry

  35. That was just beautiful Heather. Peace. Peace has so much depth to it. Its not just a feeling or a choice to make. It requires so much more. We have to ask for His peace to come live and stay….and for me, that can be an hourly request. In one of my Bible studies…Beth Moore taught us that “peace rules.” It does. I pray it is ruling over all you think, say and do. I pray that the peace of Christ is in your heart.

    You bless us and we all lift you up.

  36. Those are some powerful words and they are exactly what I needed to hear today. Have a great weekend.

  37. I love the new look!!!

    Powerful post – thanks for sharing.

  38. Heather,
    What a beautiful post. Your new look to your blog is beautiful, too!
    I am amazed when I look at the map of who reads your blog. You have covered almost the entire earth with your honest, faith and love in Jesus. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. God must be so proud!

  39. “I think it must hurt the tender love of our Father when we press for His dealings with us, as though He were not Love, as though not He, but another chose our inheritance for us, and as though what He chose to allow could be less than the very best and dearest that Love Eternal had to give”~Amy Carmichael
    My friend just shared this quote with me this week, as I continue to grieve the loss of my BFF. Your post has caused me to look UP as well. Thank you Heather for your words and honesty. Praying for you and your family always, Lynne

  40. Hey Heather. I came back to leave a comment. Its this as hard of a punch cancer throws in our direction. Its a tough punch and your so right shakes us to the core of our being. I recall the feeling all to well. I remember all of what you write about. Our God is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.
    With Him you will rise above this. Keep the Faith Heather. Hold Fast… Lifting you up in prayer. Kerry

  41. Heather… first time on your blog and what a fabulous post! …”I have no fewer days left on this earth than I did before cancer entered my life. I trust that, I believe that…” Thank you for those words. My sister (inlaw) has been fighting FAP for 6 years now – it’s been rough lately, kind of a time with the trusting and believing are being tested. Your words gave me a little boost. Thank you.

    Now off to read more about blessed you!

  42. Hey Heather,

    WOW!!!! I love your new look, INCREDIBLE!!!!

    Great post too. I think I’ll get the book myself.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    Susan

  43. Everytime I come here I am reminded that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father because a young woman filled with the Holy Spirit shouts it from the roof tops.

    Faith is the evidence….

    and in you it truly is.
    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

    PS I LOVE the new look.

  44. i cry everytime i visit your blog. and i am grateful for your posts.

    nice theme, btw.

  45. Thank you for posting about the control issue. Although my burdens are not like yours, I still have to tell myself “He is in control…He is in control…” several times a day! Thanks for your testimony everyday.I think and pray for you many times a day Heather. You are so brave and have touched my life so completely-and I’ve never even met you in person! Praying…. Jennifer

  46. Heather, I LOVE “When God and Cancer Meet.” What a great book.

    Also, love the new look of your blog.

    God bless. +PAX -e

  47. Heather,
    I have stumbled across your blog through various others. I just wanted to say that I’m praying for you and your family.

    My mother was diagnosed with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma which manifested as a brain tumor. Originally we were told she had GBM, then they downgraded it to Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma. The biopsy was sent to the Mayo Clinic and they determined it was PCNSL.
    Mother is doing well and we are 2 years post treatment.

    I pray that your chemo and radiation are just as successful!!

    Bless you!
    Angie

  48. oldqueen44 says:

    Your insight is a lesson to all. God’s mercy to you.

  49. Bless you for the comfort you’ve brought to me this morning because of your post. I am on my way over to amazon to buy this book! Hugs to you.

  50. I love everything in this post. I kind of want to buy the book and read it – just to understand what those who go through cancer endure – and so I would be able to comfort those I encounter with it on a deeper level.