Thank You Cancer

As a child at the age of fifteen, I was not scared of the “could be.”  The fact that we were waiting on test results did not phase me. When surgery was scheduled, I actually found myself excited. I had lots of treats promised my way and I was going to be asleep. I thought I would wake up from surgery and walk away with my free surgery treasures. The pain I awoke to still haunts me. It was the first time that I felt true physical pain. 

I have now had six Cancer related surgeries. They all have their own story and their own pain. I know the pain of Cancer. 

I know what it feels like to hug my husband and cry because it is happening again. I know what it is like to write a letter to my miracle baby, praying that I will be there for her life. I know the physical torture of the side effects of medicine, exercising through cut muscles, another scar that can not be hidden, trying to explain my past to a new friend with a glazed look of no comprehension, and medical bills that keep piling up.

Cancer is NEVER what I would have chosen for myself!  James and I never sat at a fancy restaurant on a Saturday night date as I offered, “Ya know, I was thinking about getting cancer. What do you think?”

“Oh what a wonderful idea,” he enthusiastically responds, “I think we should do that right away.”

Uhhhh, NO!  I don’t think anyone has ever done that. So, why am I the complete freak, idiot, deranged person that would title this article “Thank you Cancer”?????

Because it was too long to write:  Thank you that I appreciate my life, that I know from experience that my husband loves me in sickness and health, that I never take my daughter for granted, that I have new priorities in my life, and most importantly that I know the presence of God intimately. 

I know that humans, especially western culture, especially me, run from pain and suffering at all costs as quickly as we can. However, some of the wisest people that I know are those that have suffered the most. Some of the life stories that impact us the most are those of deep pain and suffering. And Jesus, God himself, brought forgiveness and salvation through the most intimate pain ever experienced. 

Therefore, while it hurts, while I fight and do all that is possible to rid myself of any suffering, I have much to thank “cancer” for.  (Yes, I believe Cancer is an awful thing and who I am thanking is Jesus, that he used something bad to bring something good….just artistic liberty here.)

So, thank you Cancer that:

I appreciate my life. From the young age of fifteen, I learned to value life. Each and every single day is a blessing that almost did not happen. And I love life!

I know my husband loves me when I have nothing to offer, when he has to give everything and get nothing in return. I have so much security in the love of my husband. I know without a doubt that HE LOVES ME!  When I need him, he is there for the nights on the town and nights at the hospital. For shopping for summer clothes and paying medical bills. For living and loving this life that has become one. My friends, I love my man!

Thank you Cancer that I never take my daughter for granted!  We were in for the long bumpy road. Pregnancy was supposed to take try after painful try. I was supposed to cry over many miscarriages. And it was supposed to end with the huge possibility that there would be no baby to grow inside me. And then she was supposed to share my fate of cancer. JESUS SAID NO!  As quickly and easily as could happen, I have a healthy, brilliant, beautiful daughter growing into a world changer!  I hold my girl close and I soak up every single minute and I am so very thankful to God in heaven for a miracle that sleeps in the little girl room in my house and daily keeps me on my toes!

Thank you cancer that you help me keep my priorities straight. I am so thankful for my life, I could care less what the popularity club thinks.  I am so thankful for my daughter, I have decided my career will not go first.  I see what this world has to offer and I say, “Yeah, no thanks, I chose Jesus.”

And, most importantly, thank you cancer that when I lay in pain when all I can do is moan, I know the comforting touch of the only one that can calm my soul, I know the miracles of a loving Heavenly Father, I do not doubt the one that has spoken to me in my dreams, I would never walk away from the healer of diseases, I know personally my God and my Savior. The one who made everything, knows everything, can do anything, LOVES ME!  And if Cancer was the only way for God to take me by the shoulders and shake me and get my attention and the only way for me to know my God so personally, then I have a lot to thank Cancer for. And I know the intimacy of the verse that God works all things together for good for those who love him.