Life After Cancer is Meant to be Overflowing! By Karen Tripp MS LMFT

 Video #1 The Doubting Father

  1. What are your thoughts about the video?
  2. John is ashamed that he wants more for his son when he’s already been made whole.  Does it seem okay to pray for more blessings since you (or your loved ones) have already been blessed by surviving cancer treatment?  Is it comfortable to ask God for more?

Cancer changes things.  Lots of things.  Cancer treatment is hard… on everyone.  And when the last treatment is done, it does not mean that your cancer journey is done.  Cancer leaves marks on your body, your relationships, and your faith.  The issue is not whether these marks left you stronger or weaker.  The issue is how have these marks  left you different?  Let’s take a minute and examine more closely how you coped with cancer treatment.

People diagnosed with cancer …

  • Might have protected the people they love from the truth of how difficult their cancer treatment was.
  • Might not have shared the severity of their discomfort, fatigue or pain.
  • Might not tell of their fears for their future or the future for those they love.

Caregivers and loved ones …

  • Might have protected the person with the diagnosis by not sharing stressful topics affecting the
  • Might not share about struggles with finances, maintaining the household, their own fatigue or even the caregiver’s health.

Sharing on your Cancer Journey

  • What about you? Find changes in your Sharing Score.  How much did you share about the difficulties in your life with those you love?

Place an X to indicate how much you shared at each phase of your cancer journey.

Before the diagnosis:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————– 2 ——————- 3  ————– 4 ——————– 5

 

During Treatment:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————– 2 —————— 3  ———— 4 ———————– 5

Now:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

1 ——————– 2 ——————– 3  ———————- 4 —————— 5

The problem is that the people you are protecting are the ones you’ve shared your struggles with throughout your life.  Raising kids, financial difficulties, grief, loss- it’s our loved ones that we turn to through these.  Now cancer has come, and as both a patient and a caregiver, we protect our loved ones from the strain it is having on us.  “They have enough on their plates.  They don’t need to worry about me.”  The problem is that this creates distance.

In post treatment, it can be easier to see the impact of cancer relationally,  physically, prayerfully and spiritually.

  • Did you see changes in your Sharing Score? Share your response if you would like.

 

 

 Impact of Cancer Relationally

After treatment, it is difficult to know what to expect.

  • What about you?

Rate how likely you might think these thoughts or suspect other’s might be thinking them about you.

10- Very Likely                                    5- Likely                                              1- Not Likely

___ “Before the diagnosis you worked more hours.  Why can’t you do that now?”

___ “You stopped working long hours during treatment.  Can’t you work less hours now?”

___ “How much longer will this fatigue last?”

___ “The doctors says you’re fine.  Can’t you help out more?”

___ “Are they using the cancer to get out of doing things or has the struggle been so hard they really need a break?”

___ “They know they’re not supposed to eat like that.”

___ “Can’t they tell they can’t spend money like before the medical bills?”

SHARE your responses, if you would like.

  1. Impact of Cancer Physically:
  • What about you? After being blessed by Jesus with surviving cancer treatment, is it okay to pray for more blessings? (Less side effects, more energy, appreciative family, understanding workplace, etc. )

Caregivers and survivors alike often feel this struggle: “I’m thrilled to be past the cancer treatments and YET I’m so ____________________________  that my/our life will never be the same.”

CHECK all that apply:  (It’s not unusual to check some from both columns.)

__Disappointed

__Frightened

__Angry

__Frustrated

__Discouraged

__Regretful

__Relieved

__Encouraged

__Grateful

__Thankful

__Pleased

__Other______________

 

SHARE your responses, if you would like.

  1. Impact of cancer on prayer life

Is my faith weak because I want more than just surviving cancer?  Should I be satisfied with what I have? How should we pray to God after He has given us so much?

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

  • From the verse above, how should you approach God’s throne of grace? ________ ______________________

The word for confidence in the Greek is parrēsia  which means free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance   (reference Strong’s Concordance of the Bible

It’s normal to feel humble after the Lord has laid a huge blessing at your door.  Getting through cancer treatment for you or a loved one is DEFINITELY a huge blessing!  But does that mean you used up all of your allotment of blessings from God?  Remember what abundant life means…

  • Look at Hebrews 4:16 above again. When will you find grace to help you?
  1. When you pray the right way?
  2. In your time of need?
  3. In your time of need- unless God has recently blessed you really good. Then sorry, you’re out of luck?

When you ask for more, does it mean that you are an ungrateful child?  Does God expect us to be so content in our difficulties that we do not even ask for His help?   Hebrew 4:16 certainly tells us NO.  God wants us to confidently come to Him in prayer so we can receive grace to help us in our times of need.

  1. Impact of Cancer Spiritually

These answers reflect times of need.  In Hebrews 4:16, we learned to take our needs with confidence to God.  But let’s look back at the two verses before that verse to discover more:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need Hebrews 4:14-16

  • Look at the verses of Hebrews 4:14-16

Who is our Great High Priest?

Where is He?

Remember, verse 16 encourages us to “approach God in His throne room.”    As obviously AWESOME as this would be, for me, it would also be completely terrifying.  Why?  Because God is perfect and we are not.  Everything allowed in God’s presence must be perfect.  I know I’m not perfect.  None of us is.  So how are we supposed to be confident when we approach God?  GOOD NEWS!  When Jesus came from Heaven to Earth He was perfect.  Then He died on the cross so that we will be made perfect in Heaven- in the throne room before God.  So we can confidently approach God because Jesus died on the cross for us. Whew!  That’s a relief!

  • Look again at the verses Hebrews 4:14-16 above:

Is Jesus, our High Priest, able to empathize with your weaknesses?

What happened to Jesus so that He is really good at empathizing with us?

What does it mean to you to have Jesus understanding your struggles?

Placing our Struggles Before God

What difficulties in post treatment would you like to place before God through prayer?

Rank in order:    1- largest struggle     10- lowest struggle

___ money

___ marriage/significant relationship

___ parent/child relationship

___ extended family

___ friends

___ work

___ side effects

___ worries/anxiety

___ fatigue

___ fear of recurrence

___ what’s next?

___ lifestyle for recurrence prevention i.e. giving up smoking, losing weight, exercising.

SHARE your response, if you would like.

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Prayer for Cancer Caregiver Fatigue

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God

Be with me.  You know how tired I am caring for my loved one with cancer.   I am tired from so many things.  All the tasks in my life before cancer are still there.  Now there are more tasks and more expectations from our medical team that often seem beyond my ability.  I can’t make them eat.  I can’t keep them form pain.  I can’t give them rest.  And perhaps the hardest part is the burden of seeing my loved one struggle when there is so little I can do to make a difference. Continue reading

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Prayer for Cancer Caregiver Frustration

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Sweet Lord,

Some days being a caregiver is more than I can stand. As hard as I try to care for my loved one with cancer, too often I feel useless.  My day is filled with things I need to do, things I can’t do and things I wish I could do.  I wish I could remove this heinous cancer from them once and for evermore.  I wish I could give them an appetite.  I wish I could take their pain, their fatigue, their fear from them.  I wish I knew how to lift the heaviness of this cancer from their life. Continue reading

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Prayer for Bad Medical Results

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God-

You know that the medical results were not good news. You know where the cancer is in my body because you know all things. Be with my medical team and give them your discernment as they decide next steps.  Lead my life towards wholeness of body, mind and soul.  Continue reading

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Prayer for Chronic Cancer

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Jesus-

The doctor says I will be in some type of cancer treatment for the rest of my life.  I still hunger to be cancer free but if this is not to be, lift me into your powerful arms and carry me on this path.  For at times the darkness makes it hard for me to see my way.  Take all of this fear from me and push back my dark thoughts leaving me only thoughts pleasing to you.  Show me the richness of life that you intend for me despite the strain of more treatments.  Place in me new hopes that bring me new joys.  Wrap your loving arms around me so I might find the precious peace that comes only from you.   In your mighty name I pray, AMEN

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

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Prayer for when your loved one is diagnosed with cancer

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Jesus,

There is nothing that can happen on their cancer path that is not done under your loving care.  Please take this fear of the unknown from me for I know YOU!  You love them more than me!  You are their rock and their fortress just as surely as you are mine.  Carry both of us closer to you through all things.  In your glorious Son’s name I pray, Amen Continue reading

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Prayer of Praise for a Clean Cancer Scan

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Jesus,

You did it! You answered my prayers for this scan to be clean and it is!  I thank you Lord.  I bend my knee to you who are all powerful, all knowing and all merciful.  Thank you for pouring this and all my blessings into my life.  I shout praises to you from the mountain tops! I place my humble life into your hands.  AMEN Continue reading

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God is Bigger Than… a Band-aid

Do you remember when Band-Aids were miraculous?  When you place a Band-Aid on a preschoolers boo boo, miraculously tears disappear, pain evaporates and the scraped knee is all but forgotten.  And if you add a dinosaur, princess or cartoon image on the Band-Aid, the child might actually produce a precious smile.  Tragedy has passed and contentment reigns as they run off to the next adventure.  But you and I know the scrape is still there; the Band-Aid just covered it up.

Sadly, as we get older, Band-Aids lose their power to bring contentment in the midst of difficulties.  For a preschooler it’s a scraped knee for you it might be financial, physical or relationship difficulties.  These are things Band-Aids just won’t fix.

So as Christians we pray- we pray for a solution to the problem because we know Jesus is big enough to solve any problem.  And He is but here’s another idea.  What if we prayed for contentment?  What if we prayed to be content in every circumstance?   Does that sound ridiculous?  How can you be content when things are lousy?  The Apostle Paul figured it out.  In Philippians 4:11 he said “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. “  And let me tell you this guy had some circumstances. He was beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, chased by a mob and unjustly accused and that’s just to name a few.   So if he was content in those situations, does that mean he was apathetic and lost his desire to improve things?  No, Paul was a HUGE believer in changing the world through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then how can you be content when things are lousy?  In verse 12-13 Paul tells his secret for contentment:  “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Paul’s Band-Aid was the strength of Christ.  If you know enduring ANYTHING comes from His strength and not your own, you can find contentment.  Because He will not run out of strength and He will not run out on you.  Have you ever had a difficulty where the answer to prayer has not been a solution?  Your child still has a learning disability, your mother still needs a walker, your sister still has a nicer house or your spouse still deserves a raise?  What then?  Do you pray for Jesus to give you the strength to be content in your circumstance?  Unfortunately, I usually don’t.  I usually repeatedly share my discontentment with the Lord without asking for the one thing I need the most- the strength to cling to His peace.

We all have scrapes that have left pockets of discontentment in our lives.  Don’t leave your wound open to fester.  Let Jesus cover it with His strength so you may have contentment- it’s even better than a Band-Aid.

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Cancer Companions in the news!

Article bottom right of front page. Article continues page 7.

  1. Click on image.

2. Click box on bottom right corner to fullscreen

3. Then zoom by clicking +.

 

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STL Area 2017 Take a Hike From Cancer events

Hey St Louis Area!! 

JOIN A TEAM AS WE KICK OFF OUR TAKE A HIKE FROM CANCER CHALLENGE

Consistent exercise can reduce your risk of cancer so come join the fun!

You can find teams walking at the following places – No sign up needed.

Join the team at Living Word Church – 17315 Manchester Road – Wildwood, MO 63038 – Sunday, June 4th – 6:00 PM

Join Team 212 of Wellness at St. Louis Bread Company – 2400 Taylor Road – Wildwood, MO 63040 – Monday, June 5th and Wednesday June 7th – 7:00 PM

Join Team 212 of Wellness at Route 66 Park – 97 North Outer Rd. – Eureka, MO 63025 – Tuesday, June 6th and Thursday June 8th – 7:00 AM

Join the team at St. John Lutheran Church – 15800 Manchester Rd. – Ellisville, MO 63011 – West Parking Lot – Saturday, June 10th – 9:00 AM

For More Information: http://www.cancer-companions.org/take-a-hike/

WE HOPE YOU JOIN US AND START YOUR FIGHT AGAINST CANCER

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