The Blog – Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey

Elle’s Story

Our Cancer Companion support group at Dardenne Presbyterian Church is getting to watch an amazing story of a young Mom with a strong faith being led by God in her battle with stage 4 colorectal cancer.  Her name is Elle and here is her story.

I was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer at age 36 in April 2016.  My only symptoms had been some (not much) dark red blood in stool and unusual-for-me constipation for about the previous 8 or 9 months. Continue reading

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God is Bigger Than Show and Tell

My daughter Heidi, when she was in kindergarten, took Show and Tell to a whole new level.  While other kids were bringing in her favorite toy, Heidi brought a live baby girl that lived down the street.  Seriously.  Then there’s the time she took her dad for show and tell so the whole class could watch him shave off his mustache.  She knew this was something that those kids really needed to see.  Why?  Because at the ripe old age of 5, Heidi understood that most things you can explain to people but some things you just have to show them.

Not everyone understands this.  Take Pontius Pilate.  Continue reading

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Cancer is Not Punishment

Cancer is not a punishment. God did not give you cancer. He gave you His Son so you may live a life of hope in the midst of suffering.
Before we go on, it’s important that you know one thing: your struggles are not stronger than the love Christ has for you. There is no place you have been and nowhere you will go that the love of Christ does not go with you. Look at today’s verse: Continue reading

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Wonder by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook

Hard days and hard times can make it difficult to see the Lord and maybe even harder to see His beauty and His love for you.  Let this song wash over you. Close your eyes, slow your breath and grasp the wonder of the Lord.

Wonder

May we never lose our wonder
May we never lose our wonder
Wide eyed and mystified
May we be just like a child
Staring at the beauty of our King

Continue reading

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‘They feel abandoned’: Cancer survivors say post-treatment support is lacking (CTVNews)

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/they-feel-abandoned-cancer-survivors-say-post-treatment-support-is-lacking-1.3788402#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=ulBl43N

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Saturday, February 3, 2018 10:20PM EST

Charlotte Cook-Dowsett survived ovarian cancer but felt cast adrift when the surgery and chemotherapy ended.

“When you’re going through the treatment, you have this warrior attitude … and you’re surrounded by a community of support,” says the Winnipeg woman.

“But when the cancer is gone and the chemo is done … the community support isn’t as strong because they feel you are done,” she adds.

For Cook-Dowsett, it wasn’t over. Depression and anxiety had set in.

One in two Canadians will experience cancer in their lifetimes. There are 800,000 survivors.

Studies have shown that 80 per cent of survivors report long-term side effects like fatigue and 70 per cent report psychological impacts. About one in five have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Ahead of World Cancer Day on Sunday, Canadian survivors are highlighting the fact that while the medical system is doing better than at ever at curing cancer, it does a poor job of providing mental health care after they get the all-clear.

Jackie Manthorne, a cancer survivor and president of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network, says that many patients “feel abandoned when treatment ends.”

“There isn’t one survivor who won’t tell you that they don’t fear recurrence,” she says. “They’re dealing with an illness that they know sometimes kills people.”

Manthorne says cancer can also strain relationships with partners and children.

Yet in most treatment centres don’t offer any follow up for survivors, Manthorne says. “They are off on their own.”

Manthorne says she’d like to see cancer patients receive automatic rehabilitation options, just like when someone survives a heart attack or stroke.

Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, medical director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, agrees there is a gap.

“The social support is very important,” she says. “It is one area of cancer that has’t been well funded or well resourced.”

Ottawa mother Charlotte Kessler, 36, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2013 and endured brain surgery and two years of chemotherapy.

Kessler says she didn’t want to lose the support of her oncology team after it was over, but she was given no choice.

She eventually sought new medical treatment. “I need help,” she told them. “No, I don’t know what I need … but I need help.”

“In treatment it was easy to explain away why I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, why I couldn’t be there for my daughters, why I was feeling terrible,” she says. “Then treatment ends and that doesn’t necessarily go away.”

With a report from CTV medical specialist Avis Favaro and producer Elizabeth St. Philip

Continue reading

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After Cancer Christian Survivorship Retreat Schedule

Saturday:

8:30-9:30  Registration

9:30-10:30  Small Group Bible Study  Life after cancer is meant to be overflowing!

10:30-11:30 Nutrition- speaker and small group

11:30- 2:00 Break and Lunch

2:00-3:15 Small Group Bible Study The cancer journey is not over on the last day of treatment.

3:15-3:30 Break

3:30- 4:45 Exercise Speaker/class/small group

4:45-5:00 Break

5:00- 6:15 Small Group Bible Study: Picture cancer survivorship with less worry, more living.

6:15 dinner

7:30 Game Night Fun!!

 

Sunday:

8:00 Breakfast

8:30-9:45 Small Group Bible Study: Survivorship is the time to look past what you once were to become something you’ve never been.

9:45-10:00 break

10:00-11:00 Small Group Bible Study: Your cancer journey is about more than surviving cancer… much more.

11:00 Closing Worship

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Paying for Cancer Treatments – Personal Loans, HSAs, and More

By Brian Robson

Paying for Cancer Treatments – Personal Loans, HSAs, and More

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Seeing God in Your cancer Journey Excerpt Reading #27 “You Are the Expert”

This is an excerpt from the Seeing God in Your Cancer Journey Program Participant Guide.  To learn more, contact a program near you https://www.cancer-companions.org/find-a-group/  or email Karen Tripp [email protected]

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Communication Coordinator Position for National Christian Cancer Ministry

Cancer Companions, a Christian cancer ministry currently in 21 states, is seeking a creative person with the ability to improve and generate communication ideas and complete projects independently.

Brief Description: To oversee and improve communication tools (social media, email blasts, pamphlets, flyers, etc) for reaching potential volunteers, current volunteers, donors, and people coping with cancer.

Cancer Companions is a 501c3 nonprofit which trains, equips and supports church volunteers to facilitate Christian cancer support groups and one to one meetings. Continue reading

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God is Bigger Than…a Flying Trapeze

As a child, there was nothing as thrilling as watching the flying trapeze.   I’d strain my neck to watch the bejeweled lady release the bar just in time for the arm bulging man to catch her.   Holding my breath, I  waited to see if her searching fingers would find the safety of his arms.  Can you imagine trusting someone enough to let go of the bar or to trust yourself enough to know that you will catch them?  Maybe it would be easier to be a clown.  But if you are going to experience the thrill of the catch, you have to let go of the bar.

Marriage is a lot like the flying trapeze.  Couples can go for years with each person holding tight to their own bar.  Their marriage is OK but there’s no risk, no thrills, no real trust.  Marriage can sound like:

“OK, go ahead.  Let go.”

“ What?  I’m not letting go.  You let go.”

“ Why would I let go?  You don’t look like you’re ready to catch me.”

“  I’ll get ready to catch you as soon as you let go.”

“ You’re kidding, right?”

You can see the problem. Continue reading

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