Protecting Others From Your Cancer: Excerpt Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey

One way to see how minimizing can play a role in your cancer walk is to look at the ways people share or do not share about their cancer with those they love:

People diagnosed with cancer …

  • Might protect the people they love from the difficulty of their cancer treatment.
  • Might not share the severity of their discomfort, fatigue or pain.
  • Might not tell of their fears for their future or the future for those they love.
  • Might feel that “No one wants to hear about my cancer.”

Caregivers and loved ones …

  • Might protect the person with the diagnosis by not sharing stressful topics affecting the caregiver and others.
  • Might not share about struggles with finances, maintaining the household, their own fatigue or even the caregiver’s health.
  • Might feel that “No one wants to hear about the cancer.”

Sharing on your Cancer Journey

What about you?

  • Find changes in your Sharing Score. Place an X to indicate how much you shared at each phase of your cancer journey.

How much did you share about the difficulties in your life with those you love

Before the diagnosis:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

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

Beginning of Treatment:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

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

Now:

Very Little                                /           Some Things               /           Almost Everything

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

  • Do you see changes in your Sharing Scores? How?

Share your response if you would like.

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.”  Does this sound like minimizing?

It may help to think of minimizing from the flip side.  When have people you love been in need, and yet did not tell you until it was all over?  Can you see times when you know the Lord would have used you to lessen that person’s load, even if primarily through companionship and prayer?  Too often we think, “No need to say anything, because they can’t “do” anything.”  There is a loneliness and isolation that can stifle a cancer walk.  The truth?  God designed us to live in community.  That’s where the joy of the Lord is easiest to touch.

So, if we are going to improve our prayer life- and perhaps our relationships- by acknowledging the impact of cancer on our lives, the first step is to take a closer look at areas the impact might be felt.  (REMEMBER- each of these areas of impact affect cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones.)

Posted in Cancer Devotionals | Leave a comment

God is Bigger Than Messy Hair

I have a natural wave in my hair, which can be nice until the enemy of all hairstyles appears- humidity.  One day after seeing my hair disaster, my hair stylist recommended that I leave my hair conditioner in.  Don’t rinse.  I looked at her like she was crazy.  I had spent over five decades rinsing conditioner out of my hair, and leaving it in sounded disgusting.  But one day I tried it, and guess what- she was right.  It works.  I should have done it sooner, but something was keeping me back.  What took me from, “No way!” to, “I’ll try it”?

Simple.  I finally admitted how bad my hair looked.  Instead of doing something about the problem, I had been minimizing the problem.  Admitting problems can be tricky.  Do you ever think, “There are no problems, because God is in control?”  That’s not quite accurate. “The truth is, “Despite the problems, God is in control.”

Problems are still there.  Take cancer.  God is in control of your cancer and… Continue reading

Posted in Cancer Devotionals, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Still by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family


Stillness can be unimaginable in the chaos of cancer.  Yet think about the precious words Hillary sings: “You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak.”  Thinking about WHO God is helps me find the stillness I need.  AMEN

I believe that You were God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control
Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end
And all You want from me is to let go
You’re parting waters
Making a rain for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still
I bring my praise before I bring my need
Cause there’s no fear You’ve not already seen
I rest my heart on all Your promises
Cause I have seen and know Your faithfulness
You’re parting waters
Making a rain for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still
And know that You are God
Be still
And know that You, trust that You are parting waters
Lord, You whispered my name
Oh, You answered my prayer
You’re moving mountains
You’re parting waters
Making a rain for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak
All You need for me to be is still
Be still
Posted in Uplifting Songs | Leave a comment

God is Bigger Than Béarnaise Sauce

I love a good steak.  Even better?  A thick cut of steak covered in Béarnaise sauce.  YUM!  (I think my cholesterol just jumped from writing that sentence.)  Béarnaise consists of egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and seasoning.  That’s it.  The directions say to “stir constantly,” and of course the sauce needs to be made just before serving.  However, my other last minute chores include tossing the salad, filling the water glasses and maybe, just maybe, not burning the bread.  So I decide that the “constantly stirring” part of the directions is probably optional.  Do you know what happens if you stop stirring Béarnaise sauce when it’s on the stove?  You make very, very, VERY buttery scrambled eggs.  Not really what I was hoping for on my lovely piece of steak. Continue reading

Posted in Cancer Devotionals | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cancer and the Church Handout

To download the Cancer and the Church handout click on the file below.

Cancer and the Church handout

Posted in Cancer Information | Leave a comment

God is Bigger Than Traveling Husbands

There was a season in my life when my husband took a three-week trip every month for work.  I would drop him off at the airport with a combination of smiles, hugs and kisses.  The kids and I then rode home with high hopes that everything would be great until my husband returned.

I am pretty good at hoping, but not so good at waiting.  As the date for my husband to return grew closer, I would get caught up in the joyful hope of his return.  “What would I cook for his first dinner home?”  “What would I wear to the airport?”  “How would I keep the kids clean from the time they dressed in clean clothes until they saw their dad at the airport?”

But somewhere during his trip, day four or maybe day five- it would begin.  Continue reading

Posted in Cancer Devotionals | Leave a comment

Turn My Eyes by Bonray

There is something about this song that fills me up and lifts me up at the same time!

CHECK OUT this truth!

Every day I wake up and I meet the same old fight

Between a world of chaos and that quiet voice inside

And my phone keeps telling me there’s a million ways to find

Where my hope is, but it’s a lie

Posted in Uplifting Songs | Leave a comment

Bible Study #1 – Hope Excerpt Bigger Than Cancer Bible Study

What could be bigger than cancer?  Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful relief to know this.  If someone asked you, “What’s bigger than cancer?“ You’d easily answer, “Jesus Christ.”

It’s easy on some days of a cancer walk to see how big Christ is in your life:

  • “My scan was good.”
  • “The tumor has shrunk.”
  • “My doctor is wonderful.”
  • “I’m amazed at how everyone has been taking care of me.”
  • “Did you know that the whole prayer chain is praying for me?”

 

  • Can you think of a time when you knew Jesus showed up on your cancer walk?

Share your response if you would like.

It’s so true.  There are so many amazing ways that Jesus can show up in the midst of your cancer walk.  This helps us to breathe in our hope in Jesus.  But, on some days, cancer looms so big that it can be hard to remember that Jesus Christ is bigger than the darkness of cancer:

  • “Don’t worry about the money.  We’ll figure something out.”
  • “Why didn’t you go to the doctor sooner?”
  • “The tumor is growing.”
  • “I know I haven’t been in touch, but things are so busy.”
  • “What do you mean, you can’t come to the reunion?”
  • “You’ll be in some type of treatment for the rest of your life.”
  • “It’s stage 4.”
  • “It’s inoperable.”
  • “The treatment’s not working.”
  • “This illness is probably due to the cancer treatment you had 15 years ago.”
  • “You’ll always have to deal with this side effect of your cancer.”
  • “You’ll not be able to have children.”

 Yuck.  It makes my chest hurt just to write that list.  Let’s face it- cancer is BIG.

If you remember only one thing from this study, remember this:

Our hope in Christ comes not only from what He does in your life, but from who He is.

Take a moment to remember:

Cancer cannot move Christ – He is closer than your breath.

Cancer cannot dim His power – He is the endless light in your darkness.

Cancer cannot take you from Him – You are the joy that was before Him on the cross.

You are His.

On the hard cancer days, sometimes the dark thoughts of cancer can block our view of Christ.  On the hard days, we have to learn to see what is unseen.  This is hope.

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25

  • Circle the word “hope” each time it appears in the verses above.
  • How many times does “hope” appear? ____
  • What is the last word in these verses? ________________

I love these verses!  There’s a lot of hope in there!  These verses push me to hope for more than I can see, and to imagine the blessings Christ has in store for me.  They fill me with hope and joy right down until I read the last word – “patiently.”  Patiently?  Are we serious here?

You are probably not surprised to learn that waiting is not one of my strengths, and certainly not when combined with patience.  Here’s a story to share what I mean.

God is Bigger Than Traveling Husbands

There was a season in my life when my husband took a three-week trip every month for work.  I would drop him off at the airport with a combination of smiles, hugs and kisses.  The kids and I then rode home with high hopes that everything would be great until my husband returned.

I am pretty good at hoping, but not so good at waiting.  As the date for my husband to return grew closer, I would get caught up in the joyful hope of his return.  “What would I cook for his first dinner home?”  “What would I wear to the airport?”  “How would I keep the kids clean from the time they dressed in clean clothes until they saw their dad at the airport?”

But somewhere during his trip, day four or maybe day five- it would begin.  The toilet broke, the washing machine died and the milk ran out AGAIN.   (I tell you that toilet never broke when he was in town!)  As the days and the troubles multiplied, my hope turned from a joyful thing to a desperate thing.  “When is that husband coming HOME?”  These desperate thoughts would whirl around the joyful thoughts, to make me a mess.  Being hopeful and desperate is not a good time.  My husband returned as scheduled, to a combination of clinging, exhaustion and kisses.  (Always kisses.)

At the beginning, I could see the thing I was hoping for- having a great time until my husband returned.  But as life began to happen, this became harder and harder to see.  My Christian walk can be a lot like this, too. In times of struggle I raise my head high and proclaim, “Jesus will carry me through this difficulty!”  I can see this with great clarity, and I am filled with joyful hope.  Then stuff begins to happen: discouragement, worry, isolation, and fear, to name a few.  Now don’t get me wrong.  Jesus is STILL carrying me through the struggle; He’s just harder to see through all of the stuff.  Now I need to call on my faith, not in what I can see, but in what is unseen.

Check out this verse again:

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  Romans 8:24-25

When I read these verses, I want to change the ending.  I want to change the word “patiently” to something more fun.  Why can’t we wait for what is unseen “happily”, “ecstatically”, “gleefully” or “enthusiastically”?   Wouldn’t that be nice?  But true hope, the hope in the things that are hard to see, takes patience, endurance and perseverance.

Fortunately, the more you hunger to see Christ carrying you through your struggles, the bigger your patience, the longer your endurance and the stronger your perseverance.  You have what it takes to have hope in what is unseen.  How do I know?  Because you have the love of Christ, the sweet, everlasting love of Christ.

Posted in Cancer Devotionals | Leave a comment

Surrounded (Fight My Battles) by Michel W. Smith

This is your battle song!!!

Here is the one thing Michael W. Smith wants you to tell God about how you fight your battles…

It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You

AMEN!!


Lyrics

That’s how we fight our battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
(Praise and worship)
This is how I fight my battles

This is what we doing tonight

It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You

This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles

It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You

Posted in Uplifting Songs | Leave a comment

Excerpt Bible Study #6 Control: Bigger Than Cancer

Control.  When I think about having control in my life, I tend to bounce around.  On one hand, I am thrilled that God’s in control instead of me, because I am pretty sure that I would be lousy at being in charge of the universe.  So, I’m good with God being in charge- until a monster problem appears in my life.  A monster problem could be poor health, divorce, unemployment, grief- and the list goes on.  These problems can push me to forget God is in control, because all I want to do is take control of the situation and “fix it.”  So, I get busy “doing things,” and in my own way I begin to believe that the things I am doing will “fix it.”  The things I am doing may be important and need to be done, but at some point I need to stop and remember that I am not in chargeGod is.

The only way to feel in control is to admit you’re not in control.  Knowing that God is in control and not you can provide a path to actually having control in your life.

The first step?  Remember you are not in control.   

Cancer brings lots of things for us to try to control, like eating, fatigue, test results, side effects- and the list goes on.  But the one area that we spend a tremendous amount of energy trying to control, and yet typically do not acknowledge, is our emotions.

  • “I don’t want them to see me upset.”
  • “I can’t get angry when they are trying so hard.”
  • “I don’t have the energy to keep smiling.”
  • “I love seeing the grandkids, but not all day.”
  • “I need to hide how frightened I am.”

Sometimes, it’s more than just a matter of not sharing emotions; it is not admitting to yourself that you are having them.  Yet, as the cancer walk gets longer and the fatigue gets greater, the feelings can start to sneak out in the form of frustration and irritability.  The lack of a place to share your honest feelings can take a toll on you.  The real question is: if you don’t admit you’re having negative emotions, then how can you lift the feeling up to God for help?

Posted in Cancer Devotionals | Leave a comment