Share the Prayers Giveaway Entry!

This year we are EXCITED to be hosting a “Share the Prayer” giveaway and the rules are simple.

  1. Fill out the form below as your official entrance into the giveaway.

  2. Visit Cancer Companions Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/cancercomp/between Jan 26- Feb 24 and share 15 or more of our 30 daily cancer prayers.  Just click share under each prayer!

And that’s it! If you do this you will receive your very own Cancer Companions tote bag*.

*Please note this giveaway will run only while supplies last.

Share the Prayer Giveaway Entry

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Never Gonna Steal My Joy by Mandisa

What do you do to keep cancer from stealing your joy?

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I Will Fear No More by The Afters

The Afters say “You’re my strength ’cause I’m not strong enough to win this fight” During your cancer walk, how did you need God’s strength?

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Battling Cancer and Prayer Devotional (Excerpt Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey)

Problems are still there. Take cancer. God is in control of your cancer and…
• There will be days that are miserable.
• There will be people who disappoint me.
• There will be changes to my body that limit me.
• There will be plans that change, people that change and finances that change.

Minimizing problems can lead you to…
• NOT acknowledging your problems.
• NOT admitting that you need help with the problems.
• NOT accepting help from those God has sent to help you.
• NOT facing problems with others.
• NOT allowing others to lift your problems up in prayer.
• NOT battling loneliness by being with those who care for you.
Here’s another thing about minimizing problems: If you don’t acknowledge the depth of your problems, then how can you give all your burdens to Christ in prayer? Continue reading

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Reduce Cancer Stress: Step by Step Cancer Caregiver Plan

By Karen Tripp MS LMFT Pres. Cancer Companions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two Secret Battles of Caregiving: Loneliness and Fatigue 

 Why do Caregivers often become lonely?

The average caregiver has been providing care for 4 years on average, spending

24.4 hours a week.  She is typically employed and working full time (an average of 34.7 hours per week). Continue reading

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Compassion Fatigue and Burnout for Church Workers

By Karen Tripp MS LMFT 

 What’s it like to be a church worker? 

  • 28 percent of ministers report being “forcefully terminated.”
  • 33 percent say being in ministry is “an outright hazard” to their families.
  • 75 percent experience “severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear and alienation” during their careers.
  • Ministers join doctors and attorneys among those with the highest rates of addiction and suicide.

Travis Collins, author of For Ministers about to Start… or about to Give Up

What is Compassion Fatigue?  Key Issue is denial/avoidance due to over involvement.

DISCUSSION: First born vs fourth born learning to walk. What changed?

DISCUSSION: Vigilance at time of cancer diagnosis verse after 4th treatment?  What changed?

Compassion Fatigue: (Or Secondary Trauma) Emotional absorption due to a trauma followed by increasing apathy and poor self-care.

  • Can occur in medical personnel, counselors, teachers, first responders, church workers, family members etc.
  • Can be due to ______or __________cases. People may be getting better yet your apathy increases.
  • Empathy is good. ___________________ is bad. ____________is bad.

EXAMPLE: Mom car accident

What is Burn Out?  Key issue is hopelessness/futility due to not meeting constant demands.

Burnout: a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.htm

EXAMPLE: pastor

Compassion fatigue is a boundary problem with ___________________________.

 Burnout is boundary problem with ______________________________________.

 Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue (Similar to burnout):

  • Bottled up emotions
  • Isolation from others
  • Receives unusual amount of__________________ from others
  • Voices excessive ______________________about administrative functions
  • Substance abuse used to mask feelings
  • Compulsive behaviors such as overspending, overeating, gambling, sexual addictions
  • Poor self-care (i.e., hygiene, appearance)
  • Excessive blaming
  • Legal problems, indebtedness
  • Reoccurrence of nightmares and flashbacks to traumatic event
  • Chronic _______________________________________ such as gastrointestinal problems and recurrent colds
  • _________________ sad, no longer finds activities pleasurable
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mentally and physically _______________________
  • Preoccupied
  • ____________________ about problems

http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/symptoms.html

Do I have Burnout?

Burnout Self Test https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/quiz-are-you-on-the-path-to-burnout/

 Do I have Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion Fatigue Self Test http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/selftest.html

What can I do to prevent and/or relieve Compassion Fatigue and Burnout??

  1. Pastoral care is not meant to be done in isolation.

Jesus sends out 12 (Matthew 10) sends out 72 (Luke 10).

Elders James 5:14.

Body of Christ 1 Corinthians 12

  1. Who else CAN be involved in pastoral care? Friends far away? Other pastors?  Other church staff?  Elders? Council? Trained laypeople? Confidential Counselor?
  2. Needs from others for:

Compassion Fatigue

Level 1 – sharing/supervision

Level 2 – visitation/notes/ meals/chores

Burnout

Level 1- calling clarity/vison building

Level 2 – affirm progress/celebrate accomplishments/risk change for the ministry

  1. Church expectations? Where’s your boundaries?  It doesn’t always have to be you.
  • Death of a long time member when you are on sabbatical.
  • Council member enters hospice when you are on vacation.
  • Senior pastor involved in hospital visits.
  • Growth of membership and offerings – pastor’s responsibility or congregations?
  • “I only want to talk to a pastor.” OR  “…THE pastor.”

 5. Define and adhere to healthy emotional boundaries: 

  • Know what your role is in the church and stay in the role.
  • You cannot be all things to all people. “There’s no one else.  I have to do it.”
  • You cannot be all things to one person. “I’m going to make things better for this person/family.”

 6. Improve team building:

  • Do you feel supported in your work environment?
  • Who can you share that you’ve had a hard day?
  • Who can you tell when a family’s story is upsetting you?
  • Is sharing empathy with church staff/elders seen as a weakness or a strength?

 7. Increase Self-care behaviors: 

  • Are you sleeping enough?
  • Eating healthy?
  • Working an appropriate amount?
  • Going for checkups?
  • Taking your own maintenance meds?
  • Involved in leisure activities?
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God is Bigger than Handmade Coasters

One of my favorite things about Christmas are the gifts you didn’t see coming.  One year my precious daughter-in-law Cecilia gave me a set of handmade coasters with pictures of our family on them.  I was so over whelmed by the gift I cried- A LOT!  Why? Because she knew exactly what I would adore: a handmade gift with pictures of my family that I can see day in and day out.  She nailed it.

You know who is the master at giving the best gifts? God.  You have to admit that if anyone knows exactly what gift you would adore, it’s God.  So if God has a gift ready for you, you don’t want to miss it!

Mary, Mother of Jesus received a great gift from God. Continue reading

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Light of the World by Lauren Daigle

The true gifts of Christmas are not contingent on other people’s attitudes, beliefs, hospitality or cooperation.  The true gifts of Christmas are given directly from your heavenly Father to you His precious child.  The Light of the World rip away the darkness of even the burden of cancer.  Open yourself this Christmas to receiving each and every gift that comes from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to YOU.

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
And can you hear the angels singing
Glory to the light of the world
Glory, the light of the world is here
The drought breaks with the tears of a mother
A baby’s cry is the sound of love
Come down, come down, Emmanuel
He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah, the Prince of Peace has come
He has come, Emmanuel
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed
For all who wonder
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel
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Excerpt: Celebrating Christmas in Your Cancer Journey.

I believe that celebrating Christmas in your cancer journey is sweeter with these 2 steps:

  1. Admitting things will change this Christmas.
  2. Sharing these changes with others.

Lots of people going through cancer walks say “I just want someone that get’s it.  And I think God places those people around us specifically so we can receive that comfort BUT we have to see the gift that’s right there waiting for us.

I believe God orchestrates these meeting for us much like He did for Mary and Elizabeth.  What’s the odds of Mary finding not just someone that’s pregnant the same time she is but someone MIRACULOUSLY pregnant?  That sounds to me like something God has orchestrated.

What do you think God has orchestrated for you this Christmas? Do you think that you sharing about your cancer walk could bring about that celebration for you?  That wonderful celebration of connecting with someone this Christmas?  I think it could be incredible.

One more thing.

God did not command Mary to go see Elizabeth.  She chose to go.  And God is not commanding you to share with anyone the differences that are happening for you this Christmas but, God can do powerful things through the comfort of others.  Did you hear that?  God can do POWERFUL things through the comfort of others.

So why not reach out and share some of the changes that have happened in your life and see how God can use that to bring a new celebration to you this Christmas.

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Cancer and Worry Except from Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey

So, another way to read these verses could be:
Throw all your worries of life on Jesus, because
Jesus cares for you. Be calm and collected; be
actively alert. Your adversary the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to
devour.
1 Peter 5:7-8
Read the above aloud.
From these verses, we can see…
Three Steps for Coping with the Worries of Life:
Step #1 Throw all your worries of life on Jesus.
Step #2 Be actively Alert.
Step #3 Be Calm and collected.

Step #1 Throw all your worries of life on Jesus.
Don’t hide your worries; name them.
Telling yourself not to worry and yet still
worrying is not giving your worries to Christ.
I know it can be scary to acknowledge your
worries, for fear that they will begin to steal
your focus and fill your head with negative
thoughts. But when you take the time to
identify your worries, and name them, then you
can focus on seeing Jesus with you in the midst
of your difficulties. This is what makes your
worries begin to shrink. Did you catch that?
Seeing Jesus with you in the midst of your
difficulties can put them in perspective and
help their influence shrink.
Common Physical Worries for Caregivers and
Survivors:
(Caregivers are exhausted, stressed, and often
unhealthy because they place their physical and
medical needs aside and focus on their loved
one in treatment. So, many of these statements
also apply to caregivers.)
Rate how often you are aware of these
concerns?
N               S                 F                     C
Never  Sometimes  Frequently  Consistently
____I am concerned about getting enough rest.
____ I can’t sleep during the day, even though at
times I feel I need to.
____Even when I am feeling rested, I am
concerned about staying rested.
____I’m concerned that I never know when the
fatigue will come.
____When I feel an ache, illness or lump I
become concerned that the cancer is growing
or has come back.
____I hold back from sharing concerns about
my physical difficulties with my medical staff.
____I hold back from sharing concerns about
my physical difficulties with my loved ones.
____I worry that the treatments drained me so
much I will never be energized again.
____I worry that my side effects will get worse,
or that new side effects will appear.
____I worry that the scan/test will have bad
news.
____I worry that since I haven’t had a test/scan
for a while the cancer could be back.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or is
back and my medical staff will not know it.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back and I will not know it.
____I worry that the cancer is growing or has
come back and my caregiver will not be able
to care for me.
____ Other:
Share your answers if you would like.
Look again at Step #1 for Coping with the
Worries of Life: Throw all your worries on
Jesus.
So how do we do that? How do we throw all

of our worries on Jesus? We pray. Prayer is a
priceless weapon for worries- all worries. Let’s
boldly lift our worries up in prayer.
Prayer #1 Please pray aloud with me:
Lord,
I know You are carrying me through my cancer.
You have lifted me out of the darkness and into
the light more times than I can count. Please
place cancer in my past. Rip away every cancer
cell from my body and the bodies of my loved ones
for now and for all time. I know all things are
possible through You. In all things, Your will, not
my will be done. In Your name I pray, AMEN.

Excerpts from Finding Hope in Your Cancer Journey Bible Study.
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