What Do You Do When You Hear, “You Have Cancer”
I remember that day.
I remember the moment.
We were in a doctor’s office in Van Nuys Calif. He came in and said, “We’ve got the tests back and unfortunately the tests show that there is cancer – I wish I could say there wasn’t but this is the reality we are facing.”
When you hear the ‘c’ word – everything else is drowned out by what that word shouts in your mind. I think he said things like – “we got this early, it’s not the aggressive kind so I think we can beat this….” But all I heard was – “You have cancer.”
The doctor stepped out for a minute and we held each other and cried.
I had a thousand questions.
What do we do next?
What’s going to happen to her?
Is this going to kill her?
Are they going to have to cut a breast off?
I tried from that moment on to be a support to her in every way I knew how.
What I didn’t realize in that moment that I did learn later was – it wasn’t just Holly who had cancer – “we had cancer.” I didn’t realize the impact this had on husbands and family until I went through myself.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At Oasis Church we are having “A Night of Pink” – It’s a @Godchicks night and I wanted to write some of my thoughts.
Here are some things I did to support Holly as she fought this battle… as “we” fought this battle:
1. I read scriptures to her about healing.
I read scriptures to her about faith, healing, comfort and strength. I printed scriptures on laminated cards and put them up on the doors and walls in various places in the house so that we were constantly reminded that God loved us, we were not in this alone, Jesus is our healer, and the Holy Spirit will give us the wisdom and strength we need.
2. I supported her in various ways.
When we needed to pray - I prayed with her and for her.
Some times our prayers were stronger than others. Some times they were just repeating what we believed in the face of this disease.
Prayer is always powerful.
When it was nutritional changes we needed to make, I made them with her. I drank plenty of green juice drinks!!
When it was medical decisions we needed to make – we made them together. We talked about it, prayed about, Holly did lots of research and then we decided. She ended up having a lumpectomy instead of some of the more radical and aggressive approaches.
Sometimes we would just walk holding hands and other times we just sat and read together. Being together
3. I held her in moments of fear and emotional weariness.
We don’t always have all the right answers for everything. After we had prayed and after we had read scripture – there were still human emotions to deal with. So in moments of fear or weariness – I just held her. I listened to her and tried to reassure her.
4. I drove her to doctor appointments.
I wanted to be present. That’s something only I can do – to be there for her. We had other friends who went with her from time to time, but I went with her a lot. She’s a very independent kind of person so some times she would say, “I’ll just go myself today.” But I would go anyway. When I could not go – I would make sure someone went with her.
But I knew that my personal support was important.
5. I informed friends and family of the process
Between friends and family, the Oasis church and others, we made it through. I often was the one who sent out emails or made phone calls to let people know what was happening next. People were key in us getting victory.
The Bible says “ a 3-fold cord is not easily broken” – that third cord for us was friends & family; 1-God, 2-each other and 3-friends. That’s what got us through.
Now 7 years later – she is cancer free.
But we will never forget that journey and others who are on there’s now.
Question: How have you supported someone you love?
Leave comment here: