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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Love Letter To Cancer Patients
Getting a cancer diagnosis is probably one of the most devastating things a person has to experience. I can only imagine what a person who has heard the words, “You’ve got cancer.” must feel, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with the situation and tell you that I love you.
You read all of the time about people telling you how to cope with cancer and what your treatment options are, so I’m not going to do that. What I am going to do is to tell you that you are on my heart and on my mind, and I promise to say a prayer for you every day that you will be strengthened by this journey you’re on.
My father, Willie, was having some issues with his stomach late last year. His doctors believed he had some blockage in his intestines, so they decided to do surgery to see what they could find. Well, they found something, and what they found was not promising. Daddy had a cancerous tumor that was blocking his colon.
I remember vividly sitting in the waiting room during his surgery and the doctor coming out, stone-faced, and I stood to my feet. We were expecting to hear that his surgery had gone well and the blockage had been removed. Dr. Ward looked us squarely in the eyes and said, “We’ve found cancer.” My stepmother immediately started crying, but not me.
If there is one thing I know, I know that God is able. And as if that weren’t already enough, I know my dad is a trooper. I instantly thought that if anyone could get the diagnosis and beat it, surely, it was him. We affectionately call him “The Bull” because of his rough and tough exterior, but inside he’s just a sweet little pony. (smile)
I can’t say that my heart didn’t skip a beat when the doctor told us the news, but I can tell you a few things grounded me in that instance. First, my faith. Then, my love for my dad and his zest for life.
I didn’t flinch as I asked the physician, “So, what’s next?” He said, “Well, I believe I’ve removed all of it, and it doesn’t look like it has spread. But, we won’t know for sure until we receive the tests back from the lymph nodes we took in the surrounding area. That could take up to a week.” Then, he reassured us Daddy was doing well from surgery and was in recovery.
I’m happy to say The Bull’s story ends well. The cancer hadn’t spread, and he would be fine. But had his tummy not been bothering him, we probably would have not known cancer was alive and well inside his body until it was too late.
I know everyone’s story doesn’t end like his. And I didn’t tell you that to make you feel bad if your experience isn’t looking like it will end well. What I do want to offer you is hope. Hope and belief that even if cancer costs you your life, that other good things may come from it like how something like this pulls and welds families together.
So, if you’re living with cancer or experienced it the way I have, through a loved one, a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end. Everything happens for a reason. Whatever season you’re in with this disease, please know that my heart goes out to you.
And please also know that just as I ached for my father’s well-being, I ache for yours. My prayer is that a cure will be found to stave off this disease once and for all. But until it is discovered, take heart that someone out there loves you and is praying on your behalf.
May God bless you and your family as you navigate the rough waters of a cancer diagnosis. I love you. Take care.
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