Monday, September 12, 2011

How to Live with Cancer

If I’m being completely honest, I want to rip down every Colon Canswer, Prostate Canswer, and Breast Canswer billboard I see when I’m driving down the freeway. The truth is that the particular hospital that displays these billboards does not have all of the answers about cancer. I cringe every time I see them because they give such false hope to people battling this horrid disease. Two and a half weeks before my mom died, she had an appointment for a second opinion with this hospital. The doctor she met with told her that she could try the last chemo that she was on and all he could recommend was hospice.

I was there with my mom during that appointment, and her response was, “We just have to pray that this one works.” I was speechless. I felt like I got kicked in the throat. I could not get any words out of my mouth.

You see, through the 17 months that my mom knew she had cancer; she lived with so much grace and courage. To this day I do not understand how she never broke down or got angry. Maybe she did in the quiet of her own soul, but never outwardly did I see her anger.

Since the minute she was diagnosed her response was always the same. “I’m not scared. I know where I am going. He can take me any time.”

I hated when she said that because I WAS NOT READY. Didn’t she want to see my kids grow up? Didn’t she want to be with us for as long as she could? We were just starting a brand new phase in life. We just moved back from San Diego so that the kids and I could spend time doing all of the things that daughters and grandchildren do with their mom and grandmother.

The thing about my mom is that she had an eternal perspective. God was close to her, she never stopped praying. And even though I prayed and BEGGED for God to heal her, He decided to heal her in a different way.

My mom’s faith was secure. She did not have any regrets in life. She was steadfast in her hope in the Lord. She had peace. She loved God. And she was ready to be with Him when He was ready for her.

Unfortunately, He was ready before I could ever be.

God forbid I ever have this horrible disease. But if I do, I have an amazing example of someone who lived with grace, love, and hope during the hardest time of her life.

Thank you, mom for loving God and trusting Him with your life. I have a lot to live up to.