My husband and I were sitting around a table at a wedding. We were among friends, and the conversation was jumping from one couple to another as we caught up with each other. Someone asked my husband “how is your son?” He gave a brief rundown, and I interjected with “It’s been great! Everyone’s son should get cancer.”
Our son was diagnosed with cancer six months before he turned 27. Within those six months, he had three surgeries and numerous trips to various doctors and labs. While my response at the wedding was half sarcasm, the other half was truth. I would never actually wish anyone’s child get cancer, but I also wouldn’t trade the way cancer has changed us.
At the time of his diagnosis, our son had been married for four years and he and his wife were the parents of a two ½-year-old with one on the way. Today, his prognosis is good, in fact, the doctor said if you have to get cancer this is the kind to get. Still, answers were slow in coming, and more than once our hopes were dashed.
Blessings of Cancer
Good can come from this type of trial. It is not obvious amongst the ugly heartbreak associated with cancer, but it is there if we choose to find it. Our priorities have been realigned with what is most important, and as we’ve proceeded with faith, we were strengthened in remarkable ways.
I’m reminded of a scripture in Philippians 4:7 which refers to the peace of God, which passeth all understanding. Feeling peace when the world tells us we should be panicking is beyond my understanding. I can only attribute our peace as a tender mercy and blessing from God.
We have become closer to our son than we have been for a while. The teenage years were hard on our relationship, but this trial was a healing balm to those old wounds. Patience no longer means avoiding a power struggle with our son but waiting with him for test results and treatment plans.
This cancer prioritized time with our son and his family. Grandkids have this innate ability to nurture hope. My grandson’s sweet little voice calling my name or mimicking what he hears fills my heart with hope. Our grandson and budding new grandbaby became a physical symbol of the future and what we all have to hope for.
When life is threatened our gratitude awareness is automatically heightened. Instead of searching for ways to be grateful, I feel gratitude for the most simple and ordinary things. A hug from my son, the words “I Love You,” eating lunch together, a phone call or text message, and time. Gratitude has changed my attitude.
God has a plan for each of us. Some of the trials of life come from the consequences of our choices, and others come as a result of someone else’s choice. And cancer — cancer just comes. I don’t believe God gave cancer to my son, but I also don’t think He would ever do anything to prevent it.
Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn
Cancer helped us to grow together, to depend on one another, and to love unconditionally. The most important part of how cancer has changed us is our choice. We have chosen how to react to the cancer demon rearing his ugly fangs at us. Our choice has been to allow it to make us better than we were before. Not perfect, just better.
What is a major force in your life that has changed you?
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