The reactions I receive when I tell people about my cancer diagnosis are almost always kind and hopeful. I especially love the hugs and prayers people offer to me. I make a point to study the different reactions. I know cancer has such a scary stigma. Sometimes just saying “cancer” makes people cringe.
When I was getting radiation therapy, my oncologist recommended I use pure aloe vera on the skin that was getting directly hit with the death rays. I went to a grocery store that sold all kinds of natural products. As I stood in the aisle trying to figure out which bottle of goo was pure aloe vera, a chatty woman came and stood beside me. She started talking about all the many, many uses of aloe vera. She then asked me what I was going to use it for. I smiled and explained to her my plans for the aloe vera. Then as if on cue, she gave me that cringe.
During my chemo treatments, I carried a chemo pump for 4 days each week. I was given a horrid bag/fanny pack to carry it in. If I had to carry poison around with me, at least I was going to carry it in something pretty. I decided to go shopping for a purse. In one store, an associate eyed me curiously as I stood, trying to figure out which purse the pump fit in the best (and was appropriately cute). She walked up to me and asked if I needed help. I explained to her I needed a purse for my chemo pump. She looked at me blankly, then realization set in and then the cringe.
The cringe is humorous to me. It’s like I have a magic power that can strike fear in innocent people. I understand why people are afraid of cancer, Not too long ago, I was one of those people. Now that I’ve been on the other side, I’m not afraid of cancer at all. Cancer is just a bunch of confused cells and my body doesn’t know how to get rid of them correctly. My body may be challenged by the disease, but my mind and spirit are steady and strong.
Depression taught me that my brain can get sick. When my brain was sick, my spirit weakened. Without the strength of my mind and spirit, I wanted to die. Cancer is not allowed to affect my mind and I don’t have cancer of the spirit. Depression robbed me of hope and the will to fight. Cancer weakens my body, but it can’t break my will. I laugh at cancer and its attempts to bring me down. I have the power of God on my side and He is much bigger than any cancer.
Ephesians 3:16 – I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.