I just completed reading
I HAVE CANCER I WANT TO LIVE written by my friend Darlene Gore with her daughter (also my friend and my torture minded physical therapist since my knee replacement) Meredith Gore Warf. Most of you know I have a vested interest in this topic. I was diagnosed with BC (hormone positive) in May 2004. Gratefully I am now cancer free and have been for over 10 ½ years. Before reading this book, I knew a good bit of Darlene’s story but the details are telling. It is a story filled with faith and humor and practical information for the patient (i.e. the one who is drinking from the cancer firehose) as well as for the caregivers, family members in general and support system.
I also did not know until I read this how closely our journeys paralleled. She was diagnosed the day I knew I had a problem. Neither of us had anything show up on a mammogram. Both of us knew enough to know when something was just “not right”. I actually did know about the potential issues with “dense breast tissue” and had been dealing with fibrocystic disease for about ten years and both my sisters had been diagnosed with cancer (one breast, one colon) during the five years prior to my diagnosis BUT the cancer was only in our generation – again like this story. Though we took different routes, both of us had amazing medical care by folks who cared about what they were doing. And faith was our constant companion. Until I started treatment, I had probably never been truly still for more than ten minutes at a time my entire life (and for the record, I had prayed shortly before my diagnosis for “patience” – you can be assured I have never again prayed for that!)
For the newly diagnosed patient, the scripture references alone are worth the purchase of the book. Add to that the coping skills discussed and the humor – trust me, the stuff is spot on.
For those in the support system – there are specific recommendations on what to say (or not), how to encourage the patient and the family.
For the primary caregiver – there are reminders that they need to be remembered because their burden is heavy and everyone is watching.
Cancer happens to your family/extended family. It is not just about you. That is really hard to swallow when you are a control freak but God can use that in you as well as you travel a journey like this. Things are never the same after the diagnosis but the new normal has for me, and I think for the Gores, provided blessings unimagined. And the opportunities to share Jesus with others in the same boat abound.
The book is available on Amazon and from other sources. Read it. You may not need it today but the odds are there will be a time you will. My best friend died at age 32 from this awful disease. She was Stage IV and God chose to heal her in Heaven. That said, Becky, I think, would agree today with the thoughts shared by Darlene and Meredith. No diagnosis and treatment is ever exactly the same. We do not control the outcome but God does intend, I believe for us to fight for the chance to live. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Isaiah 48:10 NIV – Look, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have purified you in the furnace of affliction.
Still Choosing Joy,