Reflecting on My Cancer Battle (Part 5: Celebrating 3 Years)


Okay, first, the winners of the giveaway . . .

After a random drawing, these three folk will each receive a signed copy of Darlington Woods.

Josiah Ritchie . . . Brianne Shipley . . . Josh Rollins.

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered and celebrated with me 3 years of freedom from cancer.

Now, the reflection . . .

 *     *     *

The potency of cancer is that it knocks you down emotionally first. It’s that big bad bully standing in the middle of the playground taunting you, flexing his muscles and jawing away about how much hurtin’ he’s gonna put on you. It’s an intimidator. It beats you down emotionally and psychologically before the physical stuff even begins.

Just the word evokes fear. Cancer. It’s a mountain of a word,

North Face of Mt. Everest

Image via Wikipedia

the Mt. Everest of diagnoses. And anyone given it to wear is marked for pity.

From the moment I was diagnosed others approached us and apologized, some cried, we received phone calls from well-wishers all wondering how this happened. Cards came in the mail daily, offering condolences, prayers, and help. Wherever we went where we were known we got looks. You know the look, sad eyes, frown, maybe a subtle shake of the head. Poor, poor boy. We were the cancer family.

 There’s nothing wrong with all that, it’s normal and somewhat appropriate but it’s all part of cancer’s ploy, it’s part of the psychological warfare waged against the person with cancer and his or her family.

Even before the surgery or the chemo I was done for. I felt like a feeble, helpless, pitiable, victim.

I felt like a cancer patient.

And the bully had already gained the upper hand.

From March 29, 2008:

I’m finding out that cancer is a battle. And one I can’t win on my own. I keep thinking that there is this thing inside me and it wants to kill me. I look ahead at the next year full of radiation and chemotherapy and surgery and an ileostomy bag and weeks and weeks of recovery time and I feel overwhelmed. I see Goliath in all his grotesque glory hovering over me with his tree-sized sword and SUV-sized shield laughing at me, taunting me. And then the fatigue and weariness hit. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes, even spiritually. My knees waver and knock and I begin to lower my slingshot and cower in fear. I even notice the vultures carving circles in the sky above me . . .

Hold on there, don’t condemn me just yet. The best is yet to come.

. . . and then I hear them, the voices. Hundreds, heck, I don’t know, maybe thousands of people praying and encouraging and urging me onward. Cheering me forward. Strengthening me. And there is one voice that rises above them all, a deep, thunderous yet soothing voice that caresses my soul and lifts my spirit from the miry clay, as the psalmist put it. It’s the voice of my Lord, my Savior, my Friend, my Daddy, assuring me that He is with me, right beside me, holding my hand.

And suddenly the giant doesn’t look so big anymore. In comparison to my Dad, he’s just an ant and I can proudly and confidently say, “My Dad will beat you silly.” Because then I realize–and oh the joy of the realization–that this battle is not mine at all . . . this battle belongs to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47)!

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on March 21, 2011, in Cancer, Christian Living, Giveaways, Life in General. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Carol Holdefer

    Another great post, Mike. Thanks again for sharing your story. In retrospect,can you suggest how one should/could respond to the news that a friend or loved one has cancer, other than the usual, “I’ll be praying for you?” What would you have preferred people say and how should they have reacted, rather than to “pity” you? We all will no doubt face this same scenario again.

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    • Great question, Carol. I can only speak for myself. Knowing people were praying for us was the best thing anyone could say. Second to that was, “I’m coming over to . . .” Not, “If you need anything call us.” Everyone wants to help and be helpful but it’s important not to drop that ball in the lap of the person going through the trial. Be proactive, tell them you’re coming over to clean their house, mow their grass. I had one guy come over, take our car, wash it inside and out and fill it with gas. Another woman would stop by and get our laundry, take it home and wash and iron it. Wow.

      As for what to say. Some dos and donts (from my perspective). Do empathize. Acknowledge what they’re going through, that it stinks and is awful. Don’t preach at them. We all know we should be anxious for nothing, we should cast our cares on Him, and that God is the Great Physician. Do understand that they may be depressed, downtrodden, overwhelmed, sad, angry, whatever . . . and that’s normal. It’s not your job to pull them out of the doldrums. Don’t tell them “Everything will be fine. You’ll be fine.” You don’t know that and they don’t that and while it’s a nice thought, it simply sounds empty. Let them talk when they want to talk but don’t force them to. Some people like to talk about the trial they’re going through others don’t. Respect that. Be yourself around them but respect they’re emotions too. If they’re having a particularly bad day don’t blow if off because you had a fantastic day. Hug them, tell them you love them, and that you’re praying for them.

      Here’s the rub, people tend to think Christians should be strong in trials, never doubt, never worry, never fear. Even the one going through the trial thinks this so the tendency is to put up a facade that everything’s fine. Hopefully, through just being yourself you can help them break down that facade and be honest. Only then can healing come.

      Okay, I’ve rambled enough with scattered thoughts. Hope it makes some kind of sense and you can at least get the gist of what I’m saying.

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  2. Good thoughts, Mike. I loved the post, too. Maybe you’re starting a non-fiction book? Hmmm. We love you guys! Hug all 5 of your girls for me!

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  3. Great advice, Mike. Congrats to the big winners!

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  4. What is even more amazing is experiencing God’s grace during this amazing trial. Here the victim becomes the victor through Christ’s power and the Word of God.

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