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Cancer, Life's Challenges

A Cancer Story: The First Time I Cried

The first time I cried about the cancer was about a week after diagnosis. I had already seen the surgeon and the oncologist. I’d gotten the news, the plan, and the prognosis. I knew what the next year would look like . . . or so I thought.

But it was one morning on my way to work when the weight of the entire ordeal broke loose from its moorings and landed on my shoulders. I remember it like it just happened last week. I was doing forty-five down Lehman Road and those pesky thoughts of death wormed their way into my mind. I wasn’t afraid of dying, though. No, I know where I’m going, that’s not the problem. There’s no fear there. I was afraid for my family. I didn’t want my wife being a widow at 31 years old; I didn’t want my three daughters, just 9, 7, and 6, to grow up fatherless. I couldn’t stand even the idea of it. And the more those thoughts bounced around in my head the more the tears pressed on the back of my eyes.

Finally, the dam let loose and the tears surged. And there I was, blurry-eyed, all sniffles and sobs, praying, “God, let this thing be as uncomfortable as it has to be but please spare my life.”

It was the first time in my life I had ever stared death in the face. Like I said, I wasn’t afraid of that beast either, I was afraid of the destruction it would leave in its wake.

I needed that cry too, needed it to cleanse my worries and push me to the point of throwing the ordeal at God’s feet. I wouldn’t cry again until chemotherapy did its dark magic on my emotions.

I learned during that trip to work that suffering serves as a reminder of our own mortality. It forces us to the realization that we’re not as in control as we’d like to think we are.

So how about you. What trial have you endured that reminded you of your own weakness and insufficiency? That pushed you toward a deeper reliance on God?

Please share these posts with others and encourage them to share their stories with us.

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About michaelkingbooks

I write stories of faith and family, love and loss, heartache and triumph. Here I blog about faith, relationships, and genuine living.

Discussion

9 thoughts on “A Cancer Story: The First Time I Cried

  1. This hits very close to home for me. As you know, I also was diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer at age 39 with a young wife and , in my case, two girls – 9 and 11 years old. The tears came sooner for me. When we got home from the colonoscopy, I hugged my wife and we cried together for a while. I just felt so bad about burdening her with this whole thing. I know she’s my wife, and we are supposed to share each other’s burdens. But I still felt bad about it. We then explained the situation to our girls in terms they could understand. I have always known in my head that God is in control and will work in our lives to accomplish his purposes, but when they tell you that you have stage 3 cancer at only 39, it forces you to put your total trust in that fact.

    Even though the surgery, radiation, and chemo have made me cancer free for now, I still worry when I feel unusual twinges of pain somewhere. I’m always aware that the cancer can come back. Like you, I don’t fear death, but it hurts me to think that my daughters could grow up without a father and my wife could be a young widow. Again, it comes down to faith…He can take much better care of them than I ever could. If He chooses to call me home, that’s His decision. Easy to say. Much harder to live out….

    Posted by Tom Leckrone | August 13, 2012, 7:05 am
  2. Mike, I can relate to your emotions because for me it was also cancer that caused me to face my mortality. I didn’t go through the painful thought process of leaving a young wife and children because I was 55. My children were grown with families of their own. In fact, my biggest concern was that I hadn’t left my wife and family spiritually ready for their futures.

    Surprisingly, I awoke, disappointed, after my surgery. Disappointed because I didn’t open my eyes to see Jesus before me. However, my disappointment quickly waned because I knew He had more for me to do, and this time I was going to do it. I used to kinda tell people about Jesus, when asked. Since that day, I’ve taken a firm stance on my faith through public prayer and intentional acts of love toward others.

    I now realize that before my cancer, I was unconsciously putting more trust in myself and others than in Jesus. Today, I know I can do nothing without Him, and I’m enjoying the journey He’s planned for me. Of course I still slip into self-reliance occasionally, but I confess my drifting, He forgives me and we continue our walk together.

    I’m grateful much more for the service He’s allowing me to do on His behalf than for my continued earthly life. There is no greater joy than doing what He created me to do. And I know that’s true for everyone.

    Posted by Bruce Brady | August 13, 2012, 10:53 am
    • Thank you, Bruce, for your encouraging words! What a great reminder for all of us. Life is precious. We need to be intentional about purposeful living. I love that last statement, “There is no greater joy than doing what He created me to do.” Amen!

      Posted by michaelkingbooks | August 13, 2012, 11:08 am
  3. Everyone, thank you so much for your comments. I love reading them every day. Your comments are in a way doing God’s work. They certainly bless me more than you can imagine.
    Thank You

    Posted by Terri Conrad | August 13, 2012, 11:22 am
  4. I thank God for the technology that allows you to share His work in your lives, and reach readers instantly. This is as surely God’s work as any. Blessings on you all for this reminder that life is a gift to be lived and shared.

    Posted by Lois Hudson | August 13, 2012, 5:14 pm
  5. I can give a little from a child’s perspective in this sort of situation. I was about 9 when my mom had breast cancer. No one really told me anything that was going on, and I didn’t understand much anyway, but I remember being sad and upset and I didn’t want to lose my mom. My parents are older, and there’s a lot of health things that they have to deal with that make me nervous. So as a child, watching my mom go through appointments and treatments and not understanding, it’s very confusing and worrying. But the night before her surgery, both my parents had the same dream of a pair of cupped hands and someone saying “we got it all” and sure enough, that’s what the doctor did and said after the surgery. She’s cancer free 13 years now and we are all confident that God healed her permanently, that the cancer will never come back anywhere in her body. I for one am thankful that I get to keep her! She is more than just “mom,” she’s my friend too. Now, having learned from that, these days, when my parents go through things, I don’t worry as much anymore. Of course I’m concerned and I pray for them, but I am confident they are in God’s hands.

    Posted by Stella | August 13, 2012, 5:21 pm
  6. Reblogged this on One Desert Rose and commented:
    The big “C” word. It hits the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly. It hist men, women and children. You’ll find that crying isn’t for just babies..it’s healing and even therapeutic. Read how Michael’s ordeal brought him to the feet of Jesus, to release his worries.

    Posted by One Desert Rose | August 23, 2012, 10:49 pm

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