Challenges of the Cancer Survivor
- Live with a tentative nature, thinking it may come back. I won’t live long. How long before I will experience more suffering and pain
- It is a constant thought, tormenting. Every ache, pain or cough, raises the question: Is it cancer?
- No big future plans are thought of with promise or excitement
- The fear is kept in side. No one can relate to this struggle
- Side effects are a constant reminder that I had a deadly disease that might come back. Including mouth sores, numbness, memory loss, ports that have not been removed, long-term use of chemotherapy drugs, in ability to get life insurance, etc.
- Loss of a job or significant other and having to start over
- Medical bills causing financial ruin
Think on these things:
Cancer Survivors need to be encouraged to see surviving cancer as an exciting second chance at life! It is an opportunity to begin life as God had intended. It is not about getting back to normal. The risk of getting back to the old normal is the old normal that (for many), was the lifestyle that yielded a cancer diagnosis. So we don’t want to go back to that. We need a new normal.
That new normal should include the constant practice of gratitude, a grateful heart for having an extended life, and an opportunity to appreciate every day. It is a chance to embrace the fact that God is using this experience for good. You are a much stronger person after coming out of this experience. It is a chance to leverage that strength you’ve gained from the journey. It is a point in life when you no longer sweat the small stuff. Now you can do more for the greater good. You can encourage others and be more sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.
We know through scripture that God had a purpose (a work) for us before we entered our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). And we must believe that He has not lost sight of the vision he has for us. Let’s see every day as God’s investment in that plan and purpose. See this new normal as your opportunity to jump on board with this plan. Increase your prayer life and commitment to the plan. “Allow His love to show you how valuable you are to Him. Now, honor that relationship by caring for yourself. Yield your future by allowing hope in your Primary Care giver [Our Lord] to make you feel confident that He is with you no matter what. As you do this, you will begin to feel better.” Using the Holy Bible as your map and instruction for living, you will have the hope and confidence to move forward.
Scripture admonishes us to put our imagination under the authority of God the Holy Spirit. This will help us build a thought-life that fights against those fearful thoughts of cancer recurrence and help us have joy in knowing that everyone who has life has only one day each day. Finally, “brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Surina Ann Jordan is the author of the books, Got Cancer? Congratulations! Now You Can Start Living, The Seven Disciplines of Wellness, the Spiritual Connection To Good Health and Living Well. She is President and Sr. Health Advisor of Zima Health, LLC, zimahealth.com. SurinaAnn@surinajordan.com.