Today I saw the broken face of cancer. The face of chemotherapy and radiation.
When I walked in the room, my heart pounded as I visited a dear friend, someone we have known for almost 10 years. Her sunken eyes and pale skin brought me back to the day I arrived at the hospital and found my father dead; a reality brought about by malpractice. Those moments are unforgettable, we heal but we never forget.
“They sent me home to die. The oncologist, my internist and the surgeon said there is nothing to be done. Since getting cancer a few years ago I have done rounds of radiation and some chemo. I also followed the advice of my doctor and took an experimental drug for 30 days and it almost killed me. Unfortunately in spite of everything we tried, the cancer has now spread all over my abdomen including my liver, parts of my brain and now my bones. After being in hospice for 2 weeks I wanted to go home and they let me go”
I wanted to cry but I held my tears, I held them for her, for hope. Although the heaviness of my heart weighed down my thoughts I knew we were there for a reason. We were there to offer hope, to pray to make her smile.
As I took off my shoes and made myself comfy on her bed, I prayed quietly while my husband gave her some essential oil of frankincense she had asked us to purchase for her.
She explained to me that she hasn’t been able to eat and has been drinking a canned beverage often recommended to the elderly and those who cannot eat. This canned drink is genetically modified junk, loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. It is sure to make the already sick even sicker, especially those with cancer.
“Please don’t drink that. I’ll make you some organic carrot, ginger and turmeric juice instead,” I told her.
I actually sat in the bed while hollering instructions to my hubby on how he was going to make the juice, lol. “You’ll need to use three carrots, washed and scrubbed, do not peel them,” I continued.
Once the juice was ready she took small sips and amazingly the color returned a bit to her face. I rubbed the frankincense oil on her abdomen and prayed. I taught her breathing exercises to help her relax and we laughed a good bit while she tried to hold her tongue pressed towards the roof of her mouth while inhaling and exhaling.
“You know I’ve already made peace with everyone who I needed to make peace with. I don’t owe anyone anything so if God wants to take me, I am ready. The only thing that hurts is to think about the people I love and those who love me.”
Poker face, poker face I thought to myself. I tried to hold my tears because I knew that if I started to cry it would be all over. I’d lose focus and waste precious time. So I held them and breathed deeply.
In her frustration she expressed that she firmly believed that hell was going to have a special place for people who abused their positions to damage the lives of others intentionally all in an effort to make money. “It is unbelievable the trust I placed in others, to end up like this. If I somehow get a second chance at life with everything I have learned, I am going to do things right. I’m going to share what God has taught me through this difficult process. This cancer is awful and from the pits of hell”
“That is the only thing we can do,” I answered. “When we suffer it is always for a greater purpose. Sometimes we are so upset or sad because of our present situation that we turn to bitterness and miss what we are supposed to learn during our walk through the valley of the shadow of death. But when we make it through we see that our tears are now nuggets of gold in the hand of our creator. Nuggets of gold that we can take and give to others who are hurting and walking through the same valley.”
As we shared together, we spoke about so many things and with God’s help I managed to cram as much love and prayer as I could into the short time we had. I told her about some of the trials I have endured and things I have learned throughout the years. The healing power of prayer, of hope, of clean eating and laughter.
Today I shared my heart and soul with one of the many broken faces of cancer and in the end hope won. What cancer set out to destroy, God put back together. Just by lifting the spirit of a broken person, by making them smile, by offering them God’s peace we give hope the upper hand.
No matter how great the damage or how grave the report, we have life in and through our creator and we must never lose hope in his plan for us both on this earth and in eternity.
Sometimes we are able to receive physical healing and when that happens then we must praise God. Our bodies after all were designed to heal from the inside out and if God wills he can bestow new life upon those who have become victims of diseases like cancer. He can renew and regenerate, he can bring peace and provide safety when all seems to be lost. Even those loved ones who have to leave this earth before their time, he can also give new life, eternal life, if and when we seek him and know him with all of our heart, mind and soul.
But in order for God to work he needs us to be his hands and feet. To be his voice.
Let us not grow weary in doing good, in lending a helping hand, in mourning with those who morn, in sharing the love and hope of Christ with a dying world.
Let us – let hope win and shine bright our light in the darkness.