Thank you, Cancer (2/2)

Thank you cancer

Here is what I have learned in the last six-months:

In order to maintain hope, you have to look for how to show love in the situation…and do it.

Sometimes that means forgiving, sometimes that means expressing thanks or just a smile, or maybe that means looking at how to help others.

As most of you know, I have started the Love the Hospital{ity} project. It came out of me seeing a need while in the hospital that I wanted to personally help with. Mentioned it to a couple of people, and it turned into a big thing that needed its own Facebook page. It’s been great. It’s been the positive distraction I needed to feel useful, especially when it comes to staying weeks in the hospital.

That’s kind of the obvious example, but there are others that were not so fun or easy. Like forgiving after the doctors made a potentially life-threatening mistake with my son (he’s fine and you will have to read the book for details).

Most of the time it’s really simple, just giving a smile to a nurse and always saying thank you.

There are many different situations and different ways to do this, and it may sound cheesy but love, love, love. As you lift other’s spirits, you will lift your own.

In order to find strength, you have to look for and focus on where God is in the situation.

God being there, especially if you are not used to looking for him, is not always easy to see. Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s not obvious, but even so, it can sometimes save your life.

It can be in a conversation with someone that makes you smile on a day smiles are few. It could be a random combination of events that puts you somewhere you were not supposed to be, but ended up being able to support someone when the terrible stuff happens.

There are thousands of ways God shows up. Because it’s not  a burning bush or a big signed document saying “LOVE, GOD” we negate them as coincidence, or just life. It’s not.

In order to thrive, you have to find the opportunity to grow in the situation and constantly be working towards that.

The thing with emotionally draining situations is they have a fun little habit of taking a gigantic yellow highlighter to your other problems and shortcomings. It becomes not just a health issue or work issue, but then a marriage issue, parenting issue, spiritual issue, etc. When you don’t have the energy to work anymore, fake it anymore, ignore where you are hurt anymore, it forces you to do one of two things: Run away and crumble, or face it head on.

Let me tell you — face it. It’s hard because the last thing you want to do when your kid has cancer, your parent dies, you get laid off from work, or any of it, is deal with other issues. But you know what? That’s how you transform. That’s how you grow. Put in the work while you are staring the problem in the face, and you’ll be a better person when all is said and done.

My fear of waiting until “life calms down” is that I will do what I usually do — pretend the problem isn’t there, or that I can fix it with whatever I was doing before. We don’t tend to give illness or physical problems attention until they are hurting. Same with emotional ones: we like to do the quick fix until it doesn’t hurt anymore or we are so distracted by something else we forget it’s there for a little while. This isn’t dealing. This is avoiding.

Dealing, and growing, even when life is dirty, rotten, and terrible is going to help you thrive.

These points are not all that original and won’t solve the world’s problems, but they have had a remarkable affect on me. They have helped me deal with life more gracefully, when I would have probably become an alcoholic or had a complete breakdown otherwise.

These points are not all that original and won’t solve the world’s problems, but they have had a remarkable affect on me. They have helped me deal with life more gracefully, when I would have probably become an alcoholic or had a complete breakdown otherwise.

Tomorrow I find out if my son’s cancer is gone or if we have another six months of worry and hospitals ahead. Not every day will be easy. Not every day will be happy. But I refuse to let cancer ruin my son or my’s life.

Other posts you may be interested in:

Getting ready for Thursday

Thank you, cancer (1/2)

7 Tips for surviving long hospital stays

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