Before you read this post, I have two disclaimers that I need to get out of the way. First of all, this is not about what my husband, the patient, has learned. This post is about what I, the caregiver, has learned. Secondly, we are only 1/3 of the way through our journey. I am certain I have a lot more to learn!
My husband did not volunteer to have cancer, and I did not volunteer to become a caregiver. Yet here we both are on this journey together. Along the way I have learned a few things that I thought I would share with you.
#1 – Everyone’s cancer story is different. I don’t need to do a Google search on every possible outcome for stage 3 colon cancer. If I do, I’m going to read hundreds of different stories, and for some reason, only the worst case scenarios are found on Google searches.
The acquaintance at church, the stranger in the grocery store, or your well-meaning second cousin whom you’ve never met, all have a story to share.
But those stories are not your story. This is your journey, not theirs. Don’t allow well-meaning voices to tell you how you are supposed to be feeling, or what tests or blood work you should ask for. That’s between you and your doctor. If you choose to get an opinion from someone else, that’s perfectly fine. It is also perfectly fine to let the story of your great Aunt Martha’s best friend’s husband’s terrible battle with cancer, roll right over your head!
#2 – Everyone means well when expressing their concern. In other words, some people are going to say stupid stuff, and rather than get offended, realize they only care about you and are doing the best they can to comfort and relate with you.
“Oh, I’m so sorry to hear you have colon cancer. My dad died of that years ago. It was a terrible death!”
Honestly, my husband and I often find ourselves in stitches over some of the “well-meaning” things we have heard!
I have chosen however, to accept each comment that is sent my way, regardless of how it is presented, as a blessing.
Because at least people care enough to try and comfort us, and for that, I am truly humbled. Besides, I know I used to be one of the well-meaning Great Aunt Martha’s!
#3 – Looking for Comfort outside of God is always a bad idea. When I start feeling afraid, or sorrowful of the circumstances I am in, I tend to have some of the following thoughts:
I just need some of that Double Fudge Brownie dessert to take away my blues!
Just keep calm and call my sister!
I just need a break! One day of Netflix is all I need, and I’ll be back to my old self tomorrow!
Not true! While none of those things are wrong, if I had just gone to the right Source for comfort in the first place, I could have saved myself at least 5lbs!
Besides, after I was done with each of those things, I still felt empty inside.
They only brought me temporary comfort. It’s not until I get on my knees and bring my fears before my Father that I find true peace.
“And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Have you learned something from your own journey through cancer? If you have, please leave a comment, I sure would like to read it!