Breast Cancer #2: You're Not Alone

  • Oct. 2, 2012
  • #7937

When Joni was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, she knew cancer treatment along with quadriplegia was something she could not do alone.

Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada with a word about cancer.

All this week we’re highlighting October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the last time we met, I shared a little bit about my own battle against breast cancer. I tell you, the word alone can curdle the blood, right? The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is around one in eight (12%), a statistic from the American Cancer Society. For years, it was labeled a terminal disease, but the good news is thanks to improvements in treatment and early detection, millions of women are surviving breast cancer today.

Now, whether you’re worried about developing breast cancer, or you have it, and you are making decisions about treatment, or already trying to deal with the ups and downs of chemotherapy, there are things you can do to make the most of your battle. Yes, it is a battle. You are in the battle of your life (for your life), but there is hope. Millions of women have gone through it, and they have survived. In every community across America, there are breast cancer support groups and there is plenty of help, information, and hope to go around.

Because if you are battling cancer, hope is so precious, and with Jesus Christ, there is always hope. And according to I Timothy 6:12, He even believes a fight against cancer can be a good one, a good fight. And if you are the one dealing with cancer, you just might feel as I once did: overwhelmed and fainthearted. I will never forget the night before I took my first round of chemotherapy; I read Jesus' words in John chapter 21, verse 18, where Jesus tells Peter, "Someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Well, guess what? The next morning, someone else dressed me and took me where I “did not want to go”—a dreaded chemo clinic. When the nurse drove the needle into my chest port, I felt so overwhelmed, just looking at that full bag of toxic drugs hanging on the IV stand. I remember thinking, “Lord, I’m already a quadriplegic and I deal with pain almost daily. I feel so alone, like you’ve abandoned me.” Yet, as I watched the IV with its steady drip of poison seeping into my veins, the Bible had an answer for me. From Hebrews chapter 13: “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’” Oh, friend, I can't begin to tell you how much that verse helped me on that first day in the chemo clinic. I kept thinking about how Jesus, the most God-forsaken man who ever lived, endured our afflictions so that he, in turn, might say to you and me, “I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.”

With that first day in chemo, I began the prayerful habit of looking to God's Word for emotional balance, as well as a healthy dose of the true reality: “Lord, thank you that I’m not alone. You are here, bearing my burdens and caring for my needs. You have not abandoned or forgotten me. Give me your strength for this challenge.” Oh, my goodness friend, you can endure almost anything—even sitting slumped in a big chemo chair—if you know God is sitting next to you. So take heart, the Lord of the Universe is in the battle with you. I've written about this in a booklet called "Breast Cancer: Life After Shock." If you are struggling with cancer, or have survived it, this booklet is for you or maybe you know someone who is dealing with cancer right now; if so, then please go to my radio page today at joniandfriends.org and ask for your copy of my booklet on breast cancer. And join me tomorrow for more on this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

© Joni and Friends

 

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