If my family is supposed to be in the refiner’s fire, I want to see the shine. I just started keeping a journal about the “Good things about Cancer.” There are plenty of not-so-good things about cancer, (tomorrow’s bone marrow biopsy being one) but I can’t really spend my time thinking about those and I definitely don’t need reminders.
My new goal is to come up with 10 Blessings of Cancer – a list of reminders of the good, the growth, the learning and the blessings that are here and are coming. I already have a few in mind because they are such obvious blessings to me.
When Paul’s brother David had AML, we held a 300-person fundraiser for him right before his death. We asked all cancer survivors to stand and a small group stood to enthusiastic applause. We asked all those who had immediate family members affected by cancer to stand. Half of the room stood. We asked all those with extended family members affected by cancer to stand and almost every person in the room was standing. The entire room was on their feet when we asked if they had friends with cancer. Cancer is a community disease. Our symptoms may be different, but we are all affected by it.
I know that many of you have been affected by cancer on very close and personal levels. I would love for you to share with me what you found to be the blessings of cancer. I would love to hear your stories and learn from you to appreciate the good that can come through the trials. I will need the reminders during the more difficult times and will add them to my list. My goal, at a minimum, is to find ten. I am sure there are many more if I keep my eyes open to them.
I am trying to follow the advice of the wise mother who counseled a disappointed son, “Come what may and love it.” Her son said, “I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result.” (Come What May and Love It, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin)
Thank you for your words of support and encouragement. I am so fortunate to know such kind and loving people. (This is one of the 10!) I am doing very well and am getting ready for the stem cell transplant. I look forward to having my husband join me for the next stage we will go through together. I am anxious to hear what you have to say.