It didn’t take long!
Derek and Jodi May and family were one of many people to visit me in the hospital after my colon resection surgery in November 2015, after radiation and my first round of chemo.
Jodi asked me what God was teaching me through this experience. I have had a little time to think about it, and here’s a few more lessons God is teaching me:
- No laughing or crying right after surgery, especially an abdomen surgery! Everything hurts too much!
- This journey is not just about me. I am just the one walking it. There are many, many others who are affected by my actions, my attitude and how I handle myself in difficult situations. A lot more people are watching than you realize.
- This experience has challenged my personal “ICKY” level and I am still working on not being too easily “grossed out.”
- For those of us who would never survive in the medical field, I firmly appreciate those who can handle other people’s “ICK” levels.
- Be as kind to medical staff as possible. They deal with a LOT of cranky people.
- “God’s got this” is not just a mindset for my cancer journey, but my life’s journey. He cares about the small stuff and the big stuff.
- Cancer –all types—is difficult and expensive. Just the daily drive to Starkville and the extra stuff you have to buy at Walmart in isles you never dreamed you would walk down, is pricey and not covered by insurance. When someone says they are taking treatments for cancer, it is an emotional and financial burden.
- There are more people going through cancer treatments than I realized. There is a lot of suffering. There is a great need for volunteers in every community to help families in your church and in your community with cancer. Even just committing to prepare a healthy meal once a month can be a big deal for a family. I had so much help, but it is a long road. A little help goes a long way.
- And even when you are sick and so weak you can’t do anything physically, pray. Praying for all of the people who are much sicker than you in the chemo room or for those taking care of you at home, gives you that opportunity to do something for others that is personal and special. Prayer is the most important thing you can do for someone. It is the truest expression of love.
- Do NOT self-diagnose on the internet. See a doctor! You are not a doctor! The internet does not replace a doctor!
- Family is EVERYTHING! God put these people in your life for a reason! My mom made soup day after day week after week. Who else is going to do that kind of thing for you? Just your family.
- Marry the right person! You want someone who will take care of you, help you put saran wrap on your port site so you can get a shower and sing and dance to cheer you up, even if it gets on your last nerve! What an incredible blessing to have a spouse that prays for you, helps and entertains you. One that is brave enough to walk through a cancer journey with you as opposed to running the other way in fear. Maybe that should be lesson one!