Juicing

Three Life Changing Words from the Most Effective Class I Ever Took

“You mentioned finding strength from spirituality or faith during your cancer journey. Can you explain that more?”

The young lady asked the question at the end of my December lecture in a local university. She had been very attentive while I shared my personal journey with stage 3 and stage 4 colon cancer. The professor had invited me to present my story during the complementary and alternative wellness series. I hoped just one person would be encouraged by my journey and the choices I made including standard medical treatment, juicing, raw foods, bentonite clay and other supplements and strategies.

“Sure! I’m a Christian and I have found great comfort and strength in my relationship with God.”

I continued by sharing that I told one of my oncologists I was not afraid of dying. I know where I’m going when this life ends because of my faith in God. I was much more fearful (maybe even angry?) about the suffering caused by cancer treatment. That is clearly a choice each person has to make regarding treatment. I did go through grueling medical treatment, too – surgeries, chemo and radiation. I suggested to the class that the best thing one can do for people on a journey with cancer is to love them and support them in the choices they make about treatment.

storm cancer journey field fire clouds sunshine hidden walk

One of the students raised his hand and asked a question. He said he was planning to into the field of medicine.

“Good for you, and I wish you well in your studies!” I stated. “I’m not here to tell you that medicine is evil or using nutrition is foolish. I do want you to know that there is always, ALWAYS, hope. I would love to see medicine and nutrition paired more often for the benefit of the patient. Natural ways of healing can’t be patented like medicine can be and doctors simply aren’t trained in the true power of ‘healing’ using nutrition in our western culture. And quite honestly most of us want a quick fix. A pill.”

A friend told me that in Germany cancer patients are automatically paired with a medical doctor and a homeopathic doctor. The practitioners work together to find the best ways to meet the needs of each patient using medicine AND homeopathy. I like that concept.

Cancer patients who ask doctors about alternative options, like me, don’t typically encounter openness or understanding of valid options or complements to chemo and radiation from the medical community. When my husband and I asked a gifted surgeon in New York City what her thoughts were about the benefits of juicing carrots and using the power of nutrition, the response was literally,  “Oh, sure, carrots are fine for you – I mean, my sister feeds carrots to her horses so….” (insert smug chuckle). Completely discouraging. There can be ignorance on both sides of the cancer treatment discussion. I kept right on sipping my carrot and apple juice while she continued with our very brief consultation. I was dealing at that time with a return of cancer (stage 4) and had been juicing and eating raw foods for two months while considering whether I would accept further medical treatment. Eventually with much reluctance we agreed to a modified, more targeted radiation and chemo pill. I stopped asking doctors what they thought about what I was doing with my diet and decided what was best for me. It was a time of clinging to God for strength and wisdom and living out that little anthem of “my body, my choice.”

Later, after treatment in New York City was completed and a follow up scan five months later showed that the mass had responded far better than anticipated (it had shrunk by 90% and the doctors were very surprised), that same surgeon was insistent that I still should see her to consider surgery to remove the remaining small portion of tumor. The price I would pay for that medical kindness would be a permanent colostomy due to nerve damage and recovery from a very difficult surgery. No, thanks. I hung up the phone and juiced another five pounds of carrots.

Let me share with you the most important thing I know about cancer.

Whatever treatment I choose, no matter how hard I fight disease using any available medical method, drug, or herb, I will still die one day. I want to be certain I know where I will spend eternity when my body fails and the Creator takes me home to heaven.

How do we find confidence about an eternal plan we can’t humanly see? We have so much knowledge about the human body and spirituality and life and still we don’t have all the answers. I’ve found answers to help me cope with challenges and map out my journey in God’s Word. The Bible.

Here are three life-changing words from the most effective class I ever took in high school. It was called Youth Group. My youth pastor scrawled the following words on a whiteboard. The lesson and many others that followed ignited a desire to keep learning about what God’s Word had to say for my life.

OMNISCIENCE: God is all-knowing.

OMNIPOTENCE: God is all-powerful.

OMNIPRESENCE: God is present everywhere.

The fears and anxieties created by a cancer diagnosis are very real. Let me encourage you that God sees you. He cares! Consider these words from Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher from England:

So if you are lying on the battle-field of life, God sees you; let that cheer you: he will relieve you; for he only needs to look at the woes of his children at once to relieve them. Go on then; hope yet; in night’s darkest hour, hope for a brighter morrow. God sees these, whatever thou art doing; “He knows they cares, they tears, they sighs; He shall lift up they head.”

Read the full text of this sermon about “the God who sees us” from www.spurgeon.org – Click Here

Do you know God? How, then, do those three words above (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence) shape your view of life and death and even perhaps your choices about medical treatment and alternative wellness strategies?

Do you wonder what I mean by “knowing God”? You may be in need of the more important “cure”. The cure from sin that only can come through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s Son. If you get healed from cancer after whatever course of treatment you choose, you still will one day face eternity with God, or without God. You want to be with our all-knowing, ever present, all powerful God in eternity. His power and peace is available to us now, every day, when we ask him to forgive our sins and trust Jesus. He paid the price of my sin to give me eternal life no matter what I go through here on this earth. I have some personal thoughts about the only cure that matters. You can find that information by Clicking Here.

So, friend, how does your spirituality or faith give YOU strength in the cancer battle? I’d love to know!

cancer smarts, cancer, cancer encouragement, faith, hope, cancer, stage 4 cancer, cancer survivor

Thank you for stopping by! I’m a stage four colon cancer and cancer treatment survivor. I like to share encouragement and things that have helped me and given me hope on my personal journey. Speaking of things that have helped, you can find a information about “What I Did that Helped” by Clicking Here, and a summary of my personal Cancer Journey Timeline by Clicking Here. Most importantly, you can read about the Only Cure that Matters – just Click Here.

Follow CancerSmarts on Facebook! Click Here

Scanxiety Rule #2

Philippians 4:6-7 be anxious for nothing cancer scan pet scan scanxiety

“Wow. There’s a word for it. It’s called ‘Scanxiety’.”

“What?” Tom asked. I was staring at the computer screen. Tom was watching the Waltons and scrolling through Facebook. That’s how we roll on cold winter evenings with a warm fire flickering close by.

“Scanxiety. It’s an actual “thing” to describe how cancer patients may feel about going back for scans after treatment is over, even years later,” I said.

I was feeling a little wounded at the thought of scheduling my annual PET scan. The thoughts went something like this:

1. It’s not about learning whether or not they see any cancer, as much as it is about all that has happened before – a little emotional PTSD after the physical cancer-war armistice.

2. The doctors don’t “get”, or have time to get, my personal journey and all I’ve been through (and all ANY cancer patient and their families have been through, some far more than me). And I suppose it’s not their job to get it. The surgeries, colostomy, ileostomy, take-down, chemo, radiation, and physical after-shocks from medical treatment that still linger in a more muted way; determination to juice when cancer returned and refusal to do exactly what doctors told me until I had peace about my decision on how to proceed; God’s kindness in allowing the second round of treatment + juicing and supplements to show no cancer; fatigue and occasional mental block that I suspect are lingering gifts from medical treatment; a body that has done remarkably well in recovering but that groans and creaks in ways beyond “just being over 40”. And, finally, the mental and emotional exhaustion at the thought of maybe, possibly, having to cope with it all again if the scan shows something I don’t want to know is lurking in my cells.

3. The awareness that all of #2 is a small price to pay for the luxury of living and being in the lives of my family.

4. The realization that #3 is true, followed by an irritation that wonders if the physical and emotional price we deem acceptable is still way too high for cancer survivors to pay from successful – or unsuccessful – standard medical “treatment”. Isn’t there something about “do no harm” in some oath somewhere? Chemo and radiation do great harm on the march to obliterate rebel cells.

5. And finally, the plain selfish truth is that I’ve started… slowly… feeling like I’m not defined by the cancer. Calling to schedule a scan pulls me right back emotionally, mentally, and maybe physically, into still being a cancer patient. Which, I suppose, I still am. Drats.

“So what does ‘scanxiety’ mean?” Tom asked.

“It’s a noun that scanxietymeans the tension which builds, particularly among those who have or have had cancer, as they move towards their regular check up scan – hyper-scanxiety being the period as they await results.” I gave up reading and went into the world of the Waltons for the rest of the evening. And maybe a little Lawrence Welk.

A day or two later I finally called The City and asked if they could schedule my scan Locally. Tom’s advice, after listening to me spout off about my scanxiety, was, let’s schedule it where I feel comfortable. I should be able to get the scan locally and have results sent to the city; if there is a problem, we’d go from there. One piece of the scanxiety puzzle potentially solved – staying close to home. A bit of control in the uncontrollable.

“What is your name please?” the attendant responded when I called The City. I cautiously stated my desire to have the scan close to home. She went on to say, in a nice voice that sounded slightly like she had said this many times before, “You can ask to have the scan done locally; but the doctor here will determine if they will allow that request. If so, they will send the order to the place you want to have the scan. What is the name of that facility?”

I gave her the name of the facility. Three days later we’re still waiting for a response to my request. Clearly, they don’t follow Scanxiety Rule #1: Let’s not not call a cancer survivor back for three days… five by the time we get past the weekend… in response to a stressful scheduling phone call request.

Scanxiety Rule #2:Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

How about you? Do you deal with scanxiety when you have a scan coming up? What helps you most?

PS: This summer I moved the “Sustain Me: Notes on Cancer” blog over to this new site: http://www.cancersmarts.net. So if you’re seeing “Cancer Smarts”, that’s still “me”. Thanks for reading!