Cancer is WAY too popular. Everywhere I turn it’s like there’s another story about cancer. Treating it, trials for it, testimonies about it and of course loss from it. I probably never really noticed it before, but I dare you to pick up any paper today and not find a story about cancer. I guess it bugs me so much because if I’m really honest about how I feel, deep down inside, I have to admit:
11. I’m scared of cancer.
I don’t want to be. I love and trust God, but I’m human and he knows that. I feel great, but then I read a news article about a 44 year old mother of 3 losing her battle with breast cancer. Then I go to her inspirational blog and I read about how she felt when her close cancer friend died 15 months before and she writes about being so afraid that would be her and I now know, it IS her and I can’t help but think – will it be me? I’m scared.
I’m scared because I know the world doesn’t make sense. I know we lose loved ones we wish we had more time with, things happen that seem unthinkable, people experience things they never dreamed of. I know life is unexpected. So, it could be me. I have no more right to live than Jennifer Rae Beck did at 44 or her friend Ruthie, or countless others. I don’t deserve it more. I’m not smarter, prettier, funnier, kinder. I can’t win it by works. Ruthie had a wonderful ministry and even had a license plate frame that said “Can’t Do Cancer Without God”, and I agree, you can’t. But that doesn’t mean that when you do it with him you’re going to live.
So what do you do?
People love to say ‘Live like you’re dying’. That’s stupid. If I lived like I was dying, I’d end up in jail. There are things I would want to do that I shouldn’t unless I was dying, but God willing, that’s going to be a long time from now. So I can’t do that. I still have to plan, think, prepare, teach my children right from wrong, work hard, be responsible. I still have to live like I’m going to be here tomorrow and many more tomorrows after that, so that doesn’t work, no matter how many songs are written about it.
I can’t let it paralyze me. I’m raising 2 girls and God willing they are going to grow up to be women, moms who too will impact other lives – namely their children. Especially as a single mom, I don’t have the luxury of curling up in a ball, thinking the world is coming to an end and that someone else will pick up the pieces around me. I have to continue to engage this thing we call life and I believe that knowing my girls need me, now and in the future, has been my greatest motivation.
So that leaves me with one option – just do it. Not in the Nike way, but have you seen the Shia LaBeouf inspirational video? It’s totally crazy. But today, it hit me. It’s not about just living. It’s not about just continuing to get the opportunity to live. It’s the opportunity to DO it. To do more. To be more. To challenge myself more. To give more. To love more. To pray more. To serve more. To laugh more. To grow more. It’s the opportunity to live past the dream of being alive. Because if it’s one more day, one more year, ten more years, thirty more years, it’s MORE. And what more can I really ask for than just that?
Each day matters more to me now than it did 8 months ago. Each day since December 3, 2014 is worth more than it was before diagnosis day. Each moment is more special. Each relationship more rewarding. Each lesson more powerful.
Being afraid of cancer doesn’t make me more anything, it makes me less likely to be more of everything I want to be and do. So I’m done with that. No more.