Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

As someone our family loves is going through the medical procedures to have the extent of cancer growth in his body investigated, ‘it’ is in the forefront of our minds. May God hold him in the palm of his hand, and may we be scared enough to live.

It scares us.

It makes us contemplate our life, and our death.

It is like a dark shadow that is possibly around the next corner, or not.

It may not touch us physically, but it will touch us all.

It will come into our life, and it just might take our life from us.

The ‘it’ I speak of is cancer.

For most of us, the word cancer is familiar … too familiar. Cancer is a word that is synonymous with death, because, for us all, there is someone we have known whose body has succumbed to that disease. At the same time, for us all, there is someone who has beaten that disease.

Cancer happens when abnormal cells grow and spread very fast. Cancer cells are like bunnies, they reproduce, quickly, and can take over their environment.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, 40-45% of Canadians will develop cancer, while 24-29% actually die of the disease.  That means that, if diagnosed with the disease, you still have have a good chance of survival.

I just received my reminder of it being time for a mammogram (remember last summer’s posts Mammo 1, and Mammo 2?). It states: I have to say that the line, “early detection saves lives” is the main motivator for me to make that important appointment.

After a stint volunteering at Camp Goodtimes, a camp for kids affected by cancer, my daughter ‘debriefed’ with me about her experiences, her feelings and what she learned.

Well learn she did, and she brought her education home to mama.

What she learned was that those families with children or moms or dads with cancer are learning to keep living through the battle. They do not stop living. Instead, they live more intentionally, more fully, because they live with the shadow of death hanging over their heads. They know that every day is a gift. They know that every day is an opportunity.

She told me of the people she met, and how cancer was NOT what they talked about.

The kids talked about taking pictures of a cute guy, or of eating a yummy treat, or of swimming in the frigid lake. The parents talked about their kids, their jobs, and their homes.

The last night was an evening meal for the adults without the kids … the kids had a party. Once their separate meals were done, they all joined together for a big, fun, loud, joyous dance.

As she told me of their dancing, I was reminded of the numerous times that I have heard of joyous dancing before:

“… the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.”
Esther 9:22

“… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”
Ecclesiastes 3:4

“Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”
Jeremiah 31:13

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy”
Psalm 30:11

And it reminded me that we all have the shadow of death hanging over our heads. We are all going to die one day, and we should all live each day as though death were at our doorstep. Being cancer free does not mean that we have any guarantees of tomorrow.

Go and live as though you are being threatened by the Big C … dance!

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En route to work yesterday the radio announcer talked about a young man who had recently become a YouTube sensation. What made him rise to the top was his music, his joie de vivre (the way he lived life to the full) … and the fact that he was dying.

Zach Sobiech, a teenager from Lakeland, Minnisota, from a family of six … mother (Laura), father (Rob), Alli (22), Sam (19), and Grace (14). A senior at high school. A student making plans for college. A musician. A young … young man.


At fourteen Zach was diagnosed with¬†osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and he spent much of the next four years fighting for his life with surgeries and treatments. In May of 2012, Zach’s doctors informed him, and his family, that they felt he only about a year to live … at seventeen years of age.

Encouraged by his mom to write letters to the ones he loved, Zach threw his heart into writing music instead. In December his single, Clouds, was released on YouTube, and at the time of this writing, there have been over three and a half million hits.

On Monday, May 20, 2013, Zach completed his earthly journey, breathing his last with those he loved most, and who will miss him most, gathered around.

“And we’ll go up, up, up
But I’ll fly a little higher
We’ll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer
Up here my dear
It won’t be long now, it won’t be long now”
‘Clouds’ (Zach Sobiech)

SoulPancake produced a story about Zach, and his incredible will to live each day as if he were dying. “My Last Days” is worthwhile time spent.

“I want everyone to know, you don’t have to find out you are dying, to start living.”
Zach Sobiech

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