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Life after Cancer, one week of hell. Love during illness. And a lifetime of gratitude

Updated on September 27, 2013

I do not know the difference between sunsets and the sunrise.

Is not the setting of the sun the rising of the comfort of the dark.
Is not the setting of the sun the rising of the comfort of the dark. | Source

Cancer once shame on it, Cancer twice.....

Cancer is a cancer. Just think about that. We use cancer to describe the worst possible disease. Cancer is not. Loss of Hope is man's worst disease and we have cures. Cancer is a terrible thing. But it does not need to be your "life" threatening. The man was given a 3% chance to live with a serious cancer involving the Pancreas. The man never accepted the prognosis. That was in 1995. The man beat the cancer in a very aggressive way. His weight went from 210 to nearly 110 on a big 6 ft frame. Happiness and faith and hope were his throughout. Pain and misery were there but they took a back seat.

The first week of treatment was living hell. But then the man got over it.

As much as the drug names he took, the different forms of love were what he focused on. Life was his friend. Daily he vomited during the course of a mighty tough experimental treatment. He had a mantra round that porcelain throne. A little strange indeed. Between heaves he would say out loud, "I love you Jesus". And when he finished this routine it was always "I love you Jesus". And he had a variation "thank you Lord Jesus".

Recovery was beauty, beating the disease was affirming, and he allowed others to be part of the victory.

Duty bound and soon forgotten

A decade later. The man has a hateful pain in the same spot. The man freaks and runs to an urgent care. Of course they freak with the history. The man thought he had gotten over it, a total remission. But he had not. Older now and not sure, self and faith doubt creep in and there is a palpable gloom in the air.

Oh excuse me, he had gotten over the cancer and it was totally gone. What he had not placed in full remission and what he had still yet to beat was the fear. Fear is a horrible disease. The man was given Mylanta and two pain pills and the horrible case of gas passed in one day. Probably some funky shrimp.

This is a big burly man with hands a nose scars and deformities that reflect his fighting character. You would not look at this guy and think -- sissy pants, scaredy pants. But we all have our fears and the outside does not always reflect the inside..

Have you ever given up Hope?

Do you think that tragedy is something to let make you misrerable?

See results

I use this song because I really like it. It is a metaphor for all those who fight cancer and win and or lose do it with love.

The man wanted me to write this for him for a fine reason.

There is no valley too low and no pain too great that we cannot crawl out of. If death does truly come as a result of a cancer or other similar disease then it shall come. Perhaps cancer can give us death. But it cannot take our lives. That is a deep truth. Death is not part of our lives. As soon as we actually begin to die, life is over. Take that life and make it a different book. Do not see death as part of life. It is separate and different.

So no matter the disease, it cannot take our lives. Oh it can give us death, but our lives are what we make of it and it is our choice.

Everybody needs angels and everybody can be an angel.

The man found that a cheery and uplifting attitude actually helped others and others would come by to see him to get inspired.
The man found that a cheery and uplifting attitude actually helped others and others would come by to see him to get inspired. | Source

The man was surrounded by love.

Oh truth to that. Sisters and brothers and a mother and friends and his own family. Though he became extremely weak and sick during treatment the man grasped his life firmly and smiled far more often than normal. He took great joy in things like flowers and leaves and the first snow of the year. He got the big message about being able to see the end of life. So he lived his well.

Some friends would come by to mourn and console with him. He took great sympathy on them. But long before they left he was consoling them and then they became happy. And the circle began to have a synergy. One time a friend dropped by to console. He was a life long friend since preschool. Then strangely the friend dropped by frequently. Finally the man asked him if he had lost his job or something. The friend said no but he was going through a rough patch with his depression, and that he came by to get cheered up.

A picked rose, soon to die lives it's last giving beauty and happiness to all that see.

some say love it is a flower.
some say love it is a flower. | Source

So the man devised an evil plot of deceipt

He would call up friends and ask them to bring him something. Of course they were all too happy to. And he had a gift for each one. He showed them happiness in the face of calamity. He showed them love in the face of bad times. And he gave them a hope to overcome their problems with love and grace, humility and love of life.

Now back to the "life after cancer" and the mantras

The man went on to live a healthy good life and was called to be a preacher man shortly after remission. He still says his mantras many times a day. He lives life with a little more gusto and yet a lot more calm joy than before. He still has that fear as I related above, but he gets it now. And he uses that fear as a motivator to get in what he can while he can.

So the funny thing is: The long horrible battle with cancer. Was a gift and not a curse. And it would appear that the man got that while still sick. So how much more is every day of life?

(a note on that mantra -- The man suggests it does not matter what it is as long as it reflects love and thankfulness for life)


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well "this man" was told of his death sentence. And sat by himself for only about ten minutes under a tree. And a peace came over him. Living or dying would both be fine. For he knew no matter what Jesus would always be right there. Worry was lifted and Grace was felt.

      Thank you for sharing it means a lot to me. And I already knew you were a survivor of something because of your out look on life. Stellar.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you for sharing about "this man" as it is a powerful testimony. I, too, am a cancer survivor, and when I saw that huge cluster of calcifications on my left breast, I knew I had cancer, but at that very moment I prayed for healing and I felt His peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding just rain down on me, and I had no fear. I praised Him right then and there for healing me, and whether or not He wanted me to leave this place that is not our true home, that would have been just fine with me. Alas, I am still here and blessed for having gone through such an experience, and I know I am still here for a reason. I can so relate to "this man's" : ) outlook on life and actually being thankful for going through such a trial.

      Phenomenal write! Thank you for sharing your heart here and blessing all who read.

      Up and more and sharing

      God bless you,

      Faith Reaper

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I once complained that my shoes hurt me, until I saw the man with no feet. Gratitude is critical no matter what we are grateful for. Michele I am truly grateful for knowing your great writing. Thank you.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Very interesting hub, sometimes getting over an illness is very painful. But, after the operation, your strength grows. You might not be able to do every thing you tried to do. Even if you have to do a reality check. Remember the wonderful things you have in your life. Your children, ( in my case, my husband), the list could go on and on.

      Wonderful hub. Thank you for writing it.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It sure seems that fretting over death is a total waste of life. Michael, you not only live it but through your poetry help us to also Thanks much

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sparklea, No dog this week. We will go at least a half dozen times so I get a feel for my boy and he one for dogs. Have that talk with your friends about them having a choice about attitude. If you think it is not your place then look around to see who has that place and knows it. Your friends are very lucky to have your support.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 4 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      great write my friend .. this hits home for me .. live life.. be happy when your time is up .. accept it gladly.. for you will be transformed into something beautiful now and again.~


    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Wow, anyone who has cancer should read this! Worst word in the world...2 of my girl friends have been hit with that diagnosis. One starts radiation next week. So very proud of the person you describe above. And please let me know if your boy brought home a dog...nothing greater than a pet, especially those who wag their tails. Love your writing. Blessings, Sparklea :) Voted up, useful and awesome :)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My boy and I will go for his introduction to the dog pound today. We will see how it goes. He is ready for a dog if he wants one. So it will be an interesting weekend. Joy to you and yours good buddy.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I doubt any word strikes fear in the hearts of man like the word cancer, and I have known some incredibly brave people with cancer who refused to allow it to define their remaining years. This man you write about...he is one. :) Have a great weekend my friend.