When Cancer Hits Home [Main Story]
BY CLINTON WAHLEN
t was as if someone had punched me in the gut. My wife? Cancer? I didn’t want those words to go together. A million questions raced through my mind: Am I going to lose my wife so soon? Why did God allow this?
Regarding treatment options, I’m glad we agreed to fight this unwelcome invader fast and NOW. But it couldn’t happen now. Six weeks of preparation were needed for surgery! Afterward, Gina received radiation therapy, and follow-up appointments. We prayed together daily, and she made sure to get a lot of rest, drink plenty of water, and eat and live as healthfully as possible. The good news is that the doctors say she has less than a 3 percent chance that the cancer will recur. We praise God for that!
While I am grateful that we agreed on treatment options, I realize that sometimes the person with cancer and his/her loved ones don’t always agree on what should be done. Sometimes the choice is not between life and death but between a little extension of life, with much pain and suffering, or a life cut even shorter with no treatment. Family members can feel helpless as they see the one they love decide to approach the disease differently than they would like. Of course, the person should carefully consider the wishes of their family, but ultimately it is a decision between the patient and God.
For those who have a loved one diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, I would encourage open, supportive communication. Do all you can to support him or her, while also remembering the rest of the family. Treasure every moment and try to keep life as balanced as possible; take time each day to pray together and put your trust in God. Both you and your loved one will appreciate that. It helps to keep spirits up and engenders hope—helping everyone to look beyond the current situation to better days, and to look forward to the best days, when there will be no more pain (Rev. 21:4).
This article was published January 24, 2013