You Don’t Have to Be Afraid
A Burkitt’s Lymphoma survivor shares some practical advice for facing the fear of a cancer diagnosis
Fight it with everything you have and you’ll grow from this experience. There’s blessings that it seems, I mean, the first hearing of a diagnosis is tough and it’s like a bomb. Somebody just took a bomb, dropped it down your chimney and it went off and that is the only way to describe it. And when you can finally settle and get a grasp of everything at some point, part of that process is trying to find some kind of calm and peace and get information. You know, really, really find out what you’re dealing with. How best you can get treatment, where to go, and realize that God is ultimately in control of all of it. That there isn’t anything that’s going to happen to you that isn’t out of his control. And if you aren’t… If you don’t have that personal relationship with the Lord, I’d really implore you, because he wants to walk with you in the journey. He’s there for you. And he’s there to walk with you in every step of that process and don’t go through that alone. You don’t have to, he is your greatest strength through that. He will use people to help you.
So it’s scary at first, but there’s so many people to help and there’s so much good treatment that you don’t have to be scared. I came to a point of such peace, peace that I knew where I was going if I did pass, and peace that God was going to take care of my family. You know, should I pass? And so I probably never felt closer to God or more peaceful, honestly, than in that time because I knew that anyway this turned out that I was in a sense covered. I mean I was going to be taken care of if I lived. The Lord was going to heal that if that’s what he had for me, or if I didn’t make it that I was actually going to a better place. And I actually felt the incredible joy come within me that I was going to see the Lord face to face, that, that thing I’ve thought about and anticipated could be within minutes or hours. And when that, that really incredible reality hit me. And actually I was excited. There was times I was just really excited if it did happen.
Another thing I remember is getting emails from people I didn’t even know. And a lot of them were people who had had Burkitt’s Lymphoma, and they’d just come out of the woodwork and they’d send an email and say, “Hey, you know, I had Burkitt’s about five years ago, and I’m doing great.” And so, if you’re a cancer survivor and you’ve had a certain disease and read about somebody who does, just send them an email, send them a text if you can and say, “You know what? You can do this, you can make it through. There is hope for this, especially now with all the new therapies and new treatments, that you have a tremendous chance of pulling through, and don’t despair.”