Last week, MRI testing revealed a malignant tumor on my 76 year old grandmother’s pancreas. This is the grandmother who raised me, who I called Mama, and who is the glue that holds our family together. When I heard the news, I cried for three days straight, not because I was afraid that she would die or because I knew that pancreatic cancer was a fast moving cancer or because I knew many other people who had died with it. I cried because my grandmother has been a hard worker since she was a child and because she retired the week before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I thought it a shame that she might not be able to have more time to actually enjoy retirement.
It was complete agony for me, and I began to sit and do research on my own hoping and praying that there would be some kind of cure, that my grandmother would be the exception or the first person who would be subject to such a miraculous find in the field of medicine. I tried not to cry when I talked to her, but I spent plenty of time in my home doing just that. My husband and children saw me in such a hopeless state, and these were the moments that helped me to put my whole life into perspective.
You’re probably thinking how selfish of me to be the one in agony when my grandmother is actually the one enduring the cancer, but her attitude toward the ordeal has been heavenly. She’s your typical 76 year old reminiscing on old times and talking about finally seeing God. After seeing how strong she was and how self assured and content she was, I had to find myself a way to deal with it. I had to find a way to cope.
My family is not just religious. I’ve come to a point in my life where I don’t just believe in God for traditional or ritualistic purposes. I believe that He’s real, can heal and provides for those who are faithful. He only asks that we believe. So I took God at His Word. On the 3rd day of crying, I prayed to Him and asked that he would not only spare my grandmother’s life and provide a way out, but I also asked Him to give me peace to live with whatever He decided to allow in her life.
You probably think that I’ve gone off the deep end, but I have not. After that day, I’ve not been said. I’ve not cried, and I’ve been able to talk about it without feeling sick to my stomach. So if you’re coping with cancer as a victim or a family member, I encourage you to seek the healing mercy of God in order to help you through. It won’t require a lot of what you see in today’s charismatic churches to get God’s attention, but it will require your sincerity and humility. It will, most importantly, require that you ask God for exactly what you need.
Coping with cancer is easy when you believe. There are so many passages of scripture in the Bible to which I could refer to, but if you only believe that God can do what He has promised and that He is the answer to all questions, coping with cancer and any of life’s tragedies is that much easier.
My grandmother is coming home today with pancreatic cancer, but the good news is that the cancer is contained, and doctors are hopeful that it can be removed, that she could even be cured. God not only gave me peace and wiped away my tears, He has also provided a way out for my grandmother. I’d say that He’s given me more than ways to cope with my grandmother’s cancer. He’s shown us all that He’s still alive, well and willing to answer our prayers.