Is It Worth It?
I stared at that title for moment. It was the title of a posting on the message board of a website which provides support for cancer survivors who were diagnosed with bc. I quickly read through the message. When a cancer patient first sees an oncologist, the oncologist uses a tool called adjuvant online. An oncologist can put in information health information about you as well as medical data about your tumor. Based on research, you will come up with what your statistics are for being alive within the next 10 years as well as what your liklihood is of cancer recurrence within the next 10 years. Then the numbers are run again to show how these statistics change if you have surgery only, surgery and chemotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and so forth. You get the idea. These numbers are used to help you choose which course of treatment you want to take.
Normally if you're ill a doctor simply tells you what to do and you do it. Cancer is different. They give you options. Treatment can have serious life-long side effects and only you can make the decision as to how much or how little you want done. In my case, it was a no-brainer. My particular type of cancer cells respond better to chemotherapy than most cancer cells. Chemotherapy increased my life-expectancy and living life cancer-free by 26%. That was pretty impressive actually. For most people the odds are at least 10-20% less. I also firmly believe that nothing can happen to me unless God allows it. After placing me on this path, I felt that he wanted me to walk the path of chemotherapy so that I could minister to others. He has already used my journey to do some amazing things.
Back To The Writer's Message...
The writer of the aforementioned posting was struggling within herself. She had the same type of tumor of as me. Her statistics were similar. However, she just didn't know if the risks of chemotherapy would be worth it. Women who had been in a similar situation and had gone through chemo responded. While they all acknowledged it would have to be her own choice, they also gave her words of encouragement. No one said chemo was easy. It's not. No one said you would be problem-free. You probably won't be. No one said it wasn't scary. It is. No one promised you'd come out of this without being scarred in someway. You will get battle scars. Finally, no one gave any guarantee that you would never get cancer again. Only God knows the answer to that question.
However, these women looked into the future and said "Your life is worth fighting for even if it will not be the life you knew. You need to do whatever you can to beat this beast. You need to do whatever you can to see your children grow up. You might not succeed but at least they will know you tried."
How Does This Apply To Us As Christians?
Far too often we find ourselves in The Valley Of Discouragement. The way is hard and it is dark and painful. We get wounded. We carry battle scars. There are those who tried to persuade us to give up. We think about all of the bad things that can happen to us and focus on that so much that we cannot think about what God has promised us while we're on the road as well as what we will receive at the end of the road. We ask ourselves that same question. Is it worth it? After looking back over the road I've traveled for about 40 years I have to say that it is more than worth it! The Bible tells us
Adjuvant treatment for my body increases my liklihood of not dying from cancer within the next 10 years by 26%. Adjuvant treatment for my soul meaning repentance for my sins and following Christ increases my liklihood of eternal life by 100%. I like those statistics! Yes, the cross will be heavy to bear. You will be wounded. You may suffer lonliness and rejection. You may lose everything you have gained in this world. However, you have gained that which cannot be lost or destroyed!
We must never forget the best is yet to be and that we are princes and princesses of God even though we don't always feel like it!
I love your attitude about what you are going through. I know you must be a huge blessing to those you come in contact with and I am sure God has and will open doors for you to continue ministering God's love to others with similar problems.
Truly we must look at our life as a gift to others or we get sucked into the hole of self-pity and self worry. It is worth it because we are worth it.
I simply smile when I think of the people you must honestly and sincerely "bless" with your love and honesty.
Thank you for the inspiration to keep fighting my own battles.
True words, K.
I am reminded that the beloved 23rd Psalm says "though I walk THROUGH the valley of death, i will fear no evil for thou art with me"
THROUGH the valley. Not around or over, but through it, God is with us.
I fight discouragement regularly. Thanks for the pep talk.
What a wonderful testimony you are, not only to the Christian world but to those who do not yet know Christ.
You encourage me also.
Thanks for the great blog!