How to Survive and Thrive with Cancer

Recently, at a routine mammogram, the doctors discovered that I had developed breast cancer. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of appointments, scans and surgery.

Even though the past days have been very tough at times, the Holy Spirit has brought me endless comfort and the Word of God is literally holding me moment by moment. My husband and children have been heroic and I can’t thank my family enough for their love and support through this. Our church leadership team have anointed me with oil and prayed with unity and authority, a band of trusted friends have helped me prayerfully and practically.

Through all of this, my heart is overwhelmed with God’s love and goodness.

This entire journey has truly been a mind game. Keeping my MIND focused on all God says, instead of how I am feeling, which is becoming a little fragile at times. In this, I keep going to my journal of promises from God’s Word. In this book are my list of scriptures that I absorb like a daily tonic. It is in this space that I find rest.

During this whole process, I have received so many great encouraging letters and emails from those who have walked through the fire and come out smelling smoke free at the other end. I cannot begin to express how this fuels my soul for the days ahead.

Today, I read the scriptures that Pastor Kirk Pankratz from Oklahama sent me that they spoke over their daughter last year when she battled a certain cancer. SO awesone to hear the great story of God’s victory in and through it all.  Here are some of them:

Psalm 91:15-16 - He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:4 - You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Romans 8:37 - Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Phillipians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Isaiah 59:19 - When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Luke 1 :37 - For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.

Again and again, God’s word trumps our adversities. It’s His nature to heal and to rescue. Never forget that. It’s all based on His great love for us – not on anything we have done.

Would I rather NOT be walking through this? Absolutely, however what I am learning is that God is close to the brokenhearted in ways I only dreamed of and this brings me ENDLESS HOPE.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR THOSE ON A CANCER JOURNEY

THE WORD. This has been my top priority. These scriptures lead me to continued HOPE and TRUST. Declaring scripture and reading it loud when my heart trembles or my emotions go AWOL. Through this treatment I have been super tired. SO, reading out loud has been awesome.

PRAYING FRIENDS AND FAMILY. There are times that I literally FEEL the prayers of the saints close and afar carrying me. And when I have been unable to utter a prayer. I know someone is praying. You have no idea the comfort this brings. When I am able, rest assured I pray for all of you. My hubby is my rock, my girls are fiercely loyal and covered by many prayers and supported by friends

WORSHIP. The word is clear about bringing our prayers, our worship, our songs, before, during and after any storms that may come our way.  So I sit at my piano when I can and simply love Jesus. I open the Psalms and let my heart come out.

GREAT FOOD. Ok, this has been trial and error for me. AT first, I went FULLY raw food… juicing like a mad woman (which I still do a lot of) but with my type of chemo I have learned I must have my food cooked to keep germs at bay (white blood cell count alert!.. ended up in hospital a few times.. not intending to go again).

SO, lots of soups, tasty, wild salmon, and steamed broccoli with every meal.. basically, whatever I feel like, if it is good for me and I simply eat it when I feel like eating.  AS your taste buds die off, its hard to always know, but doing my best thanks to family and friends cooking like champions for me AND my family.

EXERCISE. All my training, beach runs, lifting weights. I have not been able to manage. BUT, I am walking whenever I can. The sunshine is a great place to find yourself thanking God for every day, and the walking is a great way to keep your system feeling at its best despite everything.

LAUGHTER. Just making sure your friends feel ok to pop in, send you silly videos, sit and chat and laugh and cry is SO good for the soul. This is such an intense time, and doctors appointments can be very confronting, a merry soul definitely does good like a medicine. Thank You Proverbs 17:22!!

JUST DO WHAT YOU CAN. I have been busy in the home when I can, writing songs, playing with my grand-babies and cooking, all simply when I can.

Don’t push yourself just be kind to yourself.

AND LASTLY, JOURNAL.. Writing down the God whispers and even the days of silence. Writing down how my body feels on certain days so I am more prepared next treatment. Writing down scriptures that those I trust to speak into my situation have felt to share with me. This book brings me comfort and is helping my emotions to have an outlet. My journal also gives me somewhere to place random song lyrics, random thoughts, random ramblings and so on…

Thank You again everyone. I’ll be laying low this week, but my heart is good, God is faithful and I see the horizon and it looks GOOD!!!

Much love and prayers for Darlene at this time.

http://www.darlenezschech.com/blog/ Used by permission.

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