Editor’s note: The following post is by Barbara Gannon, who was featured as one of our Cancer Survivor stories in October 2017. You can find out more about Barb’s healing from a diagnosis of terminal Stage 4 mesothelioma and Stage 2 breast cancer here and here.
Have you taken on your own personal “War Against Cancer”? Do you have a plan of attack? Are you making a declaration but aren’t sure how to attack the source?
After speaking with many people of all ages and walks of life, the one thing I notice is how we all point the finger at something or someone else as the cause of disease. We fail to understand the biggest step we all need to make: taking responsibility for the disease in our body.
Not all of us are the initial cause of the disease taking up residence in us. Take me, for example. I didn’t plan to inhale asbestos fibers and end up with mesothelioma (aka asbestos cancer).
But that’s not an excuse I can use for the breast cancer. The reason comes down to lifestyle choices that I made on a daily, minute-by-minute basis. Looking back, there were always plenty of signs right in front of my eyes – but failure to notice was the biggest culprit.
Have you ever sat back and pointed the finger at circumstances in your life? “My job is stressful, my home life is stressful, my family is out of sync causing stress” and so on? Stress, stress, stress!
In other words, are you pointing the blame everywhere else, but not looking at yourself? If you have done so, have you now made the choice to stop living in the “dustbin of past mistakes” – whether they’re your own or others?
All I can tell you is that you must focus on where you’re going and what you’d like to see happen, rather than having your eyes glued to the current circumstances. Stop looking in the rear-view mirror, look forward, and take back your power!
But how do I do that, you ask?
First, take some time out for you, and don’t shift blame. For example, “the oncologist is not listening to me,” or “nobody cares if I live or die.” Or thinking of all the people you spent time with or doing things with only to find they aren’t there as friends and supporters when you need their friendship the most, etc.
We need to stop holding onto grudges; we need to FORGIVE!
It amazes me how unforgiveness in our lives tends to cause disease in the areas of our body that are affected by cancer. I went through a situation many years ago in which my husband and I were forced to move to a new country due to circumstances that were not our doing. As a result, I felt torn away from family and friends, which broke my heart. During this time, my husband and I each lost a parent and did not have the opportunity to have our final goodbyes, which led to more heartbreak.
When we eventually returned to Australia, I was already ill, unaware of the extent of the dis-ease.
My Moment of Clarity
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the wonderful, integrative GP I saw took me aside very early the first morning and said to me, very directly, “where is the cancer?” I told him where. Then he asked, “what or who in your heart have you not forgiven?”
What!!! My first thought was, “what’s this got to do with me being here?” I burst into tears and spilled out what I had harbored in my heart for many years.
I fell down, spoke to the situation, forgave it, asked God to heal me, and lifted my spirit up to win the war!
At that point, cancer lost any grip it had on me. I BECAME THE STORM! No longer beholden to a situation from 20 years prior but refreshed by grace and mercy to stand up strong.
I was emboldened in the simple knowledge that by forgiving the situation, the person, and the run-off effects, I was empowering myself to meet this “fight for my life” head-on and believe with full faith that I WAS HEALED!
I reminded myself that the battle had already been done. I was just faith walking in action. You too can win this war!
A Real-Life Perspective on Disease
If you have unforgiveness in your life, it creates bitterness, hatred, angst, and anxiety. It infects your life, your relationships, the way you see the world, and how you interact with everyone and everything in it. You are in a high state of anxiety. Do you get it now? You must forgive!
Be encouraged and BE THE STORM!
I want to see you emerge with a strategy that enables you to say, “I’m too valuable to die, too tenacious to wait on anyone’s mercy, and too creative to accept neglect as my destiny!” Only when you are willing to stop blaming yourself and others, and take responsibility for your life and situation can I guarantee: God will empower you to make the changes.
Change the terms of your future as dictated by others, become empowered, and BE THE STORM!
A Quick Note of Thanks:
Thank you for your kinds words and encouragement from my past TTAC articles. It warms my heart and encourages this Aussie girl to no end that although you are going through something horrible, you still have the guts and determination to hold your head up high and (as my previous TTAC article covered) BE THE STORM!