She took a seat in the corner with her husband and cried. She had good reason to. It was her first day of chemotherapy.
As a cancer survivor, going in and out of remission in the past two years, it’s easy to tell when a newly-diagnosed person comes in. Along with the nurse who gives them the “newbie” instructions, there’s the other telltale sign: fear.
I was sitting in a chair on the far end of the row, and I wanted to go talk to her, but I was hooked up to an IV myself at the time. Her husband was with her so she wasn’t alone.
Still, to this day, I wish I had gone over and said something to her. If I had, this is what I would have said (although in a much shorter form!):
1. You can make it through this! Sometimes, when a crisis strikes and you’re falling down and down, you don’t seem to think you’ll ever make it through. But you can. It’s a cliche but it has some truth: just get through one day at a time.
2. God can help you. God loves you. He knows this is a messed-up world. He’s got a plan to fix it. Just run to him and hold on.
3. Can I pray with you? Prayer is powerful when you pray with someone else out loud. I think it’s the most underused part of a Christian’s life. Sure, we need to pray alone but instead of saying “I’ll pray for you” and possibly forgetting to do that, why not pray right on the spot?
4. Read this book. I’ve given out 500 New Testaments in the past two years. Why? I wanted others to be able to read the powerful truths that are in the Bible. These truths will give you confidence, patience, peace and many other things you need during a tough time. Whenever I leave a stack of Bibles at the cancer clinic, they are gone within hours.
I’ve been cancer free for about a year now. I still have to go back in for scans and minor treatments. Every time I do, I keep a lookout for people and situations where I might be able to help others. I don’t want to see someone crying again when there is hope to give them.