Dealing with Cancer In My Family

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I am a 27 year old wife and mother of two beautiful girls, ages two and four, yet I still have this empty feeling within me. I have a lot to be thankful for and have a terrific family but still there is a void. I have gone through years of my life dealing with cancer in my family. My grandfather passed away almost 7 years ago from cancer, and my life just doesn’t seem to be the same. My father then got prostate cancer only to be followed by a brain aneurism. Then my husband got testicular cancer to be followed by my grandmother with breast cancer. What do I do? Joanne

“Greetings and blessings to you precious one. Indeed, you have had many challenges within your family. It is important to remember that these types of challenges are most often wake up calls. They are calls to those who are afflicted and to those who love them, to wake-up in whatever ways one might be asleep. If any of those with cancer or any of those who love them have been seeking more faith, more awareness of God, a deeper, richer experience of God, a deeper appreciation for life, for nature, for family, for relationship, for those things that truly matter, often times a life threatening illness will do just that.

“If one has prayed for a richer experience of their life on earth, what better way than to be on the verge of losing it to appreciate it fully. You say there is a void within you, and perhaps this void is God. For you, despite how many life-threatening illnesses you are surrounded by, there is still a void where God is concerned. That in and of itself is a wake-up call. Each time there is something before you, such as an illness or a physical condition that threatens one’s life, that is the time to stop what you are doing and join with God. That is the time to pray. That is the time to ask God to join you in your heart and mind and bring you comfort, bring you peace, bring you the knowing that regardless of what happens, everything is ok.

“You have so many opportunities and inspirations to join with God and now is the time to do that. Stop whatever you are doing, and join with God. Stop what you are doing and pray. Look around you and see what you have. It is so easy to focus on what you have lost and what you are losing and what you might lose, and now it is time to turn 180 degrees and become aware of what you have. Become aware of the richness and gifts and people and joy and beauty and grace in your life on a day to day basis. You have the laughter of your precious little daughters and the joy on their faces when you play with them. You have the witnessing of their learning and unfolding. You have the pleasure of a loving family. You have the beauty of all that is in front of you. There is so much richness, and yet the focus is on loss. You can see that what one focuses on becomes their reality.

“Perhaps the void is that you have turned your back on what is good and beautiful and wonderful and amazing in your world. It already exists. It is already there. You are just facing the other way. When you turn around you will see all of the beauty and the grace that you already have. It is so easy to turn away from the good in one’s life when the focus is on tragedy. In what ways do you gain by focusing on tragedy? In what ways do you lose by turning away from the Life in your life?

“You have these two beautiful children brimming over with Life, and yet they do not outweigh the tragic. Each of these experiences is your opportunity to join with God, to deepen your faith, to look around and see what you do have, to appreciate each moment, to appreciate waking up, to appreciate your family, to appreciate your home, to appreciate the ways that you laugh and learn and play and struggle on a day to day basis to deepen the gratitude you do have. It is a wake-up call. The ones in your life who have become sick have given you the gift of a wake up call. Now is the time to wake up. The alarm is going off.

Blessings to you, precious one. Amen.”

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