Jenny's Odyssey of Faith


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A Cancer Journey - Jenny's Odyssey of Faith

It is pretty tough being told you have cancer. There is the numbness, followed by all sorts of feelings and reactions. Then the thoughts come tumbling.

There are considerations about treatment and about practical matters. Over all, there is the fear. Life is going to change - or perhaps not exist for much longer....... And there is the concern for those who would be left behind.

It is not just the cancer patient, but the whole family. Friends, too, don't know how to react as often it feeds into their own fears about their own health or mortality. Or, too often, it reminds them of losses of their own.

I have decided to set down this very personal story. When distressed, I would sit at my computer and write, setting down exactly how I was feeling. Or I would write letters to my doctor as this was more in the way of talking personally to someone who knew me well and could understand and this helped me clarify my thoughts. For this reason, it is very much in the style of a journal, recording thoughts and feelings. I felt so much hurt and anger and confusion and fear - all natural, I am sure. Originally, it was just letters to people and things I had written in the depths of my despair or indecision. I found it very therapeutic to write down my thoughts and I only wish I had been more regular about it. However, the very effort of trying to continue to exist takes up so much energy.

Personally, I have found it so helpful to read of the experiences of others. One of the things I find hardest is that there is little in the way of support groups. It would give me the utmost satisfaction to be able to get groups of people together to gain strength from each other. I can't see that happening in the near future, so this is the next best thing.

Although I have decided to take the 'alternative' route, that doesn't mean to say that it is the right choice for everybody. I would advise seeking all the advice you can, making sure you do get the information you need. Then, weigh it all up, and do what feels right for you, deep down in your heart. Then put your very soul into making your chosen path work.

I hope others finding their way along this path will draw comfort from this book, that it can give an insight into the complex mental and emotional struggles that each person will inevitably have to go through. To know you are not alone, that you are not going crazy, that you can get through it is such a comfort, especially in those darker or more inward looking moments.

I don't know whether I will overcome this. The signs don't look especially good. But I will continue to do my best to keep my body and mind in the best shape possible. And my spirit is willing. With my strong faith in God, my determination and my love of life, perhaps I will become fully well again. In the meantime, I have gained so much from having cancer. I see it almost as a gift.

Even should I succumb, then this stage of my life will have taught me so much and I am grateful for that. It has also brought my family closer together and improved communication.

So take my personal feelings, treat them gently as you should treat yourself, and know that you can come out the other side a stronger and wiser person, with a much greater love for God's world.

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