Life after cancer

Life after cancer

Life after Cancer-On the Path blog by Cheryl Schatz

Life after Cancer

Living life after cancer is a whole new mindset. I guess I never realized how much cancer had changed the way I look at life. When I found out that the cancer I had was stage 3 (mine was a very aggressive cancer with a high chance of recurrence) I went into survival mode. Every purchase I considered, I weighed, “Is this item worth the price if I only live a short time?” After months of living this way, my decision-making progressed from a habit to a mindset. This mindset was now Cheryl living with cancer. However, there is a definite paradigm shift when the treatment is over. How do I now live life after cancer?

I find that I need to re-evaluate life again, yet with a view that takes in the brevity of life. Living with a death sentence over my head was helpful in that it made me clearly aware of the nearness of eternity. Ecclesiastes 7:2 shows that it is important to take the eternal into consideration.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 (NASB)
It is better to go to a house of mourning Than to go to a house of feasting, Because that is the end of every man, And the living takes it to heart.

Decisions made without eternity in view may be regretted when our end comes. However, having spent so much time with my own expiry date before my eyes, it is now time to consider this season of life as a longer span of opportunity. I need to rebuild years built into my pattern of thought. I need God’s help.

Update

I mentioned in a previous post that there were some spots on my chest that I was watching. The bumps have disappeared, so it looks like nothing at all in the way of cancer, praise the Lord! I also had surgery this past Friday to remove tissue around my scar. The surgeon didn’t think there was any concern of cancer, but as a precaution, he sent it to pathology. Tomorrow (July 29, 2014) I have another bone scan to verify whether the white areas the scans found on my spine in January are growing (consistent with cancer) or are old age (consistent with degenerative disease in the spine). I have not had any pain in my spine since January, so that is a good sign. My bone scan was to be in September, but the hospital bumped me up to the end of July. Even if the scan shows a problem area, I think I will continue to focus on the future. I want to move from trusting God with all my todays to trusting Him with all my remaining years. I want to be able to comfort those who need comforting and helping them see the sturdy Hands that have held me secure.

10 thoughts on “Life after cancer

  1. Cheryl, To some degree I can identify with you on how life takes on new meaning and how special it is and how I cherish each day. However I find myself often slipping into old patterns which I don’t want to fall into again. I pray that as you plan for the future each day with Gods help and strength you will only get stronger, healthier, and moving on to what He has for you. God Bless and pray all is well with your results.

  2. I hear you Cheryl… it’s on my mind a lot too. What about after the treatments… what does my life look like then? Do we just carry on as if nothing had happened…not likely. But then there’s no point living under the daily cancer umbrella and waiting for the axe to fall either! I like your decision and challenge…Ecc 7:2 “eternity is set in the hearts of man… Every day is already a part of eternity if it’s a chosen on our continuum. We’re just getting an early start.. on our future. All the best in changing the gears on your built-in system of the past little while. The future is here for you… and you have a lot to offer… me and others out there who are walking in the valley of the shadow of death right now.

  3. We are all one moment away from eternity. I guess we live as if we will be here for many years, yet live as if today is our last day on the planet. He is with us. Our time is in His hands. The future is not fatalistically fixed and prayer can and does change things.

  4. Cancer steals, kills and destroys. All loss needs to be mourned. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time. It might happen that you may never be totally free of cancer-thoughts; regardless, you can be an overcomer and live life to the full inspite of having had cancer. Praying for that grace. Shalom

  5. I am such a planner that when a great deal of flexibility is asked of me over and over, I tend to go “haywire”. I need a lot of order in my life so I can only imagine how challenging it’s been for you to live day-to-day the way you have. It definitely brings us to the ultimate place of trust before the Lord. You’re right, once you’re cancer-free you have to swing back to making some plans and it will probably take some time to achieve that balance. Wow! Praying that God will help you to do that, Cheryl!

  6. Diane,
    The one thing that I need to work on is how to manage my time with the many obligations that I have. That is why I am slow in updating my blog and commenting. When I throw myself into a project, it is hard for me to stop and take a rest. Right now I am going full barrel forward onto our next DVD project and I wish there was 48 hours in a day. If anyone is interested in the latest post on my “The Giving” blog, it took me several days to complete. http://www.mmoutreach.org/tg/why-not-coming/

    Dr. James White is reviewing my material on his The Dividing Line program and so it is keeping me hopping. Dr. White is a Calvinist and my project presents a refutation of key passages that Calvinists use to teach that Jesus only died for a select few people.

  7. blumzadeline,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you work to keep the positive mind of one stayed in Christ. There are so many things that drag us down. It is a battle of the mind sometimes more than the body. We can be overcomes in Christ no matter the state of our body. I want to live that out no matter when I die. I am just so grateful that my time is not yet.

  8. Renée, it is indeed a battlefield and we are fighting an enemy who wants to kill. This enemy wants to leave no survivors. But no matter what, we don’t have to be victims. In Christ we are overcomes and the battle is our mind. When I know that I can do all things in His power, I move from being a victim to an overcomer and it feels good.

    I was so happy last week when I took my bone scan. I did not know what the results were, but I was happy and joyful no matter what. My husband said that he would like to have some of what I am “on”. It is in the deep valley that our joy shows that it doesn’t come from ourselves, but from the comforter who never leaves us or forsakes us.

  9. Stefanie,
    You are a planner indeed and I have had to “go with the flow” with cancer for months. But once I have made my mind up in a direction, there is no turning back. However, I do not have “slow” on my speedometer. I am back to going full speed and that can be a problem too so I am praying that God allows me to learn balance. Family and friends need to be a part of my life because otherwise I can be a hermit and work long hours everyday because of my passion. I love the passion that has come back. I just need to head for a balance. That is a real challenge for me.

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