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There is a particular word that can stop time.  It is the word that will be like a bee sting.  It is a word that makes all things new.  In the nano second after you hear this word, whatever was bothering you will suddenly seem extremely trivial and unimportant.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, your perspective changes.  All of a sudden, you want to tell someone that you care, that you are sorry for every single cross word you ever uttered.

December 13, 1996
I received a biopsy report.  I knew the report would show “it is something” or “it is nothing”; but my doctor did not say, “It is nothing.”  Instead, he very calmly said, “Mrs. King, you have infiltrating ductile carcinoma.”  This was an unexpected blow.  Other people get cancer.  I was only 43 years old.  We had two children at home and they certainly still needed a mother.  I called my husband and he immediately came home from work.  All of our priorities changed.  It didn’t matter that Christmas presents weren’t wrapped or that a Christmas light had burned out on the roof.

December 13, 2016
Today is my twenty-year anniversary as a cancer survivor.  I am grateful for these twenty years and consider each one a gift from God.  In the last couple of years, our daughter has had twins and our son has been married.  While I know they would have been able to live without me, I am very thankful that I was able to be there to support and encourage them.  I know they would have been able to live without me, but I think a part of life would have been sad.

These are lessons I learned from cancer and it is what I shared in a Survivor’s Speech at a Relay for Life in Hollywood, Florida, ten years ago.  It is still true today.

We can all say that cancer changes things.  During my 9 months of treatment I prayed a lot and asked myself many questions and I came through that time learning many things.

#1   My life is precious to me and every day is a gift…a gift not to be taken for granted.  

#2   People have great capacity for compassion and kindness.

#3   Faith and hope are real.  As a Christian I have great comfort and peace knowing that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord of my life.  Cancer deepened my faith and increased my hope. 

#4   Pray for wisdom for researchers to unlock mysteries about this disease.  Pray for wisdom for doctors who treat cancer patients.  Pray for wisdom for families as they make important decisions. I pray that all of us will be wise about this disease and what we can do to prevent it.  We as survivors are members of a club that we don’t want you or anyone in your family to join – the dues are too high.  It has been said that people change their lifestyles for three reasons:  fear, pain and wisdom.  So I pray that you will be free from fear.  I pray that you will be free from pain; but, most importantly, I pray that we will all have an abundance of wisdom to take what we already know about cancer and be proactive and live a healthier life – physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

This is a special day ~ I never want to forget how it felt twenty years ago today when a doctor called and my life was suddenly changed.

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