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.