Sunday Post 68: Yet Another One

Posted by Danny

It won’t stop. 

Virtually every single week someone else in my circle is stricken with cancer. 

Two weeks ago a friend at church passed on a prayer request:  a 36-year-old mother of three young boys had just been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

Last week I was eating lunch at Pam’s Farmhouse and ran into an old friend.

“How ya’ getting along?” I casually asked after a great big hug.

“I’m struggling.  Cancer in my back, just like your wife.”

Shit.  Another one.

And this week, my neighbor who came to my house at 1:30 am to sit with my kids on February 24, 2009, when I headed to Duke to tell Lisa goodbye, has been taken to Hospice.  His cancer won’t stop – it’s finally beaten down one of the physically strongest men I know.

I used to hear about folks struggling with illness and toss-up a quick prayer.  In one ear, out the other.  The obligatory appeal to the man upstairs.

It had to be someone mighty close to me to register long-term in my mind.  I just didn’t get it.  I just couldn’t comprehend how cruel disease could be, how deeply one could hurt.

I guess I got a good dose of understanding.   And now that I know, now that I’ve been there, I feel their pain so deeply – so intensely.  Even those I’ve never met.

Maybe I liked it better before.  Maybe it was easier not knowing how deeply the wound could be.

Or maybe I’m better.  Not better emotionally, but a better person.  More able to empathize.  More able to feel.  More able to walk beside –

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  1. I find it so hard to come up with a reply to news like that. The only thing that ever seems to escape my lips is a pathetic “sh**”, because cancer can be so devastating. Hearing about someone *else* in my life who is battling the disease just makes a giant hole open in my stomach that starts to flood with sadness. I keep hoping for a cure. Anything.

  2. Gail

     /  April 22, 2012

    Your posting filled me with this thought….does pain and suffering make us better people. I think the thought of a “better person through pain” is confusing God made us from the beginning of our lives a “better person”–a perfect person. During our life on earth, we struggle to honor the gift God gave each of us. My thought—through the pain and suffering I have experienced in my life I’m not necessarily a better person, but a more “knowing person”. I have a clearer vision of the pain the others feel and live.with on so many levels. Truly in the those moments I love others more, but mainly I love my God more because He sustains each of us through the pain. May you know today that you are that perfect person God created and supports–feel his love for you.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  April 22, 2012

      That’s a good question – better or more knowing? I’m not sure – but experience does make you better able to empathize – and the is probably good.

  3. Aunt Susan

     /  April 22, 2012

    I think your last paragraph is the best, it says it all.

  4. I ditto Susan’s thoughts. There has to be some lesson learned when so much seems bad. I think you are getting it.

  5. Danny
    Having lost both of my parents to brain cancer, father-in-law to bone cancer and too many friends that I went to school with to different cancers I know where you’re coming from. God has reason/plan for all of us. Prayer will get us all through. I’ll be praying for you as well because it is hard to let go and you can’t help but wonder “why?”.


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