Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Life After Shock

You’re in a Good Fight
Cancer is a word that can curdle the blood. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some point in a woman’s life is around one in eight (twelve percent). For years it was labeled a terminal disease. But the good news is that thanks to improvements in treatment and early detection, millions of women survive breast cancer today.

Whether you’re worried about developing breast cancer, making decisions about treatment, or trying to deal with the ups and downs of chemotherapy, there are things you can do to make the most of your battle.

Yes, it is a battle. You are in the battle of your life (for your life), but there is hope.
Millions of women have gone through what you now face, and they have survived. In every community across America, there are breast cancer support groups. October is now known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There is plenty of help, information, and hope to go around.

And with Jesus Christ, there is always hope. He even believes your fight against cancer can be a good one (1 Tim. 6:12). Even though you may feel as I once did—overwhelmed and fainthearted—you can find courage. It’s possible. I discovered wonderful anchors for my soul that buoyed my spirits during the roughest days and beyond. These insights bolstered my soul so much that I just had to pass them along. So I want to offer you real hope with the following facts from God’s Word.

You’re not alone. 
The night before I took my first round of chemotherapy, I read Jesus’ words in John 21:18: “. . . someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” The next morning Ken dressed me and took me where I “did not want to go”—a dreaded chemo clinic.

When the nurse drove the needle into my port, I struggled with overwhelming feelings again: Lord, I’m already a quadriplegic and I deal with pain almost daily. I feel so alone, like You’ve abandoned me. Yet, looking at the IV with a steady drip of poison seeping into my veins, the Bible already had an answer for me: “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid’” (Heb. 13:5–6). Jesus, the most God-forsaken man who ever lived, endured our fears and afflictions so that He, in turn, might say to you and me, “I will never forsake you; I will never leave you.”

There were times when my faith would vacillate. But I anchored my faith to this response from the psalmist who also fought discouragement: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:25–26).

With that first day in chemo, I began the prayerful habit of looking to God’s Word for emotional balance, as well as a healthy dose of the true reality. I prayed, Lord, thank You that I’m not alone. You are here, bearing my burdens and caring for my needs. You have not abandoned or forgotten me. Give me your strength for this challenge!

Friend, you can endure almost anything—even sitting slumped in a big chemo chair—if you know God is sitting next to you. So take heart because the Lord of the Universe is in the battle with you. His love is powerful enough to pull you through. You can be more than a conqueror. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38–39)

To read Joni’s entire booklet, order a copy here or  purchase her DVD Cancer: Joni’s Journey.

About the Author

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada is the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an international ministry that promotes Christian ministry in the disability community. Joni hosts the short-feature radio program Joni and Friends and has written over fifty books. She is … read more …

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