I was asked recently had my faith changed since I became terminally ill with cancer? The answer simply is yes, it has. How did it become about, well that is a more complicated story. Firstly we need to ask ourselves, what is faith?
“Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing or a belief not based on proof. It may also refer to a particular system of religious belief. The term ‘faith’ has numerous connotations and is used in many different ways, often depending on context.”
Back in 2011/2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer as my primary with secondary metastases of the spine and liver and that it was terminal. It was the moment Paul’s life and mine changed forever. I know I can remember that I was angry with God as to why me? What had I done to be struck down in this way. But after a few weeks in hospital fighting what was happening to me, it took me a while to realise that I could still be me, with the cancer or not and that I had a long road ahead of me to beat this disease one way or the other. I had to have faith in myself that I could fight it as well as faith in others to help me. The night I realised that, was such a relief and my attitude changed literaly overnight.
I have fought a long battle over the years, plus surviving a burst appendix and a touch of pneumonia last year which both put me in hospital. When I had the burst appendix, my husband was taken aside and told to prepare for the worst but I came through. I heard afterwards that the nurses would not give up on me and plagued the Doctor who was operating on me to not give up and to ensure that he had done all he possibly could to save me. Again those nurses had faith in the Doctor that he would do all that was necessary to save my life and he did. I can never thank him enough for what he did that day and having faith in going on to ensure all the poison was out of my system before sewing me up.
The Church had started including me in their prayer listing at the early onset and I believe that it is thanks to those prayers that I am still here where I am today. I have a long road ahead of me and I pray for guidance and strength to fight the disease eating away at me. My faith has failed a few times when things have gotten too tough to deal with but somehow I manage to get back where I needed to be.
Am I a better person for having a terminally ill disease, well I hope so, I try to be, as I was persuaded to write my own story of living with terminal cancer and therefore set up my own website and facebook page to show others that you can live a normal life, even with terminal cancer. I try to show that with a little faith, you can overcome the darkest obstacles that life throws at you.
Recently I found that the livers in my tumour have been active and there has been new activity also to be found in my liver. Also that the Royal Berkshire Hospital can do no more for me so I am being referred to Royal Marsden Clinical Trials in Sutton, to see if they have something that could help my tumours.
I have been frightened and prayed for help and guidance. I would say I am not in the best of places just yet. But I know that God is watching over me, helping me to understand and that my Guardian Angels too are doing their bit too. Without that knowledge, and the love and support of my husband Paul, whose faith never seems to fail him, I dont think I could be as strong as I need to be to get on with my life and not let my faith diminish.
I would love to hear if any of you have had your faith tested by your cancer or if you have lost your faith because of all the aggravation that goes along with it with the chemo and radiotherapy and all.