Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Joy, I Don't Think So...

 A post today on Facebook really upset me. It was a prayer list from a church and the pastor said “so and so” is battling cancer with joy and trust in God. He went on to list three more that were battling cancer with joy and trust in God. While I totally agree that there is faith in God with cancer, I honestly cannot say there is joy.  I don’t believe there is joy in cancer period.

I immediately sent Jenn and Paz my outrage in a text message and they agreed. Then we began getting silly things with our messages but one that they each sent me stuck out and I want to share that with you:

JENN: It’s a misuse of the concept of joy. Joy is supposed to be unaffected by circumstances, yes, but you don’t see in in the Bible say “Mary and Martha were mourning the loss of Lazarus with joy.”

PAZ, then replied: “Upon finding Lazarus in his tomb, Jesus told the people
around him that they all needed to “let it go and let God.” Because Lazarus couldn't 
have more than he could handle.” So everyone have joy.

I really appreciated their viewpoint and how many times pastors abuse the word either by total stupidity of the use of the word joy or their lack of empathy to the real side of cancer and major illnesses. There is NOTHING nice about cancer, period!! Being the mom of a child with cancer I took great offence at this.

1. a deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
2. something causing such a feeling; a source of happiness
3. an outward show of pleasure or delight; rejoicing

When I was in high school we had a class that was a senior requirement called “Early Adulthood.” It was a hands-on class to teach you how to date, get married, get a job, live on a budget, etc. All the book knowledge and fake play acting one needed to be prepared for adult life and all the events that happened. Somehow I now think that class was lacking a few key points. Some topics I think need to be added:
1. My 20-year-old daughter has stage 4-blood cancer and how to survive
   6 month of chemo, while the world moves on…
2. How to live 33 days while your daughter is in ICU…
3. How to survive day to day after your daughter dies and the world doesn’t
    understand you now…
4. My husband had a heart attack and died and now I am left alone with my
    teenage son and how to survive
5. My husband has cancer now what do I do?...
6. My married daughter with 3 children has ovarian cancer and so many
   complications and how to survive over a year of surgeries and treatments…
7. I woke up to find our infant son dead in his crib, now what do I do?...
8. I had two children but my son-committed suicide and my daughter was
   killed in a car accident, am I still a mother?...
9. My son-in-law murdered my daughter and my 2 grandchildren and then
    blew up their house…

Each one of these things is true and happened in real life, the life that no one prepares you for, and there is no joy in any of them. The life that is fun and happy one minute and then can be crashing down around you the next. When I got married and had my babies I never dreamed somewhere down the road I would have a child with cancer and then have that child be in remission and still die from complications. I didn’t ask for any of this but yet I got a life makeover without my consent. No woman ever says, “I hope I get to be a grieving mother someday.” When you are planning your future and babies you never thing about what could happen 10, 20 even 50 years down the road to your babies. Regardless of age they are always your babies and there is no joy with them having cancer nor in their death.