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Confession

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Okay, I'm going to talk about something that might sound very weird or might alienate me from some members. I did speak about it to one and he was very accepting but I've told very few people about this. And it's kind of bothering me a lot. My husband and daughter do know but my closest friend is a Jehovah's Witness and this really freaks her out. I'm not one, I have no official religious designation, I'd probably best by described as Protestant. So this is about faith and religion. If you want to stop reading now, please do so.

The summer after I had my surgery I was having a very tough time with additonal things happening such as the two abcesses at the resection site, the infection that had tunnelled into the incision site and just feelling horrible. But at the same time I was feeling very positive. I figured I was going to kick this. I think that cancer is a creation from hell. I'm not one of those Christians who laments 'why did God let this happen??' when things go badly. I realize that we are put on this earth and given free will and that this allows us to be horrible and many people are. We have challenges and we have disasters. These things give us the opportunity to basically prove ur worth and be heroes, even in small ways. If earth was pefect, what would be the point in striving to go to Heaven? And God does give us mercies and miracles. Not every day and not everyone. Sometimes we have to go through some really crappy stuff to be our best selves. Certainly cancer has made me a better person. And changed nothing in other ways. I'm still sarcastic and have little patience for people. And I do not take guff from rude people. And if someone is behaving badly I'll tell them so. On the other hand, I'm here trying to give hope to people and to help them try to reduce their fear and anxiety. And in my everyday life I'm pleasant to people I run into. I'm always polite and appreciative. And I give out compliments when I can.

Sorry, this is long. So, around the time that I was feeling tough but hadn't gotten back to normal yet, I was kind of bragging about how I was going to kick cancer's a$$ and how the devil wasn't going to win and things like that. I brought up the devil a number of times. No big deal, right? Well, something happened that made me think I was actually poking the bear and should have kept my thoughts private.

I dreamt one night that the devil was standing in front of me. Mostly a nice looking man in a suit but I knew who it was. He had his hands crossed low in front of him and he was looking down at the floor, not at me, but he was facing me. I stood there in shock and suddenly he started moving backwards. Same position like he was on a slide of some sort. He was backing towards and open door and in my head I thought if he gets out the door before he looks at me I'll be okay. But at the last second he looked up right into my ayes and said "oh, I'm not done with you, yet." And smirked a bit and then went through the door.

It scared the crap out of me and I woke up very frightened. My husband found a book a couple of months later and there was a picture of a devil that looked very similar to this guy in my dream. Just normal but with cloven hooves and small horns.

Two months later I had the blood clot that nearly killed me. I survived and two doctors at the ICU said I'd received a miracle. Not "it's a miracle you survived" but "you do know that you've received a miracle, right?" said in a very serious way like they really wanted me to know the seriousness of it. I know, you bet I do. It still haunts me two and a half years later and likely always will. Every time I stand up from a chair I'm grateful I'm no longer paralyzed. When I type something here on the computer with only a few typos I'm grateful that I'm not sitting in a nursing home drooling and wearing a diaper and not knowing my family. Half an hour ago I was helping my husband paint some boards for a project. I am so grateful, so very grateful, I'm not in a wheelchair. And that I'm alive.

Fast forward to last fall. I had a very clear dream that an angel came to me. She was pretty in an older, nice looking motherly way. Very comforting. She told me 'your trial is over and you don't need to worry anymore'. I woke up feeling so much better. Since then, while I've certainly had times when I despair and when I feel forsaken, I generally am quite positive. I think I've put the worry and fear into God's hands and he's holding it for me. It's allowing me to mostly just live the best life I can without falling into despair. Sure, I'm scared to die. My faith doesn't mean I'll never die and it could be sooner rather than later but I'm not as stressed about it as maybe I should or could be. "Thy will be done" but I still pray for strength and help to fight this. Its very freeing to not have the burden of fear and worry. Or at least less of one.

For anyone who has read all this, I thank you. I hope that somehow, in some way, it will give someone peace or courage or something positive. If you met me you'd never know that I have such a strong faith. I'm not going around bugging people about it or talking about it all the time. It's very personal for me. And I swear like a sailor sometimes. I'm certainly not perfect but it easier being a better person now that my faith has grown so much because of the cancer. For that I am grateful for having it. And I'm glad It was me and not my husband because he'd have a tough time with faith and he's stronger than me physically and gets things done when they need to be done.  

If anyone has any thoughts on what I experienced, please share with me. Its certainly possible that I made it up in my own head, I'm not discounting that. And things haven't been over with since my angel visit but life always has upsets and difficulties. That's just life.

Hugs to all of you who take the time to read my long story. It was hard for me to share this because it's controversial. But I'm curious to hear the thoughts of others.

Jan

blessed39's picture
blessed39
Posts: 90
Joined: Dec 2016

Hi Jan Jan, thank you for your post. I know it's not easy to open yourself up like this and maybe some people

will not appreciate your post, but I assure you many will. I know you have read my story twice and said so. I had somewhat of an experience like yours. If you remember, I heard a voice about 3:00 am which said "I gave you a second chance now what have you done with it?" I don't think that came from myself or the devil. Why would God's enemy want me to guide lost people to him or why would I put that kind of burden on myself and it is a burden. It worried me for several weeks until I came to the conclusion that the Lord wants me to use my experience to reach other cancer victims on the brink of death. Some of these people have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ many times during their life and have always rejected the good news. Maybe my testimony about my experience with stage IV colon cancer will be the last time they see the salvation prayer. I believe that something in all of us wants to know what happens to us when we die. You said that you have no religious designation, right? I once heard someone say that going to church makes you a christian like going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger.Don't get me wrong, I do go to church and believe that I should. The point being, when we stand before God the Father, he isn't going to ask us if we were Baptist, Catholic, methodist,etc. He will ask what do you say about my son? I'm going to say "He is my Lord and saviour." He says in your word that his death on the cross covers everyone's sins.He said that if anyone accepts him they will have eternal life. I have done that. Now Lord can I please come in?

I suggest you get the book "Imagine Heaven," by John Burke. I just read it and it gave me great comfort. Whoever reads this post can go to my page and read my story on my blog entitled "How I Beat Stage Four Colon Cancer."  God bless you Jan Jan  P.S. again thank you for your comments.  blessed39

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thanks for your understanding. I will look that book up. I'm a big reader and have to read every night so that will be on my list next time I'm in a book store, even if I have to order it.

When I was in the hospital for 4 months after the blood clot I thought a lot about wanting to be a patient advocate. Since then I've tried to become one in several ways but found that my way was blocked every time. So I don't think that's it.

I'm trying to write a book. One with a humourous side to it but all about the colon cancer fun and games. I want it to be soething so caregovers, nurses and doctors can really know what we're thinking and feeling and maybe have more compassion. It would also be a thank you to the ones who were wonderful. And mostly it would be so people with this diagnosis can know it's not necessarily a death sentence. You can live with cancer. I knew so little about it before. I want people to know what we know on here even if they don't find the forum. There was so little good information and really nothing about what it's like on a daily basis until I found this forum.

Perhaps that's my task? I still don't know. 

Hugs!

Jan

EissetB
Posts: 135
Joined: Apr 2017

Thank you both for sharing your thoughts and stories. I, also believe in God Almighty. Being born, baptised and raised from old school parents & grandparents whom I love so dearly. And yes, I had changed a bit. My attitude and look on life has totally changed since the cancer "visited me without invitation." People with cancer of any kind are tough to go through therapy and etc. Now I know how they feel about it. I can relate with their pain. Sometimes I looked at the mirror and sighed, "So sad it took a cancer to change my outlook on life." God bless us all.

Eisset

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you for not judging me, I really appreciate it. It's easy to find God once you've had a diagnosis of cancer but I always had my faith although my paryers used to be sporadic at best. I have always tried to be grateful in my prayers and not ask for silly things. No matter how bad my situation was I knew someone has it worse somewhere. The only time I wavered a bit in my faith was when cancer took my mom. And then I still had my faith, but I was SO angry and resentful.

My nana had this beautiful faith that I aspire to. She wasn't pushy about God and Jesus and having faith. She just made it s beautiful somehow that I wanted to have that faith, too. I should add that I don't want to get into an argument with anyone but I do not believe that God and Jesus are one and the same. If they were, why would we pray to Jesus and not God. And why would Jesus have called out "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?" from the cross? It just doesn't make sense to me. But that's my belief.

Hugs!

Jan

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Jan, I admire your faith.  I think you're even more faithful than those self-proclaimed faithfuls whose attitudes are despicable as hell.  

I was born and raised a Catholic.  Never missed a sunday mass.  I'm not the type who would wear those head scarves and walk from the door of the church to the altar kneeling.  I'm just the silent type, conversant to God anytime I feel anything.  I have to admit when I learned about my cancer my faith was a bit shaken.  I had the "Why me??" moment with Him.  And then after a few moments, I realize that there was a reason why He gave me this.  Maybe to help others.  Maybe to remind me to be more prayerful (I have to admit I was preoccupied with work that I sometimes forget praying).  Maybe to be more appreciative of what I have.  I don't know.  Only He knows.

I call these moments when we have a vision of Him as an "encounter".  I also had an encounter.  I hope you don't mind me sharing.  People might laugh, think I'm crazy or ridiculous or be inspired with this.  

I'm a Marian devotee.  I have a specific Mother Mary holy place which I frequented to (although I don't attend the feast because I don't like praying while in a big crowd-I can't concentrate and the sanctity is kinda lost because I get distracted with a lot of people).  I go there during the not-peak season so that there's only a few people.  She has answered all prayers I asked of her.  But the holy place I go to takes a 2-hour drive, and a 30 minute walk-uphill.  Right after I had the surgery, I wanted to go there.  I was so conditioned I really wanted to talk to Her I don't care if it was only one week since I had the surgery.  But my family prevented me because my body might not take the long walk and the heat of going there.  

So I just opted for another church whose patron is also Mother Mary.  It was just days after I had the surgery.  It was a big church, and we sat on the middle part where you can't clearly see the altar.  But that's not an issue as we aren't there to stare at the altar but to listen.  Anyway, it was homily time.  I was just sitting there, listening to the priest while simultaneously thinking of my condition.  As my eyes kept on moving elsewhere (I really don't like fixing my eyes on one place--even in church lol) I stumbled staring at the image of the Mother Mary in the altar.  She was situated on the topmost area, well actually you can't see Her.  As I was looking intently, I saw Her face.  She was very beautiful.  And then a certain calm went over me.  No, the image didn't speak.  It was just Her face that I saw.  She wasn't talking.  And then I felt like something tell me "everything's gonna be okay".  I felt so assured at that time.  After the mass, I didn't tell anyone because I thought it was just the usual effect of prayer over me.  I just told my husband "I feel so good after hearing mass".

Fast forward to the next month, we went there again to hear mass.  This time, we were seated near to the altar you can see the priest already.  However, when I stared back to the image.  I cannot see Her.  Like, no matter how hard or close I look, even during communion time when we line up to the priest to receive the Holy host, I was not able to decipher Her face.  That's when I realize that I had the "encounter" the previous month.  She was showing Herself to me.  I didn't tell anyone of this because they might say I'm just imagining things or I'm ridiculous.  I just kept it to myself.  And then the next time we went there, I tried to watch closely in the altar, heck, yeah, I approached it and saw that she was a Black Virgin Mary! The statue was a black Virgin Mary.  And I thought, wait, the one I saw was a white one.  And I figured.  The image I saw was the image of the Virgin Mary of the holy place that I was a devotee of.  It was then that I realize that no matter what church you go, She is there to follow and guide us.  To tell us of Her Saving Grace.  Until this day, when I feel like a loser, I hold on to that encounter.  I don't know what happens to my journey.  Cancer may kill me.  It may not.  But one thing's for sure, Mama Mary and God will never leave me alone.  

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

What a kind thing to say, thank you! If you saw me driving and getting mad at other drivers you might think differently! Ha ha! But Jesus didn't tolerate people who were nasty or foolish, either, so I figure I'm in good company.

Thank you for sharing that! Isn't it wonderful that we have our faith to keep us happy? What a great gift! I'm sad for people who have none, including my husband. We used to scrap about it and I'd become furious and hurt that he was trying to take my faith away by offering me 'reasons' why it's silly. I remember crying and yelling at him and asking him why he'd want to do that to me? To try to take away my whole purpose in life. The basis of everything. It seemed so cruel. And I remember when he said he believed because I awoke from the coma the day after he finally went to the chapel in the hospital and prayed for me. This was a couple of weeks later because I was still a mess for the first few weeks but I remember the feeling of gratitude washing over me. Not just for my life but for his revalation. 

And now things are not going so well and he's lost it. It breaks my heart. I guess it shows how little faith he actually had. Now he's been sick for a few days with severe constipation and he's feeling really bad about not fully comprehending what that was like for me. And I'm scared for him. He had a colonoscopy a year and a half ago but it would certainly be ironic if he had this now. It scares me so much. I'm not strong enough physically or mentally. As I've said before, I think it's harder to be a caretaker than the person with the cancer. At least he didn't know how horrible some of what I went through was. I don't know how I'd deal with that if I ever had to. I wouldn't even be able to give him those heparin shots after surgery. 

Anyway, putting the cart before the horse.

Hugs,

Jan

plsletitrain
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

I think faith is something that's hard to impose on someone.  I too am a very realistic person and sometimes wonder if God really exists.  But even if I don't see Him, I feel his presence.  I feel His presence in the people I meet, the people I love, everywhere.  He's been with me in all trials I've been, He has never let me down.  Sure, He has given me problems but I am sure He is there to help me get through.  That's why its called faith, you don't have any concrete evidence to back it up, you just hold on to it.

I hope your husband will also get that "faith" one day.  And I love how you protect your faith.  Keep it strong, who knows, your husband might just be converted to being a believer one day.  

I hope and pray your husband's case is just constipation and nothing serious.  One in the family is enough.  If another in the family had another life-threatening condition, I might not handle it.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

He took some Ex Lax yesterday afternoon and was sounded like he was having a baby last night in the bathroom so it looks like he's going to be okay. I worry more about him than me sometimes. But he's chipper and happy today so he's okay, apparently. I was so worried because my husband doesn't get the man cold, he's tough bugger and will ignore lots of things including injuries. Anyway, the worry is over mostly for now.

I also have no proof of God's existence. That's why it's called faith. My husband will say things like "why doesn't he show up and prove to everyone He's there?" I say because that's the test. Faith despite no proff other than what we feel inside and the small things we see and experience every day. How can he not see the miracle of so many things and seriously think there's not some hand in it. We have a wonderful, beautiful world. And cancer will be erradicated some day. And the person/people who succeed at finding the cure will be some of the biggest heroes ever born. How awesome to give mankind that opportunity to be the one that finds it!

Have a great day! I see my onc today and then start the scary chemo tomorrow again. Last week I had three days where I had Doctor appts. My job has gone from a real full time job to going to the doctor or feeling like hell. Yuck. But today I do not feel like hell! I feel even better than yesterday! So happy. The last chemo must be getting out of my body.

Jan

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

i love reading these stories. I see a lot of similarities to my own story as well. I wonder if we could collaborate and co-author a book on cancer, faith, hope, and love? 

I blogged through my story and wrote about the outcome of my story years before, when I was first diagnosed. 

And many of my blog posts were really heart felt messages that I believe were inspired by the Holy Spirit to share with all my blog readers, in a public way.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Phil, how great would that be? To have the opportunity to bounce ideas off of each other. I wonder if there is a way with us being so far apart. I'd also like to include a glossary of words and procedures and what they mean as well as possible adjunctive cures or aids and what they are and do or don't do. I want to have a go-to book for people that is actually useful, not just funny and interesting. At least I'd hope it would be funny and interesting. Maybe I'm overestimating myself. Even little thngs like not letting them take your blood pressure from the arm with the IV in it because it can hurt. Or to be careful about the IV with potassium because that can sting like a bugger and you never want the blood pressure taken in the arm that has an IV of potassium because it can blow the vein. And then you get the fun of a new IV poke. The nurses tend to not tell you that, though, until it happens.

Even just things like what meds you've been on and what the side effects were- if any- and if they helped and keep it on you because every time you go to a doctor or emerg they ask what you're on. Also, keep a business card wallet or something to keep track of all the different specialists you see. I don't know if everyone is like me that way but there's SO many I can't remember them all.

Your quotes and messages would be  lovely to have people be able to read in a more public way. Every opportunity for encouragement and inspiration and hope is so important. Hmm, I wonder if we could do this. At my end it's mostly finished, probably over half.

We should talk, Phil!

Jan

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

My email is same as my blog @ aol . Com.

also I work with lots of remote consultants and use gotomeeting to collaborate. 

Lov this idea. 

Already want to dedicate this book to Craig. If you don't know him from this board I will give you background later.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I've got lots going on in the next few days and I'm terrible at technology so bear with me Phil!

Jan

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

No worries Jan

pscamihorn @ aol . com

talk to you soon

blog: http://pscamihorn.me

Phoenix_66's picture
Phoenix_66
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2017

I am a very active Baptist Christian but being Christian isn't about what Church you attend or what demonination you are affiliated with; it is about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Without trying to upset anyone's theology, I do believe that God communicates with us in different ways.  I am not discounting that He may choose to audibly speak with us, but we have to remember that God is spririt and He often communicates with us in a "Still Small Voice".  We may hear a song on the radio that really speaks to our hearts and the situation we are in....that is God whispering.  We may have a vivid dream or vision that really speaks to us....that is God prompting.  Someone we know may say just the right thing at just the right time to give us clarity or even peace over a situation.....that is mostly how God speaks to me.  I think everyone's journey is different but we also have to remember that our task as Christians is to lead or point others to Christ.  We can do that with the way we lead our lives, with how we care, love and minister to others, or by simply telling others what He has done for us.

I read a story once about how blacksmiths use a common piece of metal to make something really useful by super-heating it and shaping it.  Sometimes the metal has to be reheated multiple times and folded and hammered before the object that is being created is finished.  While I do not belive that God gave me cancer, I believe He allows us to go through these trials mostly to shape us into the person He designed us to be and to bring us closer to Him.  As I said before, each journey is unique but the end result is not for our glory but for His.

By sharing our experiences with others and allowing these trials to shape our beings, we can show the love of Christ to those we come in contact with every day.  You may never know this side of Heaven how the way you handled your trial affects the way someone else sees Christ in you.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

Very beautifully put! Thank you! Yes, perhaps my job here is just to show people that cancer didn't make me turn away from God or become bitter (just some days) or make mean ugly, nasty person. I'm often complimented on my attitude about it. It makes me feel good. I want so much for people to just accept that people with cancer are just like everyone else. Other than that inside they know they're way tougher than everybody else. But we're not to be handled like a china doll, or deferred to because we're 'sick'. That's dehumanizing. Allow us to just be like everyone else so we aren't constantly reminded that we are battling this beast. Being treated like everyone else makes us feel like everyone else. 

And, you're right about God showing his love in so many ways. We just need to be open to it. For those of us who believe we are open to it and so we have those wonderful experiences. Lucky us! I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to believe! I like thinking that when I've made some gesture of kindness to someone or something that God sees it and knows. I don't have to tell anyone else because the most important one already knows and probably gave me the opportunity to start with. 

I try to be a good person and uplift others. As I said, I don't go around yapping about my faith but if it comes up I certainly will let soeone know in no uncertain terms that I believe. Usually I just say something like 'I don't have the slightest doubt that there is a god and He loves us, even those that don't deserve it'. If someone were to get pushy I'll say "there is nothing on earth that can shake that". If someone were foolish enoug to persists then I'm done. I will not be around negative people like that. Which doesn't explain why I married one but that's another story...

Jan

Phoenix_66's picture
Phoenix_66
Posts: 118
Joined: Jun 2017

Thank you for sharing your story.  I really believe that one day your positive attitude and love for God will bear fruit with your husband.  Keep the faith!

Phil64's picture
Phil64
Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2012

Very well said. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote. These same thoughts, experiences, and feelings are in me and you gave them just the right words.

Lily Flower's picture
Lily Flower
Posts: 253
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank you for sharing your inner thoughts. It is therapeutic to express our feelings, thoughts, worries, and fears not only for yourself, but I'm sure it helps others. We all have a common goal here is to fight this disease and be supportive and be there for one another. {{{HUGS}}}

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