Category: attitude

The “Language of God” is in our DNA

After I became a patient advocate for Dr. Marc Hirsh in 1996, I discovered I was in for a real education. I was working for the first time in a medical office and constantly had to ask the nurses to explain medical jargon. What’s a DVT? I thought he had a blood clot? “He does. …

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“Just let ’em fall like healing rain”

May I be honest and share two things?…First, this short post is mainly for me. And second, the song at the end is the best part of it. I’m writing for myself because unwelcome events have left a trail of sadness in my heart. Perhaps you can relate. I’m mourning two years of a brutal …

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Don’t waste your cancer…or any other pain

Those are the words penned by author-pastor John Piper on the eve of his surgery for prostate cancer in 2006. My cancer prayer support group often discussed one of Piper’s ten ways we can “waste” cancer by allowing it—instead of God—to be foremost in our lives.*   Probably the cancer survivor who most often expressed …

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The God Who is Enough

When you believe in God, it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that He has allowed adversity to come into your or your loved one’s life. Author David Biebel talks about this fact in his book If God Is So Good, Why Do I Hurt So Bad? He says there are …

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Turning 70 and Celebrating One Year as a Survivor: My Oncologist Has Cancer (Part 6)

Today Dr. Marc Hirsh, my oncologist, my brother in faith and my dear friend, turns 70. I know others who have recently, or will soon, reach this milestone, but none I’m celebrating more than this guy. That’s because shortly after his birthday last year, Marc was diagnosed with a rare atypical carcinoid tumor of the …

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5 Ways to Strengthen Your Funny Bone

  There’s nothing funny about cancer. But after my diagnosis in 1990, I figured laughter could be good medicine for our family. Upon learning that my chemo pill actually was a worming medicine designed to kill intestinal parasites in sheep and dogs, I would pop one in my mouth and start barking and chasing my …

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Heard any insensitive remarks lately?

  “Oh, my grandmother had that kind of cancer—she didn’t last long.” “My neighbor has what you have—he’s in so much pain.” “I thought you’d be over this grieving by now.” Heard any such insensitive (dare I say “stupid”) remarks?  I think I’ve heard them all and then some. I remember bumping into a church …

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Never Lose Hope

  If you’re like me and enjoy hearing stories about people who weren’t “supposed to be here,” please meet my friend, Nancy, a long-time survivor of incurable liver cancer. In 2005 Nancy was told she had a “very aggressive” liver cancer and there was nothing anyone could do for her. “If you have anything you …

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The Truth about Shadows

  In grade-school science, you probably learned that a shadow is caused by the absence of light when an opaque (not see-through) object has absorbed the light. And that shadows fall opposite their light source. That’s why your shadow is in front of you if the sun is behind you and vice versa. The way you’re …

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Living with an “Empty Spot”: My Oncologist Has Cancer (Part 5)

It’s been more than four months since I’ve interviewed Dr. Marc Hirsh about his journey with a rare cancer, so I called him a few days ago. “Just got back from a half-hour run with (older daughter)Jessi’s two dogs,” Marc said on the phone as he fixed himself a glass of juice. “You’re jogging?” I …

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