Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief FeaturedWritten by Annette Spurr
By Annette Spurr, Special to ASSIST News Service
AUSTRALIA (ANS – October 30, 2017) -- Every day around the world, thousands of women, hear those dreaded words: “I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.” One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before they reach the age of 85. Lois Thompson is one of those women.
When she heard those dreaded words: “Breast cancer,” for herself, what followed was a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and nine months off work for treatment.
The foreboding, insidious force we call “Cancer” is on the increase. Most of us are affected by it in some way, either personally or watching someone who we know and love go through it. Our general reaction is: “it’s an enemy that must be fought.”
Praise God, cancer patients and their support network don’t fight this enemy alone. They’re supported by an army of medical professionals and researchers, who help in the battle to conquer this enemy. Today, 89 out of 100 breast cancer patients are termed “Survivors.” They live beyond five years of diagnosis. Most never have a recurrence or suffer metastatic breast cancer.
In her book, Hope in Cancer, Death and Grief, Lois documents her own battle with breast cancer, and how facing death helped her to embrace life.
The stakes are high!
Most people want to live this life for as long as possible but we can become weary in battle. When Lois’s eldest son died in a tragic car accident in 2002, in her grief, Lois just wanted to be reunited with him. But as she faced the reality of her own death, her heart and eyes were opened and for the first time, and she could see everything life and living had to offer. Cancer made her stop! It forced her to decide and she decided to live. As she fought to defeat cancer, her enemy, Lois found cancer her friend! Lois is one of the many breast cancer hurdlers who say their life is richer, stronger and better for having jumped that hurdle.
Sadly, despite fighting cancer with all available spiritual and medical weapons, sometimes cancer, the enemy, wins. Lois again faced crippling grief, when her husband lost his battle against bowel cancer in 2011. Lois thought she had done enough grieving during her husband’s long battle with this old enemy. She had her Christian faith and family and seemed quite happy on the surface, but deep inside, she had once again lost the will to live. Lois lost sight of everyone and everything in her life. The pain of loss, we call grief, clouded her world.
But God led her through those clouds of grief. Her husband had a full life, loving and serving Jesus, after the Lord saved him from suicide and alcoholism. God spoke to them through his Word. He gave them the scripture, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” (2 Timothy 4:7). For Pat, death was “gain,” as written in Philippians 1:21. As he waited in hospital for six weeks, at times impatiently, to enter his glorious destiny (Psalm 73:24 NLT), cancer became his friend as it carried him to his Heavenly Home.
And then death was swallowed up by victory.
“O Death, where is your sting?” O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
You can read more of Lois Thompson’s story at: https://www.facebook.com/loisthompsonauthor
You can also watch Annette’s interview with Lois at: https://youtu.be/IrzvIUhwLcg
Photo captions: 1) Book cover. 2) Lois Thompson. 3) Annette Spurr.
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