There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “H-M-M,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day. The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a ponytail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “Yeah!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!”
Attitude is everything!
Dr. Oxendine told me that when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. This was before I had an ultrasound or biopsy. I had a mammogram and they called me to come back because there had been a change. When I had the second one the doctor at the Imaging Center told me I should see a surgeon right away. She sent the report to Dr Oxendine and I made an appointment with him and had them to make an appointment at the Greenville Breast Center. I really didn’t believe I had cancer because I had tried to eat healthy foods, I wouldn’t use artificial sweeteners or drink diet drinks, or eat things that I read were not good for you. I exercised, and I memorized scripture. For several years I had been praying a whole page of healing scripture. After awhile I had prayed it so much I had it memorized and when I woke up during the night I would pray that scripture until I went back to sleep. Every doctor I have seen has talked about how healthy I am, but I still got cancer. When I went to see Dr. Oxendine, he talked to me like he knew I had cancer. He told me before I left his office that I had a journey ahead of me. He said it wouldn’t be just a biopsy and surgery; it would be a journey and asked if he could pray with me. In his prayer he asked that God would be with me on this journey. I told him I believed I was going to be okay. That’s when he told me that attitude would help me win the battle against cancer. He said he had seen people go through cancer and beat it with that attitude, but he had seen others with a negative attitude that lost the battled.
He gave me a copy of Dr. Kitchen’s report to give to the doctor in Greenville. I read it when I got home and saw that she was positive that I had cancer.
It has been a journey and seemed like a long one while I was going through it, but the Lord was with me all the way. Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” And that’s what God did for me. I never worried a single day. I knew that peace which passes all understanding that Paul talked about. I knew it had to be God because always before when I heard the word cancer it sounded like a death sentence. A definition of peace: A state of rest, quietness, and calmness, a perfect wellbeing.” Peace doesn’t come from the absence of trouble, but the presence of Jesus. Philippians 3:6-7 tells us how to walk in that much needed peace. We are to be anxious for nothing, but in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Jerry had knee replacement surgery the next day after I had the second mammogram and we were in Greenville at the hospital from Wednesday to Saturday. My devotion the day after his surgery really spoke to me. “Rest with Me a while. You have journeyed up a steep rugged path in recent days. The way ahead is shrouded in uncertainty. Look neither behind you nor before you. Instead, focus your attention on Me, your constant Companion. Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey. There was more to it that was good, but the last sentence was: “I am with you, watching over you wherever you go.” (Gen. 28:15)
During this journey, I had some bad weeks when I was doing the Chemo. I never got nauseated, but I was just weak and had to force myself to eat at times. They told me said to eat a lot of protein and a lot of calories to help build up my immune system so I knew I had to eat. The food I ate tasted fine, but I just didn’t want it. The only thing that tasted bad to me was water and I had to drink 8 glasses or 64 ounces a day.
One day when we were going for my Chemo, when we started through the door I said, “I am so tired of coming up here,” and I knew if I said another word I would start crying. When I said that it was like a spirit of sadness came over me I recognized that the devil wanted me to have a pity party so I started praying silently thanking the Lord for being with me that far and I knew he would be with my the rest of the way. When I did that the sadness lifted instantly and I was fine.
But through all of that I could still find things to laugh about. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do. We were in Kmart one day and Jerry found me and took me to the other side of the store and showed me a wig he wanted to buy for me. It was an orange Afro style. I told him I wasn’t wearing that, but he bought me a long white one which I wore one time to our Fall Festival at church.
I had my radiation at Self and they had the cutest pink wig at the store at the Cancer Center. I tried to get the woman to sell it to me, but she wouldn’t. I told her I could have a lot of fun with it.
The first day I had an appointment with Dr. Wood who was my radiation doctor, I was ready to go except for putting on my wig. I put it on my head and looked in the mirror and had it on backwards. I looked like Donald Trump. It was so funny. I enjoyed telling people about that and laughing again every time I told it.
After my hair was beginning to grow back, I went to pick up Ethan, one of my great-grandsons one day and forgot I didn’t have my wig on. He said, “Maw Maw, you look interesting.” I asked what he meant and he said I didn’t look like myself. Then I realized I didn’t have on my wig.
I read something that Don Colbert, MD said that was interesting. “I’m convinced that laughter is absolutely the best medicine as it charges the immune system and triggers the relaxation response. In this stressful world 75 to 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related complaints or disorders. Laughter stops stress in its tracks. The Bible says, “a merry heart doeth good like medicine.”
Francisco Contreras, MD a surgical oncologist said that science has definitively confirmed the potent healing factor of laughter. Whether studies were conducted in Japan or Loma Linda, California, objective results indicate that patients who experience laughter receive a boost to their immune system as measured in the elevation of natural killer cell activity and immunoglobulin. There are so many objective clinical trials that support the healing power of humor that it surprises me that few doctors take advantage of this medication. I do realize that insurance companies probably do not reimburse doctors for telling jokes, but who cares? As physicians, we should be willing to do whatever it takes to improve the health of our patients. Science confirms that positive emotions invoked by humor have healing effects.
Anatomy of a Laugh: Your whole body gets a kick out of a good chuckle. Here’s what happens when you laugh according to research.
· Your heart and lungs are stimulated.
· Your heart beats faster and your blood pressure rises temporarily.
· You breath deeper and oxygenate more blood.
· Your body releases endorphins, your own natural painkillers, and you produce more immune cells. You burn seventy-eight times as many calories as you would in a resting state.
· Your diaphragm, facial muscles and internal organs all get bounced around in a massage sometimes called “internal jogging.”
After you’ve laughed, your muscles and arteries relax. That’s great for easing pain. Also, your blood pressure lowers and your pulse drops below normal. Some researchers think all this aids digestion.
He also said “one bout of anger will diminish the efficiency of your immune system for six hours, but one good laugh will increase the efficiency of your immune system for 24 hours.”
The immune system is what controls how healthy or how sick we are so we all want to keep our immune systems as powerful as we can!
Nehemiah said, …”The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Solomon said in Proverbs, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, and a broken spirit dries up your bones.” We need to apply these scriptures to our lives. Someone said, “You can rail in anger and frustration about your relationships, work, politics, or the world in general. But it’s a lot more fun and more useful to laugh instead. Look for the humor in whatever it is that is threatening to irritate you.
We serve awesome God and He loves us so much. He promised in Matthew 28:20 “…Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.
I am so thankful that I have finished all my treatments and now just have to go for checkups. When Dr. De Brux started my reconstruction, he operated on my back and took muscle and skin and brought it around to the front on September 29th last year. He told me it would take a year to get over that.
I had a lot of people praying for me and I appreciate every prayer that anyone took the time to pray. I had people that I didn’t know personally tell me that they had been praying for me or that I was on their Sunday School class prayer list. This means so much to know people are praying for you when you are in need. I also got cards, notes and meals brought in which we appreciated. When you go through something like this it makes you realize more than ever what is important. It also lets you see how much people care for you. It gives a different perspective on life.
I had received so many cards the drawer where I was keeping them was running over. I went through the cards recently and reread them and then threw away 97. (Some I could not part with just yet.) I told my husband, thinking this would impress him, but he said I still needed to get rid of more. He loves to see me get rid of things because I am a pack rat. One of my friends who is witty always wrote a sweet note in the card and sent me funny things she had printed off the internet to keep me laughing. She always wrote notes in the card that made me laugh. On Halloween she wrote, “I won’t get to go out tonight because someone took my broom.”
Every day is a good day when we walk with the Lord no matter what the day brings. God is with us in the rain and storm as well as the sunshine. We decide what our response is going to be to each day. Are we going to be fearful, or anxious, or do we trust? Do we look for the silver lining behind the cloud?
Problems are opportunities for us to practice trusting God with it. Every problem that comes our way comes with a promise and provision attached, but sometimes we get our focus on the problem instead of God’s promise and provision.