A feel good story:
For years, Greg Thomas would sit on those very steps and pray when he walked his dogs along the country lanes in rural Minnesota. But in May 2009, he learned that the searing headaches, earaches, and jaw aches that had plagued him for the past year were due to inoperable head and neck cancer. It had progressed so far that the doctors told Greg’s family to start planning his funeral.
“I was sitting at the church one evening, pouring my heart out to God,” Greg says. “I kept looking at the building and the shape it was in. I said, “Before I leave this earth, Lord, I’d like to do something for you.”
Greg decided that that something was to fix the peeling paint and the leaking roof, the mangled steps and the rotting floorboards. He approached the church’s association with a deal. He would completely repair the building on one condition: “That I get a key to the front door so I can go in any time to worship.” He warned that it would be slow going–he had just gone through three rounds of chemotherapy along with 40 sessions of radiation and had lost 66 pounds. They said yes, anyway.
Incredibly, as Greg scraped paint and replaced boards, he felt himself growing stronger every day. The more he worked on the church, the better he felt–he didn’t even need the strong prescription pain med’s his doctor had prescribed. “My oncologist was blown away,” Greg says.
“She said, “What ever you’re doing, keep on doing it.”
As Greg continued to rehabilitate the church, medical scans revealed some startling news. His tumors were shrinking. Four years and 23 days after Greg’s diagnosis, his doctors were able to remove his feeding tube–the one they’s said he would have for the rest of his life–and he ate solid food again. Today, Greg’s tumors are gone. He is considered officially in remission and no longer needs follow up tests.
And the church? After five years of Greg’s labor of love, it has been restored to its former glory too. Greg finished his main project this past summer, but he will probably always be involved in maintaining its beauty (he still wants to replace some windows for example). Greg held his third annual open house there near Christmas, inviting the entire community.
“While I was restoring the church,” Greg says, “God was restoring me.”
by Gretchen Voss
Readers Digest/ April 2015 (pg. 98-99)
One year ago today I walked a message in the snow to my mother who had stepped into heaven only a few short hours earlier. I felt bitterly cold to the core, silent, lonely, and empty…
Exactly one year later, in the exact spot, a new warmth emerged…
My parents are together!
They are happy.
They are watching over me and my family.
Even when I peeked out the window at midnight
and could still see them waving, watching, and smiling,
I couldn’t help but hold on to–that hope!
It made me smile.
It made me feel connected to them.
I guess angels DO come in all shapes and sizes.
I miss them.
But that is because they taught me about LOVE.
Welcome to my blog called cancertogether.
My blog offers coping strategies and hopeful living through one of the most difficult experiences you will ever face.
It comes from personal experience, and I want my words to feel comfortable and non intrusive.
It would be best, if you are just beginning, to link to the very first posts and pick and choose from there.
I offer advice to your friends and family who ask “What should I do now?”
I know you may feel overwhelmed and scared to death.
I am here with you.
You are my new brother and sister in cancer. And we are linked together, now, by this adversity.
YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT!
Hope is what I send you today.
Hold on as tightly as you need…
I am a star wisher.
Look what nature created
in my cereal bowl today
I wished on all five…then ate them up!
A good day!
Heather and I participated in a short video about her cancer experience, and I thought it would make a great follow up to the article of mine that you posted a while back. We’re hoping to use this video to continue to spread hope and awareness to those who need it. If you wouldn’t mind sharing it with your readers, Heather and I would be so grateful. Here is the link to the video:www.mesothelioma.com/heather
Thanks again for your help! I hope all is well.
I shake my head–
my stomach keeps churning and churning!
The News noise rehashes over and over and over and over and over…
I feel violated…again!
I feel that word I hate…
This blog’s name is “Cancer TOGETHER” and shares light-hearted living
for people and their families who are facing or have faced a dark adversity.
We understand what it feels like to live in fear and darkness and dread.
But we understand the power of not dwelling there!
There is power in holding to GOOD!
To hold to my God,
to those I love,
to the Positive,
to the Light,
to the Power in each of Us,
to this Nation of Freedom,
to my Values,
and to my Neighbors
which stretch from coast to coast.
An elderly Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life…He said to them,
“A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.
One wolf is evil—he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret greed, arrogance, self pity, guilt, jealousy, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.
This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”
They thought about if for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied,
“The one you feed.”
We have today!
We understand to hug our loved ones a little tighter.
We understand the importance of forgetting passed grudges
and to say you are sorry.
We understand to put our pride aside.
We understand what it means to be grateful for our blessings and we thank God.
We know that the most joy comes from time spent with our families.
We try to continue to Love and Live, most of the time with a smile on our face!
We have today!
Fear is not who I chose to feed!
What about you?