In early 1995 Larry Burkett, founder and president of a nonprofit ministry — Christian Financial Concepts, was diagnosed with kidney cancer which had spread to his shoulder blade. Larry had surgery – his right kidney and left shoulder blade were removed. No radiation or chemo was indicated because these treatments would not be helpful for this type of cancer. Larry ventured into alternative therapies. He lived for 8 years. According to the facebook information, Larry died in mid-2003. In his book, Hope When It Hurts, Larry shared his cancer experiences and provided many helpful and insightful advices. I learned a lot from him! If you have a chance, take time to read this great book!
In Chapter 12, Time Out! Larry shared his wisdom, as follows:
When people find themselves in a medical crisis … the result is confusion or what I call “systems overload.” There are people to call, doctors to see, decisions to be made — usually under stress and in a short period of time. Add to that the clouds of emotion and shock. That’s how I felt, and I needed to take a time-out — just to get away by myself, in a attempt to regain my equilibrium and sort out the impact of what I was facing.
- Feeling overwhelmed: I felt overwhelmed – I had to make some major decision in a very short period of time, based on a limited amount of information. I knew very little about cancer. Yet, before me stood two highly trained doctors, suggesting that I have my kidney and shoulder blade removed.
- If I had to do it all over again, I think I would diffuse these feelings by allowing some time to pass before I made any major decisions. I would stand back and say, “Okay, I’ve had this cancer for a while … maybe up to three years or more. What difference would it make if I waited another month? Well, now I know it probably wouldn’t have made any difference.
- One of the best things any cancer patient could do is to take a time-out, get a medical reference book and read it. I encourage anyone to take the time to thoroughly analyse his or her situation.
- What, if any, alternative treatments were available for this? You wouldn’t buy an automobile the first time you saw it, so don’t buy an operation the first time you hear of it. Take time to pray about it.
- The news of a serious illness can throw people into a frantic pace to do things. Emotions become exaggerated. Everything becomes urgent and must be settled immediately — trigger a flurry of activities that tend to minimize, deny or fix the situation. Unfortunately, usually none of our solutions can remedy or change the truth of what we’re really facing.
- The rush of anxiety: I know people can’t be laughing all the time in the midst of critical health situations, but laughing every once in a while surely can lighten the load, keep things in perspective, and relieve built-up tension. So, I passed the time with one of my favourite activities: watching old movies … and laughed until my sides hurt! But I think laughing helps. We know that it releases endorphins in the body that actually help you to feel better.
- Rely on others: Many of the decisions I faced were beyond my ability to comprehend. Not only could I not comprehend all the medical data involved in making some decisions, I was not able to concentrate as I normally would. How was I supposed to make a major decision about metastatic kidney cancer when, in fact, I didn’t even know what it was a short time before?
- So I had to rely on other people. I began by calling friends in medicine and asking their advice …. seek out a second or even third opinion. At the very least buy a good guide to medical terminology.
- Relinquish matters beyond your control. Don’t worry about things that are beyond your control. Stop worrying about the things you can’t change and concentrate on getting well. I just had to tell myself that over and over again, “Don’t worry about it.” That’s a hard task for someone with my personality, but I had to keep a clear perspective of the things I could control and yield to God the things I couldn’t.
- Don’t worry about the future. You may be in a situation in which you have several small children and naturally one big concern will always be, How will my children make it without me? Of course that preoccupies your mind because you love them. But God’s not going to abandon them. Will your children face difficulties and sorrows in the time ahead? I’m sure they will. But isn’t that true of life anyway? You can’t spend your time worrying about it because, in the end, you can’t change it. If there is anything within your reasonable ability to do, then do it.
- Take time to back off. To accommodate the changes taking place with your health, you need to back off and change your priorities. Either you fight change and be miserable, or you can go with the flow an enjoy to the fullest each day God provides. You don’t have to control everything. Take time to face one’s own mortality can really bring the essential issues of life into focus … I resigned as God’s manager of the universe — a position to which I was never appointed anyway.
At CA Care we tell you not to panic after being told that you have cancer. http://www.cacare.com/
CANCER ! Don’t panic !
Haste is from the Devil ~ Arab saying.
Why do you visit this website? We believe you are seeking information to enable you or your loved ones to make certain decisions about his/her cancer. Our advice is: Read as much as possible. Gather information from different sources. Cast your net wider and read what others from different disciplines have to say about the same subject.
Get out of the box and view your problem in a different light. Often, in the face of fear, hopelessness and panic we forget to use our commonsense. Calm down. A decision made in haste or under pressure is never a good decision.
Remember, you don’t get cancer just only yesterday
When helping patients at CA Care, I sometime get a note requesting that I do not tell the patient that he/her has cancer. I am indeed saddened by such attitude but to respect the family’s privacy and wish, I refrained from telling patients the truth! In Chapter 3, Larry wrote about the need to Talk About It.
- It was not easy for me to tell my family and friends that I had cancer. The counsel I had from some friends was NOT to tell anybody about my health condition. If you have an initial resistance to talking about troubling medical news, you’re not alone. I know what that feels like. But let me encourage you that the healthiest thing to do is to talk out the situation you’re facing with those who are closest to you. There are a number of reasons why:
- Telling others about your predicament helps you peel back layers of denial. It’s easy to think there’s a mistake with the tests, that it’s all a bad dream, or to rationalize it all away. Talking about it … had a powerful, beneficial impact on me: It helped me to face reality. You can have a thousand different thoughts and intentions floating around in your head, but they never seem to become reality unless your vocalize the thoughts. Obviously you can overdo discussion, and some people dwell so much on their problems that’s all they ever want to talk about. I think it’s one thing to talk about your problems and to be honest with people, but it’s quite another thing to make that the centre of all your conversation for the rest of your life.
- Problems can multiply exponentially if we ignore reality. For instance, it’s not unusual for people to ignore symptoms of poor health — blood in urine, rectal bleeding, etc — hoping that the problems will go away. And rather than talk to their doctors or even their families about the symptoms, a mental wall of denial is constructed, leaving a smoldering fire to erupt into a huge, perhaps life-threatening inferno.
- If you talk about your health, your family and friends also will feel free to talk about it.. If you clam up, deny it, or act like nothing is wrong, it’s likely others will too.
- I think sometimes people hold back from talking about the prospect of dying, believing that if they talk about dying, it might make it happen; or if they don’t talk about it, that might prevent it from happening.
- Pretending that nothing is wrong will not make your circumstances change.
- I don’t what to talk about cancer. I don’t have cancer. I choose to deny it. I rather suspect that a great many people who have done that in the past have died of their illnesses when, in fact, God had a cure that would have worked for them.
- When you talk about your real needs, others may know how to help you. I’ve seen people sit around and sulk … because they have needs that are being overlooked. Even though they are desperately lonely or afraid, their pride confines them to silence, thus cutting off the very help they need. Often overtime they become bitter and resentful because their needs are not being met. It that sounds childish, it is. That’s just the way little children act.
- If you know what your needs are, then say so. Even if you don’t know what your needs are, voice the fact that you are hurting. That’s why God put other people in the world — to be able to help you when you aren’t functioning at 100 percent.
- Talking encourages honesty with yourself, with your family and with God. From that day forward, I have tried, to the best of my ability, to be totally honest with everybody …. My goal has been .. “What you see is what you get,” rather than “What you hear is different from who he is.” Talking with others about your situation breeds honesty and I would encourage you to be honest about your thoughts and feelings.
- One piece of advice I would give anyone: Open up, share with your family and let them help. Make them insiders to what is going on. Don’t make them outsiders. They’ll feel a lot more comfortable, they’ll understand better, and they’ll be there to help.
- We helped one another to be strong. When one of us got down, others could comfort, console, encourage and pray. The ability to talk openly was the key that allowed us to minister to one another.
Larry Burkett’s Cancer Experience: The Undemocratic and Monopolistic American Medical System for Cancer Treatment
Looking at Cancer From a Christian Perspective by Larry Burkett