Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Miracles, Hope, Cure, Fight...And Butterflies

As I've written many times, I live with one foot in the church and one foot in the world of melanoma and often those two places cross paths. As well they should. A vast majority of the people I meet on my melanoma journey are people of faith; Christian and Jewish. Some have come to faith, or renewed their faith, because of  melanoma. As such, we have an unique word to speak into the fears, worries, pains, hurts, deaths, questions, and doubts of melanoma world. And to our hurting world at large.

Miracles are never far from our minds. Rich re-shared this Hotel Melanoma post today recounting his own. We see miracles all around us. We need these miracles. We need to share them and they take many forms. We pray for miracles of "healing" and we mean "cure" and sometimes we do get those precious miracles. We know a time of "no cancer." We live longer than medicine dared hold out hope for and we know good health. It may really be a time of unexpected remission and we'll take it. The fight is now in a time of respite and that is good. Our miracles may come in the form of making peace with God or people. They may take the form of coming to grips with our humanity and mortality. They may take the form of intense and grueling treatments kicking in at the last minute causing tumors to shrink and forbidding new growth. Our miracles may look like doing the impossible and facing the unbearable and finding that we can do that which we thought was un-doable. Our miracles may look like us "carrying on" though we don't know how we are.  Our miracles may look like people as needs are met and support is given and tears are shared and pain is held. Often God uses people to be the vehicles for His miracles. Sometimes in the sharing of our own miracles, we offer the miracle of

Hope. Hope is never far from our minds either. We need hope to stay in the fight. Is it worth it? Can I do it? Yes I can because you are. Can I see better days? Yes I can because you are seeing them. Can I run this race before me and pick myself up when I fall or when I get tired? Yes I can because that's exactly what I see you doing and you give me hope. Is God going to carry me through this and open the doors I need opened? Yes God is because I see God doing that for you and that gives me hope that He will do that for me as well. When we share our stories of what we're experiencing, living with, overcoming, beating back, enduring...we give hope. When those with stage 4 and battling active disease take the time to tell those of us who are not stage 4, "Look at me, see what the fight looks like and know that it's worth it. Life is a true gift and you better value that gift and each day because once a day is gone we don't get it back. The fight is long and hard but it's WORTH it! And God is faithful in the fight. Hang on to the hope He offers." When they tell us that and model the fight for us...they give the world the gift of hope. God offers us hope and often He offers it to us through people and in sharing our hope we hold out hope for an ultimate

Cure. That's what we're all hanging on and hoping for. We want that all-elusive cure to put a final end to this awful disease that puts an end to far too many and wants to put an end to us as well and to those who have yet to join our ranks. We pray for a cure, work for a cure, walk for a cure, advocate for a cure. We do everything we can think of to raise funds for melanoma research so there will be a cure one day. Right now there isn't a cure. There are more and better treatment options. But no cure. There's no one-size-fits-all option either. We humans, for all our "samenesses" have too many unique differences and can make a "cure" seem like a pipe-dream. But we dream anyway. We've seen miracles and we have hope so we know that a cure really isn't too far-fetched but until then we

Fight. Fight active disease and fight to stay NED. Fight to hang on. Fight death, fight for insurance coverage and for claims, fight for tougher tanning bed laws and fight against the idea that tan is healthy and beautiful. Fight against ignorance and fight for truth. Fight to get word out there that melanoma is deadly and not just skin cancer, it targets ANYBODY regardless of race, creed, sex, ethnicity, age, bank account, or tanning history be it in sun or bed. We fight so you don't have to and so future generations won't have to.

And there are butterflies that exist to give us hope in the fight, a glimpse of what a miracle looks like, and to let us know that transformation (cure) isn't a dream after all but a real possibility. The butterfly is a very real symbol of hope and possibility in the melanoma community. 

Go to either Google or Yahoo, choose "images" and then do a search for "melanoma butterfly." Be pleasantly surprised and smile. Martina McBride has a song She's A Butterfly. This particular video of that song features a young cancer patient. God bless the butterfly.

Be a butterfly. Speak of life, share the miracle that you are, offer hope, pray and work for a cure, fight the fight set before you and model that fight for others giving hope till there's a cure and we see your miracle and we remember that life is worth it.

Be a butterfly. Transform hopelessness into a flight of fancy and dreams worth dreaming, breaking free of melanoma's cocoon. Spread your beautiful wings and fly bringing smiles to faces and joy to hearts.

People of miracles

People of hope

People of God

People and Butterflies