• How does your faith play a role in Living With Cancer?

    Asked by steve70x7 on Sunday, April 22, 2012

    How does your faith play a role in Living With Cancer?

    I am a Christian, but I understand that not everyone is of my faith. To me, faith equates with hope and without it I would not be able to cope with my cancer.

    I have noticed a lack of comments on this site about God, faith, prayer and their role. Is it just being PC or what?

    40 Answers from the Community

    40 answers
    • Cindy's Avatar

      I did not worry about dying when I was diagnosed with cancer and did not cry. I knew that if I died I would be going to a better place. I was only concerned about the pain I would have to endure. I had people who prayed for me from my church and from churches around the world. Whenever the pain was too much for me I prayed and it was relieved. My cancer was removed via a successful surgery and chemotherapy to get anything to small to be seen. So far no evidence of cancer since my surgery about a year and a half ago. I had my surgery in city about 4 hours drive away from our house. I had a doctor's appointment the Friday prior to the surgery and stayed over the weekend until my surgery on that Monday. We went to church in that city on Sunday and the elders there who we did not know prayed for us. The day of the surgery, my husband was alone while I was in surgery. He prayed because of my surgery and feeling alone in a city where we knew no one. After he was done praying, one of the elders from the church where we went was there unexpectedly. The elder was a dentist and said that God had told him to cancel all his appointments and come to sit with my husband during my surgery. My husband's faith has grown since then and will be going on a short term missionary trip this summer. I have posted some things about God, faith and prayer but not every time I post something. I've noticed that if you write J - E - S - U - S it puts x's in place of JESUS.

      over 9 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      It's what keeps me strong. My faith in God is what makes any of this bearable. Even when things don't look the brightest, with God in my heart, I'm still able to see all the blessings I've been given. :) God is by my side on this journey...every second of it.

      over 9 years ago
    • Indyeastside's Avatar

      Can't imagine going through this trip without God. My mantra-is "by his stripes we are healed". Faith has allowed me to be positive, to look for the good out of getting cancer and standing strong.

      Our faith tends to be personal in nature-but I do share this message with others I see going through this journey.

      over 9 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      I asked God to heal me & he did. He not only held me close throughout the therapy, but He showed my mom that yes, I would be healed. So we never worried about it.

      over 9 years ago
    • WizardOfWesley's Avatar

      I turn to G-d ..everyday ... For it is his strength that carries me through this journey .... Blessed is the Lord G-d ...B"H

      over 9 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      I'm a Christian, too, and can't imagine having gone through cancer without being able to cast my cares on Him. I never was afraid, per se--how I described it was I felt the weight of my situation, and that did result in tears from time to time, but knowing God is in control was so empowering and gave me such peace. I, too, had soooo many people praying for me, many of whom I didn't know, and I somehow felt the effects of those prayers. The only struggle I had, and continue to have, is that while I completely believe that God healed me (whether through medical or miraculous means), I know so many others who trust themselves completely to the Lord, who have thousands of people praying for them, etc., who aren't healed. How do I explain that God is good, loving, trustworthy, all-powerful, etc., to someone who's fighting a losing battle with cancer, or to a grieving family? I know God is beyond my comprehension and doesn't owe me any explanations, and I'm completely humbled that he chose to allow me to be healed. If ever I'm reluctant to talk about my faith and how it relates to my cancer journey, it's because I don't want to misrepresent God, not so much because of worrying about being PC, if that makes sense.

      over 9 years ago
    • cavalierlover's Avatar

      Without God I could not make it thru this. I pray everyday for my faith to stay strong. God is my rock. I love him so much. I feel him beside me everyday. I pray that others feel the same way. I have had other hard times in my life which I never questioned. I know there is a reason for everything and God is right there with me walking and holding my hand. I pray for anyone that is reading this. God is there for all of us. All we have to do is BELIEVE !!!!

      God Bless You!

      over 9 years ago
    • Ken52's Avatar

      God is the answer. He has made many promises. I ask him to fulfill these promises. My faith in God has been my foundation getting through this journey.

      over 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      For me, faith has nothing to do with religion. Religions are political organizations with lot of rules and judgments that I do not need to have faith and hope.

      over 9 years ago
    • steve70x7's Avatar

      Great comments by all!

      We all have faith in someone or something.

      When you look at a painting you know there was a painter that created it. You don't know the painter, but you believe that the painting didn't just decide to create itself.
      How much deeper the experience when you come to know the painter and learn why he created the painting, what he was thinking and what was his purpose! What a blessing it is to find out he created the painting with you in mind!

      Weather your faith is in God, people, medical science or yourself, it is important that you consider how firm your foundation is. If what you have placed your faith in is weak and giving way under the burden of your illness, seek a stronger foundation.

      I pray that as you seek, you will find.

      If anyone would like to explore this topic of faith further just message me. I'd love to share with you.


      over 9 years ago
    • Kenster's Avatar

      I have an advanced aggressive cancer and I am scared, but I do prayed to God everyday. I don't know what God has in store for me, but I pray that he will be with me every step of the way and keep me strong. There are times when I can actually feel his presence and that really does help me.

      over 9 years ago
    • cute48girl's Avatar

      I am a christian and if it wasn't for my fiath in God I would not been able to held the fact that I have cancer. I know that pray can be answered.

      over 9 years ago
    • Molly72's Avatar

      My beliefs are not christian, and I am in the minority in this country. I get a bit upset with all the presumptuous "I will pray for you" that I get from some supposed "Christians". (There are some true Christians out there, & I do not mean them)
      If they REALLY want to help, I would love a ride somewhere, an offer to help around the house or a nice cake! But please, enough with all the fakery. It is so transparent.
      I think we come into this life with lessons to learn, and dealing with Cancer & its effects happens to be my lesson. I am trying to deal with it with grace & courage, but as you all know, sometimes that is very difficult.
      I learn a little bit every day, and have a wonderful partner to lean on, and what the end result of my illness happens to be, it will be. But it is not the will of any one or thing but me.

      over 9 years ago
    • akristine's Avatar

      I am not a Christian but I understand the G-d who allowed me to have cancer is the same G-d who will allow me to endure it. People of all faiths and beliefs have prayed for me as I pray for them. I was a little annoyed with G-d for giving me cancer while I was trying to be a caregiver for a dear friend who was enduring chemo and radiation for her non-Hodgkins B lymphoma. I also understand that "G-d's will" works both ways: positively and negatively. The G-d who gives is also the G-d who takes away. My grandfather once said, "It's good to get down on your knees and pray for G-d's help. But when you get off your knees, do something. G-d will be there for you." He was right.

      over 9 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      A great read for anyone of any faith is Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. It really helped me a lot during my journey.

      over 9 years ago
    • steve70x7's Avatar

      Carol, is that the one by Harold S. Kushner?

      over 9 years ago
    • Fusionera's Avatar

      I am Christian and I could not get through this insane 17-year cancer journey without faith and the faith of those around me. My church family has been absolutely amazing.

      I read "Why?: Making Sense of God's Will" by Adam Hamilton as part of a book study at my church. It addresses those very questions around suffering and bad things happening to good people. God doesn't promise us an easy life but He does promise to be there with us through our trials. I know He has been there through each and every setback AND victory I've experienced. I am incredibly grateful for my faith and for those who share theirs with me by simply being a part of my life.

      over 9 years ago
    • NeverGiveUp's Avatar

      Hi Steve ... what a great question and thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts about it here!

      For myself, there were four entities that were key in my cancer recovery. They were: Excellent medical care, loving support from family and friends, my strong will ... and my faith. Not necessarily in that order. Without even just one of those pillars, I sincerely don't believe I would be enjoying remission right now.

      Directly answering your question: Believing in a Higher Power enabled me firstly; 'ACCEPTANCE and INNER PEACE' ... that I was right where I was suppose to be (for whatever reason), secondly; 'COURAGE and STRENGTH' ... which is where my 'Never Give Up' attitude comes from, and lastly; HOPE. Battling cancer without HOPE is like trying to fill a bath-tub without a stopper ...

      I hope you are doing well and I will pray for you.

      over 9 years ago
    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      This is a great question. I think for many people, talking about faith, belief, or non-belief is still rather personal which may be why it doesn't appear on the boards so much.

      I was a cautious agnostic before my diagnosis and well into my treatment. I started reading autobiographies of people who had cancer & had died from it. Across the board, during their illness they ALL examined or re-examined various types of faith or life-ethics. In one book, a man dying of stomach cancer said that he started reading about religion and philosophies so that he could "feel less bad" about having cancer. I thought that this made a lot of sense. Whether any of it is true or not, if it helps you cope, why not add it to your treatment? A little balm for the psychie and spirit. If you end up with real belief, more's the better.

      over 9 years ago
    • oceanblue24's Avatar

      Great question Steve! I'm a Christian but believe you don't have to be to recieve God's healing & love. From the first I kept hearing "Be still & know that I am God" & I've clung to that as I go through my treatments. Don't get me wrong I still get scared & doubtful but it is great to know He is there & will get me positive again & again.
      I respect everyone beliefs or non beliefs but for me I believe & rely on that belief for peace of mind. It helps to have others that believe too especially my husband who has been with me as "we" go through this!

      over 9 years ago
    • sbeck08's Avatar

      I am a Christian as well and I don't know what I would without the love, the support and the prayers from my church family.

      over 9 years ago
    • jalaa8's Avatar


      This link has helped me more than I can say. Easy reading with an insight to those of us who may question "Am I praying the right way?" "Why would G-d answer or not answer my prayers?"

      With cancer, you hear so few positives. The possibility of having anything to hope for or look forward to could only be a good thing.

      I say keep praying, let others pray for you, be hopeful and positive, be thankful to G-d for everything good you have. Thank Him daily for the healing you're receiving.

      Whatever the outcome of my journey, I trust that what happens is what is supposed to happen in G-d's eyes.

      Keep positive and believe!

      over 9 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      I believe that life is a mystery and that whatever I can do to unify myself with others on this amazing mysterious journey, regardless of religion or non-religion, is a gift and a blessing. Life is fleeting and perhaps we witness in dying and death, the sublime.

      over 9 years ago
    • collinsb01's Avatar

      Great question! I love the L-o-r-d. He has been with me throughout this journey. He informed me that I had lung cancer before the doctors did. I know that He has been with me and will not leave me. Whether I am healed on earth or by death, I will be ok. I know that this whole experience of life is just a journey to the final destination. Having this disease has given me an opportunity to focus more on the things of God. I feel more secure in my faith. I also realize that people who do not believe in God or J*e*s*u*s, are healed. God does not punish us with debilitating diseases or sudden death for not believing in Him. While our lives are orchestrated by God, he does not push buttons or dip and pull marionette strings to make us act a certain way. Our faith determines how we will live our eternal lives-after this worldly life is over. Many people choose to ignore the fact that we are eternal beings and that there is something after this earthly life. I don't. I choose J*E*S*U*S and everything that comes along with him.

      over 9 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Faith has made all the difference. About 2003, I was called to a deeper, more charismatic faith. Due to a prevalence of cancer on my dad's side, I was expecting to hear the diagnosis at some point. Thus, when it arrived in 2008, it was not traumatic, but rather challenging. I was misdiagnosed by my new primary physician, who gave me anti-anxiety medication. My wife searched out and located an independent surgeon to biopsy one of the prominent lymph nodes in my neck. That surgeon "happened" to have experience with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and told me "If you ever hear the word 'wait' from a doctor, run for your life" That was the advice that saved my life. The first oncologist also mis-diagnosed me, thinking that I had a virus. He wanted to "wait." My wife had already made an appointment at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (Fred Hutchinson), where I was properly diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma - Not Otherwise Specified (an unknown sub-type). I had "B" symptoms. My prognosis was poor. It is aggressive, inoperable, non-irradiable and, if that isn't enough, is highly resistant to chemotherapy, and is expected to relapse even if it can be controlled. I had "B" symptoms, and was at stage 4, with widespread disease (54 lymph node tumors) and cancer in my bone marrow. There is no standard of care for this rare lymphoma. Doctor must essentially guess at treatment, and there are about two chances to defeat it before time simply runs out. I began to prepare for death. I received a dual regimen of eight different drugs with about a 30% chance that the cancer would respond at all. Against all odds, it not only responded, but went into remission. Sadly, it relapsed immediately, dropping my prognosis to very poor - when I was not healthy enough to receive more chemo. I have no donor for a stem cell transplant, so that option was out. I was scheduled for one final infusion of "ICE" and palliative care. I began to prepare for death again. In prayer, I abandoned all claim to my life and offered it back to God, from Whom it had come. And, when I acknowledged my weakness and placed my trust in Him, He mercifully gave my life back to me. At that precise moment, a clinical trial of an experimental drug aimed at my rare lymphoma opened up. There was a 29-34% chance that the cancer would respond to any degree. I enrolled in the trial and, amazingly, again went into remission. The median time of cancer's response to the drug is 14 months. At this point, I am in my 41st month of complete remission, and remain in the long-term study of the drug, which is now approved. I am scanned regularly and after the initial response, all scans, including last week's, have come back as no evidence of disease. There is much more to this journey, but the hand of God was clearly seen and felt. I am so grateful for each day of life that it has become a blessing to have been afflicted with cancer. My marriage is stronger than ever. I spend much more time in prayer each day, as I have been given much. All through this, I received the prayers of many fellow parishioners, friends, and an on-line community. I praise and thank the Lord God of Israel for His mercy and blessings. Amen.

      about 9 years ago
    • geema1952's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in November of 2008. If it had not been for my faith in God, prayers from all over the United States and a church family and my family to support me I would not be here today. I am in remission and have been since March 2009 when I had the middle lobe of the right side of my lung removed. There were no live cancer cells when they did the biopsy on what they had taken out. I had had 4 chemo treatments before my surgery. The surgeon could not understand there be no live cancer cells but I had no doubt at who had done that work. My dad is 88 years old and he was with me and my husband the morning I went into surgery. He would not let them take me to the operating room until he had had prayer over me. I had to be taken back into surgery that night and when i woke up from the surgery he was standing at the foot of my bed. He had gotten somebody to bring him to the hospital that night. I do believe that he is the reason I have such a strong faith. He will tell us now when he gets sick that he's a winner either way. If he is healed he will have a healing here below and if he dies he will have life forever if he goes.

      about 9 years ago
    • geema1952's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in November 2008. I cannot imagine me going through the diagnosis, treatments and surgery without my faith in God. I was prayed for by people all over the United States, some i didn't even know that family and friends knew and had my name put on their prayer list. I have a wonderful church family that supported me and a husband, three sons, and my dad that was with me every step of the way. i am in remission and have been since March 2009 when I had my surgery. There were no live cancer cells found in the tissue that was taken out during surgery and the surgeon was surprised. Told him I wasn't .

      about 9 years ago
    • mgm48's Avatar

      Without getting into my religious thoughts, I have the ultimate faith in the silver lining. I'm absolutely convinced that there is one in every black cloud. I can't say it's always easy to find it but I KNOW it's there. That faith, if you will, has made my living with cancer better. It has improved my quality of life and I'm convinced that the mind over matter of my faith is at least partly responsible for my limited side effects with chemo. I express my faith with my sign off "tag line"

      Keep it positive and smile:)

      about 9 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I'm an Atheist who finds strength in my friends and family. I also am facing this second bout of cancer right between the eyes...I refuse to fall to it and let it ruin or even take my life. To that end, I make a big effort to be positive, to look to a brighter future and to remember that other things are happening to people and the community; it isn't just all about my cancer 24/7! Also--exploiting my sense of humor and having pink hair as long as I can help keep me going. I plan to shave the sides of my head and wear a pink Mohawk before my hair all falls out--and I'm grandma-aged! Take THAT, cancer!

      about 9 years ago
    • CatGW's Avatar

      Surving my cancer diagnosis has only reaffirmed MY faith in MY own mind's ability to use REASON rather than faith or the authority of a supernatural being to make the difficult decisions I was faced with throughout my diagnosis and treatment.

      By using reason, I was forced ( I say forced here, because it was scary to Unexpectantly have to make these types of decisions) to take responsiblity for my treatment plaln by becoming informed and involved in the decision making process. (I did not always go with what the doctors were recommending.)

      To question the information provided to me until I understood the possible outcomes of my decisions. And then use logic, by asking myself, " Does this make sense?"

      As far as what will happen to me when I die? I don't worry about that... Worrying about that won't stop my death. What I think about is, what can I do to make the world a better place while I am alive?

      The Bible and God have had 2000+ years to elimanate human suffering. That's plenty of time to ask yourself, " Is faith in the supernatural really helping humanity?

      about 9 years ago
    • HeidiJo's Avatar

      I am proud to say that i never once said "why me?" Although I can completely understand why someone would. God was with me every step of the way, and in many ways made the process easier.

      about 9 years ago
    • ShellyL's Avatar

      My faith in GOD was paramount in my journey, and my ability to cope with my diagnosis. There's no way I could've made it through without it. There were two specific songs that I would listen to when I got a little stressed, or needed reassurance that GOD was in control... One was "Jesus Bring The Rain" by MercyMe, and the other was "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns. If I felt overwhelmed, these songs would help remind me that Jesus was in charge, and that he would take care of me, no matter what happened. It was my faith that kept me from saying "why not me?" instead of "why me?"

      about 9 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I may ruffle a lot of feathers here, but as an Atheist, there is something being discussed here that I simply cannot understand. And I am asking this respectfully, not in any other way: When people say that "God healed me" it makes me wonder--isn't that the same God who gave you cancer in the first place? I just don't get this. Again, I really do respect your views, I just truthfully don't see the logic of this. Please explain it to me. Thanks.

      about 9 years ago
    • Kelli's Avatar

      I too am a Christian. I hear God speak to me telling me that while I was waiting for biopsies to come back -He told me, Kelli you have cancer and you will be ok. The bible says that He holds belivers in the palm of his hand and will not let him go. I had such a peace about my cancer that came from God alone. I know that He is with me at all times, many times carrying me. Keep saying to yourself "Jesus I trust You". It made things go alot better. God blass you on your journey.

      about 9 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      Ydnar2xer, if you're brave enough to ask this question, I should be brave enough to answer it! I'm afraid this will seem naive or something and I'll get slammed, but I don't feel that God gave me cancer. I'm no theologian, but here's how I see it: he allowed me to have it. By that I mean he didn't keep me from getting it. He could have--he didn't. In the same way he allowed me to be healed--he allowed me to be guided to incredibly smart doctors, who I believe were given their wisdom by God, and allowed the treatment they prescribed to be effective. Do I understand why he allowed any of this in my life? NO!! And that's what makes him God! He is beyond understanding. If I could understand him, he would be just like any other human and I could potentially see myself as his equal. I want to trust my life to someone bigger, more powerful, more intelligent, more loving, more EVERYTHING (everything good, anyway) than myself or any other human.

      about 9 years ago
    • Jess' Avatar

      I am a Christian, my faith has brought me thru to my present condition. I do not fear the monster cancer, for I know that my healing is from within, regardless of the final outcome, I am healed. I believe that each one of us has to address our own condition the best way we can. Mine is thru my strong belief and trust that I am healed by G_D almighty himself. He gave me the finest doctors and care staff to defeat the monster. A strong support group and family that cares helps you thru the after care. I choose to hold strong to my faith in G_D and my prayers keep me strong enough to fight the battle, and to win.

      about 9 years ago
    • Bellamore's Avatar

      My faith allows me to believe that God's plan for my life includes cancer. Knowing that I am exactly where God would have me be let's me accept my cancer with serenity. Not to say I don't have moments of anxiety, but I know which direction to turn. I have His blessed assurance of where I am spending eternity, so I have no fear of death. And I have learned to be so much more thankful for each day and every person in my life.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Harper's Avatar

      Faith is what keep me and my family going. Without it I do not know if I could endure this road. Its what keeps me strong even at the worst moments.

      about 8 years ago
    • xbronx's Avatar

      Without my God of miracles, I would have been a dead man a long time ago! Got on my knees drunk and asked for death. I was in tears! Ever since then, MY GOD and me converse when I wake up and thank him for another day!

      over 6 years ago
    • DJEdwardPusiaCR's Avatar

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