that crazy cancer girl

My journey through cervical cancer

CHOOSE JOY!!

on November 16, 2013

choose-joy-button-1

Her name was Sara and she was amazingly beautiful both on the inside and the out. She suffered from a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. The basic explanation is that it is an autoimmune disease that usually starts in your early twenties and begins by attacking your joints. It is progressive and systemic, but the progression and systems it can affect are as different as your genetic make up. For Sara, it began in her sacrum (low back) and her spine. The “goal” of the disease is to attack the joint and build scar tissue around it, causing pain and stiffness. Then the scar tissue eventually (for many) turns into bone and fuses your joints together. Until recently, most doctors believed that AS was a man’s
disease and was rarely seen in women. It is now known that it is prevalent in women as well, and they are learning the progression, symptoms and x-ray findings can be
significantly different in women than men, which will hopefully be helpful in future diagnosis.

This awful disease put Sara in bed for the last few years of her life until God decided to call her home 2 years ago. I never met Sara, but her online friendship meant the world to me. I don’t think she realized the impact she had on so many people. Her goal in life was to choose joy. Although sick and in bed dying from this disease. She was never married or had kids. As some would look at her and think that poor woman being all alone. Sara was never alone. Her little apartment screamed inspiration. On every wall and every workspace were words of inspiration and the ones that stood out most were the words, Choose Joy. She always choose joy and even in her journey she would find comforting words to try and help someone else because she would always say, “it’s not about her, but about Him”.

I believe God places these people in my life for a purpose. I didn’t know that years later I would have cancer. I could look at this and be angry and complain and focus on the chaos. However by knowing people like Sara, I look at my journey as a way to help others. I can’t tell you the countless people that I have been able to witness to through this. Doctors and nurses, people in stores and anyone that will listen, I have shared God with them. Because it isn’t about me, it’s about God! He is using this for a reason and I need to look at it as an opportunity to choose joy.

Other then feeling so very tired all the time and feeling puky here and there I can’t complain how I feel. I ask D the other night “when do you think the bottom will fall out? When do you think I will really start to feel bad?” Regardless of whether that happens or not, I believe God is helping me through this and I am choosing joy! I have taken Sara’s theme years ago and made it into my theme. I can’t think of a better one. Life can be so tough and when it is it’s so easy to turn your back on God and blame Him for life gone wrong. Or you can thank Him for the blessings you still have and ask Him to help you through whatever you are facing. Remember that there is always someone else worse off then you. As tough as it is right now, I thank God for what I am going through because it is opening so many doors to introduce others to Him! Remember the key word is not joy, it’s CHOOSE!!!

James1:2-3, Jesus says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever
you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith
produces perseverance.”

 

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