For my friends with cancer, I love you all.

Alice and Arnie O'Hara at their 50th Wedding Anniversary

“Finding out you have cancer is like going to sleep in your own bed and waking up in a boxing ring. You’re standing toe to toe with the heavyweight champion of the world. The crowd is looking on, you’re in your pajamas and you don’t even know how to throw a punch.” – Nicole Johnson Fresh Brewed Faith.

I left church in the middle of Easter Services in 2010 and went straight to the hospital. I was in so much pain that I could barely breathe. An ultra sound revealed a mass in my stomach and I was referred to a surgeon. It wasn’t until three months later that we were able to ascertain without a shadow of a doubt that this mass was benign (not cancer).  In the gap between finding the mass and the surgery and test results I felt like I had to be strong for my kids, so for them I’d make promises I wasn’t sure I could keep. Telling them I would be fine and that everything will be okay seemed the faithful mother thing to do.

Secretly, for 90 days, I prayed, cried, pleaded and bargained with God. Sometimes, not knowing can be just as scary as knowing.

I have several friends walking through that right now, and all are in my prayers.

I walk these steps with more men and women than I can count.  My mother in law was a 45 year breast cancer survivor before she went home to be with the Lord at 86. We have many other friends and relatives who are now celebrating years of remission.

We have also lost my beloved father in law (Dad) to cancer in 2008, our aunt to leukemia in 2007, another aunt to breast cancer in 1994. My best friend from college Amy Jo died from cancer in 2010, she was 44, leaving behind a mother, a brother, and a teenage daughter. She is missed.  I do not know why some people recover and other do not. All I know is that, the only absolute found with cancer, is the absolute faithfulness of Christ. It is his faithfulness that get’s all of through one day at a time.

I walk with and support friends who have cancer or their children have cancer or a spouse or whomever as a prayer partner and friend. That is a gift and a privilege I pray I never take lightly.

For every one of my friends who walk this path, my heart hurts. However the test results come back or how high or low the numbers during treatment, know that God is faithful and promises to be with us each step of the way. In each case, we are reminded to look not to the left or to the right, but to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. 

This video is the edited for You Tube version of Nicole’s Video Sketch on Stepping into the Ring. It is a hopeful, honest, and inspiring piece. I know many women who gain inspiration from it and so I’m offering it here.

Please note that this is edited and the full version can be seen on her DVD. For anyone of you locally who would like to borrow this DVD to see the full sketch, please let me know. Or if you’d like to purchase more of her heart-felt and inspirational messages, please see her web page.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to a friend of mine named Barb Boswell. Barb is a breast cancer survivor who has written two books and who travels and speaks at women’s groups across America sharing her experience, strength and hope in Jesus Christ.

If you are a cancer survivor, would you please let a word of encouragement in the comments below? Thank you.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. No goods or services were received in exchange for this endorsement. I only share resources that I myself find helpful and inspiring.

2 thoughts on “For my friends with cancer, I love you all.

  1. As most of your know, I work in the medical field as a “coder”.. (I attach an alpha/numeric set of specific digits that will describe what a physician has done during an encounter). The word “cancer” seems to bring on a plethera of emotions, most of them frightening. Imagine, if you will, that the “C” word is attached to your child. .I belong to an international group of coders called AAPC (American Academy of Professional Coders). Our local chapter, which is one of the busiest in the organization, does an anual spotlight fundraiser for a particular organization. last year, we chose the Bone Marrow Register. this year, we are focusing on children.,Camp Hope. This is a summer camp where children with cancer can enjoy camp life and still receive needed medical treatments. If anyone would like to know more about this camp or if you would like to make a donation to this worthy cause, you can contact me at . I will forward the information to you.


  2. I am a nine year survivor of breast cancer. Cancer is a big word when your name is attached. I was going through my radiation when Nicole Johnson did this skit here in MPLS at Women of Faith. I didn’t see it until someone got the video for me to watch. It is great, because it shows how you feel. Going through this was necessary for me, I needed to surrender all to my God. I hadn’t done that yet. My encouragement through all of this came from knowing my God was in control. Ladies, if you are going through cancer treatments or other medical issues. Know that God is the great physician. He knows what you need, and HE is there for us. Let others help and be the hands and feet of God. Remember, Our God is an awesome God, and can do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. While going thorugh your treatments, get rest, eat well, and communicate. Cancer has no control over us, God does………..don’t let it defeat your spirit, or rob you of your joy. I am praying for all who read this that are going through treatments and or have gone through treatments. May we work together in prayer to lift up and encourage others dealing with this.


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