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A Hand-In-Hand Journey

It doesn’t seem like it there is a place where cancer and stress do not go along hand-in-hand.

The odds of getting cancer can be very high for some and almost zero for others. However, when it comes to stress that is something that everyone is going to experience.

We don’t go looking for stress, just like no one in their right mind would go looking to find cancer. It comes out of nowhere, like when I was hit with the diagnosis of my bone and breast cancer. It was my Christmas present two years ago when an emergency room doctor informs me in the middle of the night. “You’ve got bone cancer.” What?! Where did that come from?

After taking a month off of work to get all my tests done and the treatment started I came back to find a co-worker whose husband was diagnosed with a tumor in his ear the same time I was. Every day at work when we saw each other my co-worker and I would hug and take a moment or two to cry and lean on one another for a boost of needed strength.

She too wanted to crawl into a dark corner somewhere and hide. The strength and encouragement we gave one another helped both of us immensely. As with cancer or anything else, stress needs to be properly handled. We need to do everything we can to “shrink it down” and eliminate it’s effect as much as possible. Just like we have a choice of letting health issues, money problems and relationship difficulties get the best of us we can allow stress to get the best of us too.

If my friend and I would have spent our time getting mad at what was going on in our lives and dwelling on all the horrible things involved there would have been no “propping up” or rest. We would have defeated our purpose of trying to help each other through such a terrible time. Furthermore we would have drained ourselves of whatever strength may have still been there.

Leaning on others for support when we feel like we are about to collapse under the strain helps. I leaned on the Lord heavily for five years fighting my stress seizures. Whenever I had a seizure I would read my Bible, pray, and analyze what it was that may have triggered the stress seizure. I kept what I called “catchy sayings” around to read that encouraged me to continue on. Also having people around me to lean upon when the weight was getting too heavy to bear kept me propped up and moving in the right direction.

Taking the time to lean on God and/or others gives us the rest we need to remain propped up and heading in the right direction. It’s not a place to stop and dwell upon on wounds or the things that are causing us the most stress. It’s a place where we get a chance to stop and breathe a little before going on.

It’s important to find a solid foundation such as Christ to lean upon, something that won’t move. I tried leaning on food for my strength and comfort only to find out it wasn’t my true friend. Others try drugs, alcohol, and sex, spending money, getting overly engulfed in their work or hobbies as places to lean upon only to find they aren’t their true friend either.

All it takes is a hug, an encouraging word, a listening ear to go along hand-in-hand with our journey of fighting stress to give us, as well as those around us, the rest needed and strength to go on. Such as a parent with a child, a caregiver with those in need, our hand in theirs till journeys ends.

Read more posts by Karen Gillett, JenningsWire blogger.