I can’t believe I have cancer!

I can’t believe I have cancer!

// February 12, 2022 //

Almost every day in our conversations, Kristi will look at me or the kids and say, “I can’t believe I have cancer!” It is surreal. It is shocking.

The “C” word or Cancer has brought fear to humanity for centuries. Cancer has affected humans as far back as the Ancient Egyptians who documented cases of hard tissue growing in certain organs. They had no treatment plan and their patients would all die from the growth of the tissue. For centuries, physicians have been learning and discovering more and more what makes cancer so deadly.

The most common definition of cancer is:

A disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue.

It was first thought that cancer was localized in a specific area of the body and it could be cut out surgically. Sometimes this would be successful but mostly the cancer would pop up somewhere else in the body.

Fear has always surrounded the word. Death has always been the destination and direction of the cancer. It is hard to find anyone in the world that hasn’t been directly affected by the consequences of cancer. It has claimed the lives of loved ones, partners, children, parents, aunts, uncles, dear friends, and coworkers.

I think the reason that the word cancer awakens fear is that it stirs that old enemy, death. Death has been the constant companion of humanity since the beginning of time. No matter the life well lived or poorly lived, death comes to us all. Every living creature will experience death. It is the one promise we all can count on.

We don’t have to dig into Scripture to be convinced that death is an enemy. We don’t have to live very long until death rears it’s ugly head. We don’t need to be convinced that death is in our future. Most of us ignore it, don’t want to talk about it, or act like it will never happen to us. Some of us live dangerously, knowing that life is short and we want to take advantage of every moment. I still believe though that most of us are never prepared for death. We know it’s there, in the back of our minds, and yet, we live as though we have an unlimited supply of days.

Not to be doom and gloom, but death is in our sights. On January 4, 2022, the Emergency Room attending physician, broke the news to us that Kristi’s abdomen was full of cancer. There hasn’t been a day go by that we haven’t thought, planned for, or discussed death. Not in a negative way, but in a “ok, what are you wishes” and “what do we want our kids to know” kind of way. We haven’t avoided the topic. We haven’t ignored the inevitable of life. It has been right in our sights.

This has been liberating in so many ways. Instead of dancing around mortality, we have embraced it. We know this life is not all there is. We know that we will live eternally and this life prepares us for the next. This season has been a gift.

From the moment Jesus rose from the grave, His followers have hope and anticipated a bodily resurrection. They have trusted in His promises to come again and raise loved ones, friends, family, and even us, from the dead to spend an eternity with Him. This is the promise that we hold on to. This is our hope for the future.

I don’t think anyone says it as well as Paul. He knew that life was short. He knew that His days were numbered. He understood his mortality. He also understood that his life would never be taken away without God’s permission. We trust and believe the same.

He comforts believers with these powerful words:

“It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:52-57

Cancer is an enemy. So are car accidents, heart attacks, strokes, aneurysms, depression, anxiety, stress, auto immune disorders, and the list goes on and on. Jesus doesn’t promise us freedom from being human, He actually promises His presence throughout the whole human experience – what could be better than that?

So yes, we can’t believe Kristi has cancer, but Jesus is here the whole time.

Ray Rhoton




2 thoughts on “I can’t believe I have cancer!

  1. Thanks for sharing these comments. This last year my daughter had breast which needed chemo and a double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery. God has lead us through these trouble waters and held our hands everyday. We all have a deeper trust and love for Jesus and continue to grow everyday.


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