A lily

I remember the first time I realized I am a cancer patient.  I was at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, and had to find my way to the Oncology Services.  As I walked underneath the sign pointing the way, it hit me – I was an oncology patient.  I didn’t really feel any different from the day before, and my looks had not altered.  Yet, tears flowed as I waked along the long corridors towards the treatment rooms for my appointment.  I had cancer.

What makes a cancer patient different from anyone else?  If you walked into any oncology waiting room in any hospital, you will see many and varied people.  Some will look sick and have various stages of hairloss.  Others will look fitter than most of the general population.  You can not tell by looking.

One thing most will have in common – they have faced the reality that none of us will live forever.  It is confronting to face a life limiting illness.  As much as modern science has made many breakthroughs in the area of treatment, it has not conquered cancer.  I know the cancer in my body is not curable.  I am grateful that it has been held back by chemotherapy, but am aware that this is limited.  It’s something I have come to terms with.

It is a comfort to know that, although my ragged old body has taken a beating by this disease, it cannot affect my Spirit.  Yes, there is more to life than just this outer shell.  The real me – my personality, my inner being, will live on.   And knowing this brings peace.

Meanwhile, as the body gets weaker and more tired, I can still have joy.  I can laugh at my grandbabies funny antics and enjoy time spent with my precious family and lovely friends.               I have much to be grateful for.

I can’t claim to be a lily, but I love the words of Ben Jonson, who lived in the 16th century:

It is not growing like a tree

In bulk doth make men better be,

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year

To fall at last, dry, bald and sere;

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May

Although it fall and die that night

It was the plant and flower of light.

In small proportion we just beauty see:

And in small measure, life may perfect be.


10 thoughts on “A lily

  1. Carol you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your journey with me, I feel so blessed xxxx

  2. .
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be Of course you are a Lilly!!
    For my unconquerable soul.

    William Ernest Henly.

  3. Teenagers think they’re invincible and I think adults live life hoping it never happens to us but never dwelling on it too much, we don’t want to think those thoughts! It’s live everyday and plan for tomorrow……I imagine the diagnosis of cancer to be very scary and sobering.

    We prepare our finances and make plans all important things to do….but have we spent time in our Father’s arms that’s the preparation we need for such times as this.

    I am so glad you rest in His love and peace Carol xoxoxoxox ps Lynne what a beautiful reply.

  4. As always beautful Carol. I identified so much with the tears flowing re being in oncology & realising ‘I have Cancer’… but the tears I have now, are for you, as I lift you daily to the One who loves you so much. God is using you to bless so many people & when we fail with human words, just know you are so
    appreciated & we care . Thankyou Cynthia

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