Caring for people we love can be somewhat trying at times. Caring for victims of cancer can be gut wrenching and heartbreaking. Cancer is a word that brings up all sorts of feelings and emotions such as sadness, heartache and pain. Thoughts of deterioration and desperation come to mind. I ...Caring for people we love can be somewhat trying at times. Caring for victims of cancer can be gut wrenching and heartbreaking. Cancer is a word that brings up all sorts of feelings and emotions such as sadness, heartache and pain. Thoughts of deterioration and desperation come to mind. I don’t know one person that has not been affected by it whether you yourself are the victim or someone you know and love. One thing I know for sure, we all need to care about victims of cancer. Caring is one of the most beautiful gifts that God has ever given us. When I think of the word “caring” I feel love, security, friendship, kindness and concern.

My first heartache that cancer caused was losing my loving aunt. Aunt Wanda was an inspiration to everyone who came in contact with her. The loss was so severe. I was overwhelmed with grief. She had the gift of hospitality. She made all of the nieces and nephews feel as though they were the most special children in the world. Her own four children adored her. Her husband treated her like she was the queen of their castle. I had the hardest time understanding how this horrible disease could kill such a wonderful person. Aunt Wanda wasn’t a materialistic person in the least. She ran a lot of the women’s fellowships at church and fervently prayed for others.

That’s when I learned that cancer is no respecter of persons. I hate the very sound of the name. Shouldn’t it only attack evil people? If that were true most of us would be so much happier.

After losing Aunt Wanda my other Aunt Wanda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had to have a radical mastectomy. She is now a survivor. I remember her anger against the disease and how it affected her losing both her breasts. She felt that the disease had stolen part of her womanhood.

She also was so good with children and even had several foster children. Didn’t cancer know that she gave children homes when they didn’t have one? I cried many tears for her.

After that the disease struck my Aunt Inez. She had already lost 13 family members within two years. Again we ask why? Shouldn’t we who lost family members be exempt from this terrible disease? I’m glad to say that today Aunt Inez is also a survivor.

After I lost my sons Gabriel and Josiah I wanted to do more to help others. I’d taken in many kids through the years and volunteered for many a good cause, but I now wanted to use my pain to make a difference. I was seeing all this pain and suffering before my eyes. What would God have in store for me?

My friend Diana was struck with the disease before the boys died and she had to have a radical mastectomy. I watched how she grew closer to God and grew dependant on him. Then when I lost my sons she in turn was such a positive influence on me. Diana now is a survivor.

I know we all wonder why some survive and others don’t. I don’t have that answer. I lost two sons that were so loving and giving and would help anyone. Why? I don’t know. Some of us get to go early (darn it). We live in a world that is not eternal. It is full of sickness and disease. Car accidents and murders are on the news daily. There are also natural consequences in this life. If you run in front of a car, you’ll get ran over. I know I can’t be a hypocrite. I always taught my kids “Earth is our school and Heaven is our home. We’re only passing through”. It just hurts so bad to be left behind here without our loved ones.

My friend Patty was struck with cancer after I lost the boys. Josiah spent a lot of time at Patty’s house. All my kids are friends with all her kids and their cousins. Patty cried many tears for the boys and I knew her heart hurt for my broken heart. Her first diagnosis was with lung cancer. Then it went to her brain. They took the tumor out and it grew back within a month. She had to have another surgery. Then finally she was cancer free. I cried tears of joy. She was here to see her oldest daughter Sarah get married.

Now months later they found cancer in her kidney. She had to have her kidney removed. I hate it. I want to scream “cancer, leave my friend alone”. She has a really neat husband and five children. Patty told me one day that she felt so sorry for her kids. That’s a mother’s heart and a mother’s love.

My friend Colleen lost her mother to cancer. I’ve been with Colleen on holidays and could tell she was missing her mother. They were like best friends. Holidays are the hardest times when you’re missing a loved one. We want them right beside us. Colleen often decorates her mother’s grave for different holidays. Her mother is buried in the same cemetery as my boys and I’ve often been surprised by beautiful crosses and flowers on my boys graves from Colleen.

If cancer were a person I would call him Lucifer, Satan and Devil. I’d punch him in the face. All’s we know is its name and we need to fight back. Let’s kick cancer in the teeth.

Everyone has heard of “The American Cancer Society”. Every year in almost every city across America volunteers come together for a weekend and put on “Relay For Life”. It’s made up of teams that raise money for cancer research. After Patty was diagnosed I joined a team here in our little city, Lincoln, California. I joined my friend Diana’s team, “The Ya Ya’s”. I watched my friend suffer and I wanted to make a difference. I had lost two of my children and I wanted to use the pain I always feel and turn it into a positive and help others. Just like I did when I started this web site.

At our “Relay For Life” we set up our booths clear around our high school football field. We all decorate our spaces with a theme that our teams vote on. The community comes together to help. We have someone at all times walking the track for 24 hours. Each volunteer signs up to walk an hour or two. The first hour is the “Survivors” walk. Diana and Patty walk in this walk. It was only a week later that Patty had to have her kidney removed. I believe she’ll march on. We all collect pledges. Our little city raises over a hundred thousand dollars every year. If you want to make a difference in your city you can get all the information you need at www.relayforlife.org. Let’s not let the deaths caused by cancer be in vain. Let’s make a difference. Some of our friends and family we will have to say “until we meet again” and others will live on. But one thing is for sure; we will all end up together in the end. God has made it so. Just believe that Jesus died on the cross for you. Don’t let Jesus death be in vain.

One awesome way that we raised money at our “Relay For Life” is to sell luminary bags. They’re lunch bag size and you put sand in the bottom to hold a votive candle. The person who buys the bag can write anything they want to say about a loved one. There were several memorial bags and bags with encouraging messages for people still fighting the disease. I like to light one in memory of my sons because I know they would be so proud of me using my pain to help others. We sold enough to go around the whole football field and then to write the word “Remember” on the bleachers. When it’s dark all the candles are lit and it’s so amazing.

Remember when I said that cancer is no respecter of persons? You can surely see this when you see a child struggle with this disease. Our pastor’s young son has gone through a sickness that has torn at the heart of his parents. Pastor Nathan walked along side his son Isaiah has he walked in the “Survivors” walk. The pastor has a blog for his son and keeps friends, family and church members updated on his progress. I knew Pastor Nate could understand some of the severe grief I live with on a daily bases after seeing his own son near deaths door. Isaiah has curls all over his head like his daddy’s. When he lost all his curls due to cancer treatment, pastor Nate shaved his head so Isaiah could still look like daddy. A few men in the church also shaved their heads for Isaiah. How cool is that?

I use to say that when I got to Heaven I was going to ask God why did Gabriel and Josiah have to leave me. Now I say that I’ll be so happy to see them and all the loved ones that have gone on before that I’ll forget the whys. Remember to “Let Go And Let God".

Author's Bio: 

Kim Burns lives in Northern California. Kim lost her sons Gabriel and Josiah through a horrible tragedy. She writes to encourage others that have gone through a tragedy.