Many of you know that my little sister was diagnosed with Cancer when she was 18. I’ve written a little bit about that here before. When you find out that someone close to you is battling Cancer, you’re overwhelmed by so many emotions. I can remember having a hard time feeling like it was truly a reality. I can remember being scared. And I can clearly remember what it was like when Amber received a priesthood blessing and my feelings changed to trust and confidence in the Lord.
Recently my good friend Jenn’s husband, Jon, was diagnosed with Cancer. This came as a particular shock because of his healthy, active lifestyle.
Difficult experiences like this have so much potential to strengthen us, teach us, and help us to grow. Shortly after I found out that Jon had cancer, Jenn mentioned in an email to me that, “We are faithful that there is a tremendous amount to be learned from this experience, I hope we are fast learners.”
I want to share with you a little bit about my friend & her family (pictured above) and a few quotes from her personal blog, in regards to her experience thus far.
No. I would not have picked this trial. Not now. Not at 5 months pregnant. Not 8 weeks before moving to a new house. Not in the middle of our perfect life that I love. Not to my best friend. Not to Daddy. Not now. Probably not ever.
But I trust His plan. I really do. Some days it is so hard. It is so hard I cannot possibly do it alone. But I don't have to.
Jon is a hard working husband and father who loves his work, is committed to serving in his church, going above & beyond what he is asked. He had been teaching free Kung Fu classes every week in addition to all of the other things he is busy with. Jenn will tell you that he comes home each day and turns his full attention to his 2 adoring little boys and wife.
What an example he is. Everything he goes through he does with strength, dignity and an enviable amount of faith and integrity.
He will not complain. He will not pity himself or his situation. He will not give up.
Jenn has always impressed me with her desire to keep her family healthy & safe. She researches & explores different approaches to healthy living and eating and then actually implements them in their home. This family is not a stranger to challenges when it comes to health. They have two cute little boys named Ben & Jacob. Ben has asthma and anaphylactic allergies to peanuts, treenuts, eggs and is also very allergic to Dogs. He doesn't tolerate dairy, wheat, soy or artificial dyes, flavors and refined sugars. Jacob was born with Von Willebrands Disease. Perhaps in part because of these things, Jenn has become a warrior mother. She is so good at speaking and standing up for her kids and for what she feels is best for her family. This is evident again in her desire to research and find the best treatments for Jon’s cancer.
Why, when we did everything "right" would this happen to us. We did everything on the "Cancer Prevention" list and more...and yet, here we are.
Our organic eating, green smoothie drinking, vitamin pill popping, natural cleaners, reverse osmosis, hepa filtering selves are in the thick of exactly what we were trying to escape.
…Perhaps it is the irony and exactly the unfairness of it all that we needed. WE are not in control.
WE simply need to do the best we can with what we are given. We did it then and we will do it now. In this lesson of faithful acceptance we are tested on another level BECAUSE it is the very thing that we least expected. That we didn't "deserve".
With that then, the question remains simply; "why NOT us?"
I’ve been inspired and impressed by Jenn’s faithful attitude going into this challenging time for her & her family. I know it is & will continue to be difficult, but I also know that with this perspective, she and her family will learn what the Lord wants them to from this experience.
In an effort to help raise money for Jon’s care, Jenn has decided to sell copies of a children’s book that she wrote last year, about her son Ben, and his Daddy. It is an adorable story called “What I See”.
It’s a sweet book that both you and your child will enjoy. And it’s a small way to make a big difference for a family facing a difficult situation.
If you would like to order a copy or copies of the book, you can do so here.