Being a Friend of a Cancer Fighter Part 2
Last post I introduced you to Tim and he's a part of group of brothers who are warriors in the fight with me. These are men who stare into the storm with you and then we turn into the storm and start moving forward...together. This speaks to a very crucial principle and one we can NEVER deny.
Principle #4: Lone wolves die. We all must have a pack. A cancer fighter needs a pack.
It might sound dark, mysterious, and badass to "go it alone" or be a lone wolf. But, that's just Hollywood BS. I believe it was Brian Tome who said something to the effect of - one of the biggest signs of immaturity or weakness is going it alone. Going it alone leads to short-lived fights that often end early and in desperation. The battle of a cancer fighter is a long fight and will require so much out of them. If that fight is to be a sustained fight, they will need you. When a loved one, a friend gets a cancer diagnosis - the question is: Will we step into the storm with them? Will we bring others into the fight?
This brings me to two more members of my pack: Ben Chambers and Brother Luck.
When I was diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer, Brother didn't hesitate to step into the storm. He called me and continued to call and check-in with me. Now, Brother is no stranger to adversity, he's faced it head-on his entire life. This is what freaking meant so much to me - the fact that I had a friend who is battle tested, that is a fighter, and that leans into his faith in all circumstances that he's faced. But, there's more to this story. While 2020 was a hard year for me, you might want to know that Brother is a chef and restaurant owner and entrepreneur - so COVID brought a HUGE storm for him and Tina, his beautiful bride. So, I need you to create this picture in your mind:
Brother is staring down his own storm and in a fight of his life and at the same time, this warrior reaches over, puts his hand on my shoulder and lets me know I AM NOT ALONE.
Having been dismissed from my job as an Executive Pastor of a large church in Colorado Springs along with my wife in January 2021, I added a job search to the storm I was facing. Now, I've been blessed to have a great and successful career, so finding a job was never something I gave anxiety to. But...this time I had this Stage IV Cancer diagnosis that I had to divulge in my search and for the first time in my life I interviewed (not just applied) for 25+ jobs and made it to being one of the final candidates, but when I revealed my diagnosis, I was turned down for those positions. So, it felt like God was closing doors, but at the same time, was confronting me of the many challenges of cancer fighters. God started to crystalize for me a way I could spend the rest of my life fighting for cancer fighters and helping them face their storms and find HOPE in spite of circumstances.
I needed counsel, mentorship, professional advice...and a hand of a friend reaches out again. Now, if you were to know Brother, to say he is busy, is...well...an understatement. I've never known anyone with the level of work ethic he brings to all he does. Yet, in the midst of a thousand projects, Brother called me and we had this long conversation about all things podcast and platform. He literally mentored me through what he was doing and I took out my laptop and typed notes as fast as I could. Hear this perspective: he didn't shoot down my idea, he didn't say it was a long shot, but he also didn't just blow sunshine - his words implied the truth: this idea will be as good as the work I put into it. But, he believed in me. He believed that I could put the work in and succeed. Then, when I was nearing launch of the first phase of our website (this site), he extended his studio to me to record in when I didn't have any location available. This brings me to another principle.
Principal #5: The biggest need of a cancer fighter is the belief of a friend.
Cancer fighters face a mental health challenge of huge proportions. Self-doubt is an enemy that attacks the fighter's mind. Can we make it through the seemingly endless treatments? Will my family and I make it past this? Can I still provide for my family? And...honestly, as much as it might hurt to type this: Is it better for everyone if cancer just takes me and everyone can move on? I don't think I can do this.
Brother came into my fight and with his actions, he answered that one. His love for me told me: Pete, you can't do this. WE can do this. You weren't meant to do this alone. Those answers are not for you to bear alone.
My Father promised me that He is my shepherd and that because of Him, my needs will be provided. When my journey takes me through the valley of the shadow of death, I don't have to fear, for He is there with me. He prepares so much even in the presence of my enemies. Brother was a physical, tangible, hand of my Father.
Brother was a physical, tangible, hand of my Father.
Brother didn't just give me something practical. He infused me with more fight and more HOPE. He changed my life and improved my mental health. I cannot put a price tag on that act of brotherhood. This is what Stages is all about...this is my prayer for every cancer fighter and their families and loved ones. We all can step into the storm and let them know that they are not alone...that we're fighting for HOPE with them.
In my next post, I will introduce you to another warrior brother: Ben.