Leviticus 13:28 – If, however, the spot is unchanged and has not spread in the skin but has faded, it is a swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce them clean; it is only a scar from the burn.
We’re just around the corner from summer. Now is the time to stock up on supplies that can protect your skin. It’s also time to find out when is too much sun bad for you.
When I was growing up, no one talked about sunscreen. It was a metal of honor to see which of my friends had the darkest tan. However, in between that tan, in the beginning of summer we all faced sunburn.
There were creams and lotions to help the pain of sunburn go away, but what we didn’t know was those sunburns would add up throughout our lives and could cause skin cancer.
When my children were growing up, fear of skin cancer caused mothers to splash on sunscreen before letting them go to the local swimming pool or even while playing outside. Sometimes, though, even sunscreen doesn’t protect you from blisters if we stay outside too long. I can remember several times when one of my children took off their shirts and ended up with a massive burn.
And for those in my generation, skin cancer is now common. Precancerous spots are frozen off hoping to prevent them turning into cancer. For many though, it can be too little too late.
What can blind us from seeing we’re in danger is we may think that it’s safe to go outside without sunscreen when it’s cloudy, but in fact, cloudy days can be the most dangerous time for sunburn.
Skincancer.org in their article, “Skin Cancer Prevention,” makes several suggestions on prevention including staying in the shade especially between 10 and 4 pm, don’t get sunburned, avoid tanning and tanning beds, cover up with clothing including a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher. Use a stronger sunscreen if you’re going to be outside for an extended amount of time and reapply it every two hours.
Find the rest of their suggestions by reading the article above and aad.org in their article, “Prevent Skin Cancer,” which includes a short video on prevention.
Some people are afraid of being out in the sun, but with proper protection and paying attention to avoiding staying out in the sun for too long can go a long way in prevention.
The Bible verse above was a regulation in the Old Testament about skin diseases. Even then they had burns and skin diseases. God gave them wisdom, at that time, how to deal with burns and God will give us wisdom today to see a doctor if spots appear on our skin. Only a doctor can tell if it’s cancer or not. You may be fearful to see a doctor when you have something unusual on your skin, but don’t be afraid. Get it checked out. It is only then that you will know whether it is cancer or not and how to proceed from there.
Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
It is an awful thing to go through, cancer. You’re just walking through life and then you find a small lump in your breast or begin to cough endlessly.
There are tests and discussion of radiation and surgery to shrink the tumor. But it never completely goes away. Yes, you may go into remission because the cancer has shrunk or the surgery removed the lump and areas around it, but there are still cancer cells that linger, and the cancer can come back with its second swing.
Some people choose to live out the rest of their life without surgery or chemotherapy for cancer. They will walk through their life until the door is shut. And no amount of pleading with the family will make them change their mind.
Some people choose to fight and fight hard to beat cancer. The doctor says that he gives you three months to a year to live. You still fight. And months later the cancer is in remission and you can walk through life without looking over your shoulder for cancer to come back.
But sometimes it does.
It’s not fair, really. You thought you had a life to live again and then the symptoms start up, and after tests have been completed, your doctor tells you that you are no longer in remission.
The anger is worse this time, than when you first went through cancer. The family is hurt and angry too. What’s a person to do? Is their any way to make the cancer go away for good?
According to webmd.com in their article, “What Does Remission Look Like?” There are two types of remission, one treatment may have killed off most of the cancer cells, but there are still remnants in the blood. Second, all signs of cancer and its symptoms are gone.
The article also discusses how to get to remission. Some of their suggestions are medications, radiation, surgery, hormone therapy and immunotherapy. There are also nontraditional treatments that you may want to explore.
No matter how you look at it, if you’ve had cancer it can come back. Try to keep a positive attitude about your treatments. Also, prayer can be your first line of support and sharing your feelings with your family, since they may be having the same trouble accepting your cancer has come back.
And as the Bible verse above says, God is our refuge, our place to run to when life is too much and he is the strength you will need to go through cancer. And though cancer is serious trouble, God will walk with you every step you take, whether you’re in fighting cancer or are in remission.
Psalm 20:2 - May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
It feels like it’s all around us.
Everyone seems to be talking about it and how it affects them.
It’s the one word that everyone is afraid they will hear from their doctor.
With all the funding and research that has gone on why hasn’t a cure been found?
Why must so many people suffer?
And what are they suffering from? Cancer
Though cancer has not come knocking at my door, I have loved ones who have had to battle this terrible disease. Though a cure for cancer has not been found yet, there are newer treatments every year. And the number of cancer patients has been going down in recent years. Knowing this can give us hope that a friend or loved one will make it through to the other side of cancer.
So, what can we do to help the one who struggles with cancer? You can find some tips in the article, “10 Tips for Supporting a Friend with Cancer,” from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, such as making a phone call and asking if it's a good time to visit and setting up phone teams to pass on updated information so that the cancer patient doesn't have to keep answering the same questions every time the phone rings.
Getting news that someone has cancer is one of the most difficult and painful sorrows that can come upon you. With God’s help and those around them, they can receive the support that will make all the difference. Choose to be part of that support.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.