BY: WINSTON MATTIS
Cancer respects no one. The disease runs rampant leaving behind devastation in its pathway. People employed in the faith industry can often be most devastated when afflicted by this killer disease. North Americans tend not to understand that pastors are employees just as any other employees. Churches across the universe depend on pastors not only to satisfy the spiritual needs of congregants, but also to tend to the personal, emotional and health needs of members of the congregation.
Virtually every pastor at one point or another finds her or himself preaching the good news that salvation offers believers and its promise of an afterlife free of sickness and death. Virtually every pastor finds her or himself at one time or another praying for the sick and asking the Lord for healing. Yet, pastors are not immune from illness. Pastors and evangelists succumb to disease and ailments just like their secular counterparts. Whether churches adequately support their pastors during a period of illness is a function of many factors. Many small churches simply do not have the financial or other resources to accomplish this task.
In this article WINN explores the impact of cancer on the wife of one pastor.. WINN met up with the wife of a former pastor. At the time WINN conducted the interview “’s” husband, a pastor, had already died from cancer. Kathleen learnt of her own cancer in the midst of caring for her husband, who was suffering from cancer at the time.. Sick and weak, she was forced to look after her sick husband, take charge temporarily of his Ministry and care for herself in the meantime. What follows are answers to questions posed on-line. The interview was not complete, but WINN presents the information obtained from the activity.
- Are you a cancer survivor?
- I have had cancer. I lost my husband who was a minister to cancer. I lost my parents to cancer. So which do you want to hear about? Cancer is a dreadful disease that is very prevalent today.
- What kind of cancer did you have?
- I had breast cancer eight years ago. I am a survivor and very thankful God healed me. I believe that breast cancer runs in my family for females we have that gene.
- How did you find out you had cancer?
- I discovered a lump in my breast and before you knew it I was diagnosed with the disease.
- What was the first thing that came to your mind when your doctor first diagnosed you with cancer?
- When the doctor first told me I had cancer my response was a feeling of DREAD. Dealing with reality of death was most significant emotional part. I was familiar the symptoms because my mother had breast cancer, lost her breast and lymph nodes. She experienced problems with her arms after surgery.
- Did breast cancer affect your own sense of your beauty?
- It is a big blow to women with their sexual attractiveness as I would say that a man would feel with cancer of say testicles. I know today most women with breast cancer have their breast rebuilt. I’m one of lucky ones and happy in my flesh. I have an awesome one thanks
- What treatment did you receive for the cancer?
- I had lumpectomy surgery, radiation and chemo special medicine for five years. During those times of chemo you can be very sick with shots they give you. They cause pain in your bones. Sometimes you can’t move or get out of bed. The cure sometimes seems vmuch worse than the disease itself. You know that each day you are living on borrowed time. You are thankful for each day you have. My god healed me and I am thankful for it. I am still thankful for each day.
Q, Were you a believer before you were diagnosed with cancer?
- I was a believer at time of my cancer. I was involved in ministry and studying to be a minister. GOD WAS MY STRENGTH. We are all human. And in the flesh the struggles I had are all in human nature.
- What support did you receive from the church as you struggled through your cancer?
- I had nothing but support from friends, church and family.
- How did the cancer affect you ability to serve the congregation?
- I could not do what I had done before .Some days I could not walk or get out of bed. Like I said before the cure seemed worse than the cancer itself. I believe all patients are different. Some can carry on a full time job and continue treatments. I could not. I consider myself one of blessed ones. My God cured me, thanks..
- As the wife of a minister, how did his cancer affect you in workplace?
- I cant tell you about that, but surely can tell you about cancer. I am not sure where this is going, but