When I was a kid, I remember the story of Joni Earekson. She was paralyzed after a diving accident and ended up learning to paint by holding a brush in her mouth. Since then, she has started an organization called "Joni and Friends" and ministers to people struggling with disabilities.
Shortly after I was diagnosed last June, a friend mentioned to me that Joni had also been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She had just had her surgery when I was diagnosed last summer. After my musings about suffering, I went to her blog for the first time and found this post from October 26th. It puts it in a way I really like:
"In a way, all the struggles, pain and discomfort connected with this battle against cancer has opened my eyes to a tiny glimpse of what my Savior endured to purchase my redemption. When I see Him in heaven, I’ll be able to appreciate so much more the scars in His hands – and He will know that my gratitude is sincere and from the heart, for He will recognize me from the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. What an honor! And what about those who say that redemption also purchased divine healing? Well, Jesus hung on the cross so that we wouldn't have to suffer hell, but not so that we wouldn't have to suffer here on earth – and those sufferings mean something. So hang in there, friend. If you're feeling the weight of affliction, your suffering is giving you something eternally precious in common with Christ!"
About this blog
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.