Humor is a gift from God—at least I hope so. If not, I’m not sure where my sense of humor came from. Humor produces laughter, and laughter is good medicine for the heart and soul. Eccl. 3:4 tells us there is a time to laugh, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (I am not sure the word “dance” appears in the older Baptist Bibles).

Laughter gives us a reprieve from the things that weigh heavy on our hearts. I thank God for humor and laughter.

So when I found out I had stage 4 cancer and will undergo surgery on the morning of Aug. 9, my God-given ability to see the humor in the situation has helped me to walk this journey out.

The first thing that made me smile is the number of cures presented to me. There are so many treatments for cancer, and everyone knows someone who has been cured by one of these treatments.

Many of these cures involve juicing, a process where you take anything you can find growing in your garden or along a roadside, add a couple of dandelions and one clove of garlic, throw them into a blender and end up with a drink that will shrink your cancer. But there is lots of discussion on what combination of things you need to put into the blender.

I believe there is real merit to eating healthier food, but at stage 4, I am not sure I want to risk my life on it. Besides, not one of these cures involved throwing some chocolate into the mixture. In the end, it is God who gives the cure, and whatever method He chooses is up to Him.

Then there are those who’ve given me books on teas that cures cancer; genetic altering; radiation, both proton and photon; along with hormone therapy and many different types of surgery. Originally, I was going to go the hormone/radiation route. The doctor told me they would give me a shot that would remove all of the male hormones from my body, and for the next two years, I would experience “menopause.” I have already lived through one person in our house going through this; I am not sure we can handle another.

As the doctor was talking, all I could envision was me being reduced to the emotional level of a junior high girl, sitting in the corner and crying uncontrollably. This last option was taken away from me because of the history of diabetes in my family. My oldest son was disappointed, as he had planned to give me a mumu and a pair of fuzzy slippers for Christmas. But I think he will get over it.

I decide to have the cancer surgically removed. The surgery involves a robotic-assisted machine by the name of “da Vinci.” I would have had more peace if they had named the robot “Moses” or “Luke” or something else from the Bible. The da Vinci robot is a weird-looking piece of equipment. The best way to describe it is that it looks like a six-foot tall Swiss Army knife. It has four arms that come out of its body, and I am not sure if it includes a can opener or not.

Rite of Passage: The Lighter Side of Cancer - Baptist Messenger of Oklahoma

da Vinci surgical robot

A few feet away, a surgeon has his head buried in a TV monitor as he moves the mechanical arms around, controlling the instruments. I just pray that during the middle of the surgery, I won’t hear “Danger, Will Robinson, danger!” For the many parents among you who complain about your children spending too much time on video games, just remember, they might grow up to run a da Vinci robot.

What has blessed me more than the humor on this journey is the number of people who have sent Facebook messages (over 500 in just the first few days of posting my journey) along with emails, cards and calls. Many have marked that date on their calendar to let me know that they will be praying that morning as the Swiss Army knife goes to work.

Yes, humor will lift the heaviness away for a few minutes, but it is prayer that will lift it away completely. I love what the psalmist said when the nation of Israel faced adversity, “To You, they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed” (Ps. 22:5, NASB).

No matter how God wants to work through this cancer or what treatment He uses, whether it is juicing, hormone therapy or surgery, in the end, it is in You I trust, and I will not be disappointed.