Lessons from the Land of Cancer

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read at least 6 “improving” books, as Jeeves would put it. I’ve finished the first one, called Letters from the Land of Cancer, by Dr. Walt Wangerin. I started the book last fall, intending to read it to Cheryl Roelofs (my dear friend with first breast and then lung and brain cancer), but she deteriorated so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to finish it before she graduated to glory. However, with my husband starting radiation treatments this past week, pondering the subject of mortality and cancer has again become high on my list of things to consider. Don’t know if you or a loved one of yours is traversing the valley of the shadow of cancer, but if so, I can unequivocally recommend this touching portrayal of a pastor/professor’s journey. In fact, the book is so good that I’m reading it through a second time and will present it to my Sunday school class in February. If you haven’t pondered the mysteries of life, death, and your own mortality yet, you might be inspired by Walt’s deep faith but candid commentary on the ups and downs of the downward physical spiral that leads upward to our Lord’s everlasting arms.

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).