Cancer is probably one of the scariest words in the world. We fear hearing it from the doctor. We fear hearing on the phone when a friend or family members calls us to break the news. Cancer can fit easily into several of Stephen King's own list of the top 10 scariest things in the world. Despite all our technology, we still often think of cancer as a death sentence. More people are beating cancer now than ever, but the word still fills us with dread—more so when the person with cancer is a child.
True or False
* Cell phones cause cancer. (F)
* Cigarettes cause cancer. (T)
* Only women get breast cancer (F)
* If you parents had cancer, so will you (F)
* Some cancer is contagious (F)
* According to the Nemours Children's Clinic, about 80 percent of childhood cancers can be cured (T)
Barring any notion of fairy tales or vampires, would you want to live forever if it was possible?
If you could choose the method and exact time of your death, would you?
If you could know the exact method and moment of your death, would you want to know?
How do you want to be remembered?
Does every life (or death) have meaning?
Do you know of any disease that is age specific?
Who do you think would handle the news of a cancer diangosis better: someone who is 16 or someone who is 60? Explain.}
How would you explain cancer to a 7-year-old?Note from the author:
I spent several weeks wandering the halls of one of the finest children's hospitals in the country (Arnold Palmer). My wife and I worked it out so one of us could be with our son 24/7. During this time, I came to understand that mothers worried during the day and in groups. They would gather, hold hands, share and cry together. Dads worried alone. They would wander the halls in the middle of the night, drink bad coffee and rarely speak to each other. For men, it was a solitary event.
How do you think your parents would react if they learned you had cancer? Who is stronger when it comes to tragedy? Are you more like your mom or your dad?
In 2011, Seth Rogan and Joseph Gordon-Levitt starred in the movie 50/50
. In the film, Gordon-Levitt's character is barely 27 and learns he has cancer. His first reaction is "How is that possible? I don't smoke. I don't drink. I recycle."
What is the worst news you've ever heard?
What is the worst news you've ever had to tell someone?
How would you tell your best friend that you have cancer?
Name some classic phrases people say when they are trying to make you feel better during your worst moments.Examples:
It will all work out for the best.
God works in mysterious ways.
Have you ever lost someone close to you? Do these phrases ever make you feel better? How long before you get sick of pity and sympathy?
John Green's book The Fault in Our Stars
is about a young girl who falls in love at a cancer treatment center. It's been called "a story of two people who learn to live life with one foot in the grave."
The book's title comes from the play Julius Caesar
. Julius says to Brutus: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves." Hazel, the book's main character, decides not to let her ultimate fate determine the course of her life.
If you knew you were not going to be around to see them graduate high school, would you have kids?
If you knew you were not going dance at your 10th anniversary with your partner, would you still get married?
If you found out you had terminal cancer, what would do to leave your mark on the world?
Why haven't you done it yet?
Gayle Glanville is the senior director of development at Northeast Ohio Medical University. This year, she is celebrating 19 years in remission after being diagnosed at a young age. Gayle said this: "Let us lead the dance. If we want to talk...let us talk. If we don't, please don't make us. We are not contagious, and we might not die. We are still the people we used to be. Don't forget the kid under the cancer."
Perhaps the most often asked—and unanswered—question when it comes to cancer is "Why, God? Why?" We hear it from Job, Abraham and Jesus; and God's most frequent answer is, "Because I am God." (Honestly, is this any kind of acceptable answer? I didn't think so either.) So perhaps we are asking the wrong question. What if we were to ask, "How God? How?"
God, how can You use me?
God, what can we do as a church to make this easier?
God, how can I learn from this?
These questions almost always get an answer. Ask them now, as a group; ask God how questions and see how many ideas God sends between now and the next meeting.