Carol Howell Talks Dementia: Dementia, Cancer, and Hope

Can you be prepared to hear bad news if test results prove a loved one has cancer?

It has been an interesting few weeks for my family. Momma’s Alzheimer’s has progressed even further down the slippery slope of forgetfulness. She makes our hearts hurt as we experience this decline with her. She is still happy and loving and recognizing her children, but her grandchildren are a blur in her memory.

To add excitement to life, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer last week (Please, if you talk with my Momma, do not tell her this news. We will not EVER tell her, as bad news makes dementia worse). Before going to the doctor for biopsy results, my daughter said, “Momma, are you prepared to hear bad news should the results not be good?” I thought about that, and I’ve thought about it several times since then. I responded with, “I think so, but can you ever really be prepared for such a thing?” I now have the answer to my own question. Here it is – NO, you can never be prepared to hear the diagnosis of cancer.

As we sat in the doctor’s office, there was still so much hope dwelling in my mind that the diagnosis of cancer came as a shock. I realized, “My life changed at this very moment in time.  Things will never be the same.” My thought was accurate, but now I see things even more clearly.

Michael’s diagnosis is very early in the disease process. The doctor states there is less than a 6% chance the cancer has spread, and he expects a 100% recovery for Michael. This is great news. Michael is 58 years old. His daddy was 57 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and he died some years later from the disease. Michael’s uncles have all had prostate cancer and died from it. When I heard the doctor predict a 100% recovery, I was reminded…

  1. No matter what life throws at us, there is always something good.  We may have to search to find it, but it is there. Hallelujah!
  2. God has promised to stay with us always, and he will not change his mind when the going gets tough. Again, I say HALLELUJAH!
  3. Michael and I can look back at the events of the last three months and realize God was laying the groundwork to change our lives, to order our days, so that the recovery process can be easier and more fruitful than it would have been. Do I hear you say HALLELUJAH with me?

I leave you with the same closing I use on my podcast (which you can hear on iTunes), “God is God. God is good. God always knows and does what is best for his children. I am honored and thankful to be one of his children.”

Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.

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