The third reason cancer can be sweet is the allowance to see people look past themselves. To give.
There is a lot of push these days for the government to step in and take care of those in need. I am not going to get into a lot of political discussion, but I will say, I think that short circuits people's desire to take care of others. People like to DO things for those in need, as evidenced by crisis situations...
When there is something REALLY not a part of the day to day, people feel helpless. The evidence of their humanity and frailty is truly visible. And most people will wrap those vulnerable with generosity and a closing of the ranks around them. To protect. It is a beautiful thing.
Cancer was sweet because I learned about these givers. I saw those who fed our bodies and our hearts. I saw those who gave us the time to run to the store. I saw those who would go on milk runs especially for us when Elise's ability to fight infection was nil and we couldn't go out. We were given financial help for the surprise expenses in gas and parking passes... I learned who my true friends were. I learned who loved others more than themselves. I learned who carries God's love to others. And I learned just how important that really is.
I received notes from churches who had prayer requests and took them seriously. We received notes from a particular church (not even ours!) who prayed for people every week and sent a post card or note telling you that you were prayed for. We received one to three cards every single week for 7 months. I know not one single person whose note told us that they had prayed for Elise or our family, but I am forever grateful for them. I received notes and emails from people telling me that my child would be wrapped in prayer. I have them all still.
I got personal phone calls from our pharmacy who worried when we were late to collect Elise's "home" medicines when she was still fighting infection and couldn't get released from the hospital yet. And you could actually hear their relief in their voices when they heard that everything was still okay.
I admit I received stilted phone calls from friends who were audibly uncomfortable with our not-perfect life...who never returned...but more often, I received phone calls from new and old friends that balanced between listening to the awful and not shying away and those giggled over our new somewhat funny situations. We would laugh about nurse practitioners who were crazy and the fact that we went to the library that day. And they managed to share just enough of their life that that they shared their normal, and didn't rub it in. I got "new" friends out of it. Nurses, other parents, and acquaintances that reached out to become true friends.
In a nutshell we got to Christ's body at work. Being hurting and vulnerable was truly worth it to see this miracle! We got to see HIM up close in this manner and He was beautiful!