What I know for sure is that everyone needs a support system. In Daniel 10:7 we read in the Message translation, “the men who were with me…were overcome with fear and ran off and hid, fearing the worst. Left alone after the appearance, abandoned by my friends, I went weak in the knees, the blood drained from my face.” In this case “the appearance” referred to in this verse was a vision that must have rocked Daniel to his core. Anyone of us can substitute appearance with a personal situation: a wayward child, addictive behaviors, mounting financial worries, a strained marital relationship, the difficult boss, irreverent employees, job termination, broken hip, stroke, heart attack, cancer diagnosis, death. There are a whole host of others too numerous to cite. Try substituting one of those situations that is close to home for you and we all can begin to sense in some small way what it might be like to have a setback, left alone, with no friends, family, or acquaintances around.
This has not been the case for us. Throughout our journey, we have never been alone. We have a strong faith and our faith community where we worship has been there from Day One—9 years ago. We have people praying for us all over the country. This includes family and friends, but also people we have not met, or simply do not know. A friend of my sister’s in Texas now prays for me specifically to make sure my vessel is not empty. He connects via e-mail about once a week to determine how my life is going, what has changed, and what frustrations I might be experiencing as a caregiver. Chris and I would have never chosen this journey, but we have never been alone in it.
I write this today to encourage you to take on supporting just one person in whatever setback they find themselves in today. The hardest thing is for people to ask for help. A support system only works if we use it. You might know just one person who needs help but is afraid to open up for fear of being judged. Don’t wait for that person to ask, rather reach out to them. Give them your presence, your silence, and your sincerity. I embrace people praying for me. I embrace an informal chat to discuss my mental health. I embrace a stranger, who is now my e-mailing buddy who I know cares about me as a person. But I also have about 26,000 people that I have met over the last 32 years that continue to be a part of my life as I introduced them to their innate strengths and striving energies through the Kolbe A™ Index. These friends, and now colleagues are a circle of support that have been stalwart and resolute to check in, phone, e-mail and stop by. Whew! We are so grateful and so humbled. I don’t know any other words to say but, THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you.
So, now I am reaching out and asking for your help with the book. Come Home Alive is starting to get traction. I have sent it to over 20 of the largest churches in the country. One church has picked it up for their cancer survivor group which starts this month. I have sent it to some long shots such as Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes. I have sent it to the NFL and some of the head coaches experiencing a cancer setback for their Crucial Catch promotion. I have sent it to some leading Head and Neck Cancer alliances and experts such as Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, Loyola University Hospitals, and the University of Michigan. I have sent it to mainstream media. We will see where this goes. I would love to see it in Christian bookstores and on the shelves in Church bookstores. Some advertising is being done through Christian Retailing and Bible Gateway. One thing that would be very helpful if you have read the book and liked it, is to write a review and post it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I would be grateful for that gesture. The newest update is that the book is now available as an Audible version. I absolutely love the woman who portrays my voice.
Everyone, and I mean everyone will be touched by cancer at some point in their lives. If they are not on the receiving end of the diagnosis, then a great friend or family member is. I wrote Come Home Alive simply to help others. If you know of someone that could benefit, give them a book, or point them to it.