There are many events in life that leave battle scars. How we react to theses events affects our physical and emotional health — and how serious these scars can be.

There are many ways people deal with the battle scars of cancer — negatively or with a positive attitude. Physical scars that can result from radiation, chemotherapy and surgery include hair loss, changes in physical appearance and loss of some body functions.

Then we have the emotional scars of cancer, including those from the stress of waiting on test results and choosing between different medical options: scars on the mental health of both you and your loved ones. Some battle scars that are not talked about are those of family and friends taking care of the physical and emotional health of their loved one — and not being recognized for their major role of the healing process.

There are positive effects that can result from cancer, as well. They are the appreciation or respect for your daily physical life, appreciation of family and friends, and of nature, having a new spiritual understanding and just stepping back and having a new outlook on life. I find that my faith in Jesus Christ and reading the scriptures have been a big part of my positive attitude, with the complete understanding of this present physical life and the new life that awaits me.

Another way to look at your scars is to remember the job, place of employment, home or event in life that you aspired to but couldn't get — and 10 years later you're grateful that it turned out the way it did.

The Apostle Paul in the scriptures pleaded with the Lord three times to remove the thorn from his flesh, and the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Share Your Thoughts

To my cancer brother and sisters: How do you handle your battle scars? Share your comments below.

About the Author

Jack Henning was born and raised in Milwaukee. Like many youths in the 1960s, he had a paper route and worked part-time while in high school. He has worked in sales for Sears, Bear Automotive and Prudential Insurance Co., and worked with the Milwaukee County Transit System in the distribution of parts. He is currently self-employed and does commercial locksmithing and small engine repair. He has been married for 33 years and has two sons. He had been in good to excellent health until the summer of 2014 when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer that involved other organs. He is working on getting his health and lifestyle back to where it was.

Amy Koch

Jack, I think you are spot on. When it comes right down to it, faith is the answer.