Smile: Things Could Be Worse

This is the first installment of “Funny things that happened to me on my way to getting sick.”

The plan is to share some of those funny stories mixed with things to think about that may be good for your emotional, spiritual and ultimately your physical health. Some of things to think about have been with me what seems like forever. Many were passed along by my mom, dad and various other relatives and friends.

The first of those “things to think about” my mom shared with me more than once when I was complaining about a bad break I thought I had received or a bad choice I made while hoping there would be a better result. Mom quoted my grandmother who used to say, “Smile, things could be worse.” Mom then said, “So I smiled and sure enough things got worse.” Her serious take on this expression was, “It is never so bad but it couldn’t be worse.” For me, that statement has never had more meaning than since receiving my pancreatic cancer diagnosis. My cancer could have happened when I was thirty-something and our children were in grade school and we had just started making a life for ourselves. Or, we could live a great distance from my treatment at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center instead of just two miles. As I receive my treatment, I see any number of people in the infusion area who are young, likely with young children, while others live so far away as to have to stay overnight on the day of treatment.
Also, only a few miles away at the Roudebush Veterans Hospital young men and women are being fitted for prosthetic devices and are learning to live with a whole new set of challenges.

So, while my diagnosis doesn’t seem fair, and I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to have cancer, I have to trust that God is making the journey with me. Yes, it could be worse and it will take a toll on family and friends who I worry will suffer, but we will make the journey leaning on each other comforted in the knowledge that we are all a creation of God who loves us, blesses us, and ultimately that he will heal us according to his purpose.

Stay strong and keep on keeping on!

3 thoughts on “Smile: Things Could Be Worse”

  1. Derinda Vessely

    Jeff, I have known many people through my life’s journey that have and are fighting this same fight. I am praying fervently for all of you. I shared your blog page with a young man named Adrian and also a woman about your age named Joan. I know that you will inspire them both with your humor, strength, courage and Faith.

    With Faith•Hope•Love,

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