You’ll Never Feel So Loved

You’ll Never Feel So Loved

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

You’ll Never Feel So Loved

Where there is great love, there are always miracles.

Willa Cather

A few days after hearing the devastating news that the shadow on the mammogram was indeed cancer, I received a call I’ll never forget from an aunt who was a breast-cancer survivor. The only part of the conversation I remember was one simple line: “You’ll never feel so loved.” At the time I had no clue what that could mean, but I thanked her for calling and began the journey that every cancer patient goes through.

I began to understand the power of these five little words a few days after my aunt’s call, when I telephoned my daughter about the diagnosis and the upcoming surgery. Her first words were simple and direct: “I’m on my way!” Not, “What can I do?” Or, “I’ll try to come,” or even “Do you want me to come?” but simply, “I’m on my way!” With the support and encouragement from her husband, my daughter was with me until I no longer needed her help. I felt so loved.

Later that same day, with only twenty minutes’ notice, a friend volunteered to meet my husband and me at the doctor’s office to be the extra ears and note taker. Quietly, in the background, she was the one who held it together when my husband left the room (sick), and I began crying. She asked all the right questions and later went over the facts one by one, helping us comprehend all that was happening. What a gift! I knew she cared about us, and I felt so loved.

In spite of all the frightening, horrific things that were taking place, I began to understand how the love of God and others would carry me through, and I knew I would be able to conquer this thing called cancer. The love was manifested in so many ways: cards, calls, prayers, meals and sometimes just one little sentence would carry me through a difficult day.

I remember my husband holding me in his arms, reading from a book given to me from a coworker of his, also a breast-cancer survivor, who was sure we would both enjoy reading it. I was too tired, so he read aloud every night, and we laughed and cried together. I not only felt his love, but also was touched by the fact that someone I had never met cared enough to think of me.

I had retired the year before my diagnosis, and one day a former coworker of mine stopped by with a basket full of thoughtful gifts from friends at the office: a warm hat to cover my thinning hair, inspirational books to lift my spirits, aromatherapy candles and bubble bath to soothe my body, and much more. They cared enough to remember me, and I felt so loved!

In times of need, everyone knows that family will be there for you, but I was overwhelmed by the way my immediate and extended family came through. Parents, sisters and in-laws joined together to provide support and encouragement in so many wonderful ways. They were with me every step of the way. In fact, my sister was there when I had my last chemotherapy session, and a niece planned a big surprise party to celebrate the end of my treatments!

A daughter-in-law, without being asked, came and cleaned our whole house; our sons provided hugs, teasing and comforting words; neighbors and friends brought meals. The prayers, flowers, calls and cards of countless others were all given in the name of love. These are the things I still remember today because they carried me through a difficult time, and I am filled with gratitude.

As I look back, I have experienced what my aunt meant when she said, “You’ll never feel so loved.” In great part because of this love I am a cancer survivor. Yes, the treatments and advice of wonderful doctors and the prayers of many helped save my life, but I also believe that if the soul is being fed, the body will heal.

If you are going through a journey like mine, look for all the love that is being sent your way, for you will be comforted and treasured. Believe me, you’ll never feel so loved!

Sharon Bomgaars

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