After probably experiencing denial about the possible reality of my wife's health, I embarked on the journey with cancer the day the doctor walked down the hospital halls in his scrubs to update us on the extensive operation my wife just went through. His facial expressions announced bad news, and a difficult task of informing us of the real cold facts of reality that the whole family had to face.He explained in his best professional manner the procedures of removing the stomach apron, complete hysterectomy, reconnection of the bowels, and more, concluding that Faith (my wife) had stage 3C ovarian cancer. The youngest of the children asks if that meant it was terminal. A clear answer was not given, other than the possibility of prolonging life through chemo-therapy.
Time flew by quickly. As I was pondering the situation, I found myself down the hall away from the adult children. I started crying inside, visible by my shoulders moving uncontrollably. A nurse meets me and sort of tries to console me saying she overheard the doctor and that she was sorry and hoped things would work out. This was a path I never tread, neither did my wife. Being married to her for just one year, I wanted to be the best support ever, so that she would find peace and encouragement.
I had to first of all believe God and His promises, that He was in full control of something that seemed completely out of my control. Together Faith and I faced mortality. How were we going to prepare ourselves for the inevitable? Yes we had our moments of tears and sobs. My heart would break when I would see my wife so torn and so close to what she perceived as a death sentence. I can tell you now, our time of peace and encouragement came from God to whom we turned to for help and direction. He spoke to our hearts every day as we meditated His word and as we prayed. His presence has been felt in a very special way. A way that if it were not for the journey with cancer, we would not have experience those precious moments that count for so much in this world of darkness, gloom and sadness. There is hope through cancer.
We believed that God could do the impossible or He would give us grace and encouragement if He decided to do anything different. On this journey we have found opportunities of peace and encouragement. Our loved ones around us did the best they could to ease the pain, but only the one that is in control of feelings could give peace like no other could. It has now been three years on this journey with so many different experiences. Just a couple months after her first operation, Faith had a bowel obstruction that landed her in the hospital for a couple of weeks. She was cut opened again from top to bottom. This year being the third year she underwent chemo again, losing her hair, her health, (the consequences of chemo-therapy). Her condition now was considered chronic because the cancer was back. Our greatest consolation and strength are the special times together in the morning, having coffee and just talking about everything. Since we meditate the Bible and have daily devotion, we seem to always talk about what we face and what we are going through, and how God directs, strenghtens and how good He is to us. There are so many instances all around us where we see the hand of God. He is so good to us. His presence is felt everyday. As we overlook the gardens from where we sit and drink our coffee, we appreciate the beautiful trees, flowers and grass. We are like Adam and Eve meeting God in the garden. The moments are precious. I thank God he could use me as a spiritual mentor and encouragement to my wife.
All of this inspired us to want to reach out and help others to find the same peace and encouragement while facing cancer. Hence "Hope Through Cancer was initiated. All of a sudden we were thinking of a beautiful oil painting that would portray a journey of peace and the penetrating light of encouragement that comes from above. Thus the "Hope Through Cancer" oil painting was started. In our minds we imagined what we probably have today to offer to those that face cancer. I thought this would be a great project for retirement, about 3 years away. I was inspired by my wonderful wife to start the monumental task right away. I started taking art classes from professionals. We titled this painting "Hope Through Cancer" because that seemed to sum up our experience, and the need for anyone going through cancer. We gave hope an acronym (Hope, Opportunities, Peace and Encouragement), through cancer.
The desire we have for those that get the painting or print is that they find hope. They will see they have started a journey, are on the other side of the gate entrance specific to them, in need of peace facing mortality, and encouragement that comes from above. I wanted the painting to be all of that, tranquility, hope and help from above. Though I don't personally have cancer, both of us lived with cancer. My wonderful wife inspired me to even paint the journey or path we were on and help those in need. Helping also through prayers, answering questions and any way possible. I was inspired by one that was diagnosed with cancer. I hope that others will be inspired to reach out for the peace that God promises and therefore be encouraged for the days ahead.
Living in hope that a cure or remission be found. Being inspired by my wife I will dedicate the original painting to her and distribute a limited and signed number of prints. A picture is worth a thousand words. By giving this to someone it will mean alot just knowing that we are on that path with them. We know how they feel. Our prayer is that they find the peace and encouragement that we found. All prints will be numbered and signed by the two of us as long as we are still alive and able.
Faith Jacques (wife)
Claude Jacques (husband)