Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

By Sheryl Holmes

“Jumping up and jumping down, screaming NO(!) inside my heart,…atoms crashing one by one, frozen in the moment; releasing — rushing — over the cliff…. Let this not be true oh God, Let this not be true!”
These are excerpts of word phrases from the lyrics of a song I wrote in attempt to describe the nauseating and shocking state of being when I was given the diagnosis of cancer.
Universal to all are the emotions and the bewilderment.  The anger and the fear.  Is there anyone who does not shake their fist at God for a moment and demand to know, “WHY ME?”  I sure did.  Even after following the Lord for twenty-plus years, I stood indignant before God.
Weeping an gnashing my teeth, I drooled on my pillow as I bit it in frustration — silently wailing and heaving.  Voiceless cries filled the night.  I wrestled with God.
In the morning, I was weary; weariness gave up the weeping and the gnashing and the cries. Through the gentle reminder of a friend, came my answer to my prideful questioning of the Lord.  I was asking the wrong question….not “why me?” — but I should’ve been asking “Why not me.”
Jesus had already done everything for me — “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8b
“Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope” is my book.  It is filled with hard questions like, “Why Me?” — “Is Salvation enough?” — “Would God stand by me? — by His promises? — Would He spare me of stage three cancer?” — “Am I going to die?”  I weave these hard grappling’s throughout my book and sprinkle in childhood reminiscing, humor, and poignant studies on life as I have experienced it as a home schooling mother of nine children and a wife of 27 years.
Treatment was harsh and my body produced every side effect that was predicted: mouth sores, fevers, aches in the joints and muscles, nerve issues that even plagued me today 24/7.  Radiation annihilated my feminine parts and forced me right through menopause reeking havoc on my relationship with my husband.
Yet, God’s mercy came in abundance.  His grace and compassion came in various forms of support.
Treatment ended.  My cancer is nonexistent at this time.  One year out of treatment I struggle with what I am calling the second phase of recovery: grieving loss.  I have been internalizing my losses – loss of who I was before I had cancer.  I am not the same person physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  I have a “new normal” and I do not really  like it… depression lurks in the doorway of my life.
So where do I  go now?
In the scriptures, Paul tells us:  “Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord….”   My profits, who I was and what I had accomplished before are now lost.  But, in giving the old me up, I am able to draw closer to my Lord and rely on Him for filling my losses with the gains of knowing Him deeper and deeper. The eyes of my heart have been opened.  My reaction is thanksgiving and praise for who God is.  I look to see His grace poured into my day — every day.  He IS there!  I call these God Sparkles and I share them often on my Face Book page and in my blog writings.
Fellow survivor of this difficult life – come join me in resting in HOPE; no matter your circumstance there is always a song of hope to sing!  Check me out at: — signup to receive my blog postings and LIKE me!
I also have been nominated on Yahoo’s online magazine as “A Woman Who Shines” — please vote for me by Oct 26th and I will have the chance at winning a sweet prize and have a featured  article spot in their magazine(!).

My book:  “Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope” is available on and Barnes and Noble online for a mere $3.99 for ebook and $9.99 for paperbacks.  Though my story is of my battle with cancer, it has a universal message of striving and persevering in HOPE through the pains and agony of life and all the trials we face in this world.
May Grace and Peace abound to dear reader friend.  What God has done for me — He will do for you in a way that is unique to your being and life.
He’s just THAT kind of God!

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