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My Journey Home
Cynthia M. Favorite

One of the main reasons that I've sent this out is that I want christians and non-christians alike to always know that God has our lives in His hands if we will only allow it ~ with that alone we have the peace of knowing that no matter what we face He above has already paved the way for us.  ~Cynthia~



When we think of the word "home" it has many different meanings, typically it is defined as the place where we live, where we dwell.  It is associated with feelings of safety, peace and comfort.  Our "family" is there, and more often times than not, that is where our hearts lie as well. It is a place that is concrete to us, we can touch the structure, we can smell the cooked meals and flowers, we can taste the vegetables that some of our families have grown and we will always have the memories, both good and bad. Many times in our lives we make the journey back home.  It may be that we stepped out into rebellion as a teenager and needed to go back or when we had to go as adults back to our roots .  Regardless of the reason, we all at some point and time in our lives once again go  home.

Time could be well spent observing and remembering the concrete place called "home" but it is not the intent of this writing.  The road to home referred to in here is about the journey to our spiritual home, that place that no one can see  but most believe exist within our hearts.  This is about my journey and about my struggle with the knowledge that I have cancer and will ultimately die.  My hope is that by sharing my journey with you, then maybe yours will be better.  From birth we all have begun this very journey and we realize that each person will have the knowledge that their journey has become a little more premise.  At that moment we realize that there will be many people that will give their prayers and love.  We are thankful for the people that the Lord gives to each of us.  In reality we all will ultimately travel the road alone ~ not so much in the physical sense but rather in the spiritual one.  I can only hope and pray that what I share will help you and touch you and give you strength in your journey.  Walk with me now, the road to Home has already begun.



My journey began on July 7, 1965 at 10:35 am.  That is the day and the hour in which I entered this world.  As an innocent child I had no idea that there was a road already mapped out for me to travel.  From that very moment I was being guided down the path on which I would go.  The journey has a final destination, a place of peace and rest, a place called home.  This place holds everything I could ever possibly imagine.  My loved ones will be there,
some already are and there will be more to follow, including myself.  The home I speak of is what I call "Heaven", I cannot see it, I cannot touch it. I have realized that I can  only imagine what it looks like and hold on to what I believe to be true in my heart.  It is my final resting place and when I get there, my journey will be over.

At the age of 30 I thought I was in the prime of my life and then, tragedy struck.  On April 1, 1996 I was diagnosed with a malignant astrocytoma, in other words "brain cancer".   Since that day my journey, one that had always been a seemingly natural process,  has become more intense, more directed, more painful but most importantly, more peaceful.  When I was diagnosed I kind of went into shock.  For months I would speak of "the tumor" as if I was talking about someone else.  I lived in denial.  I fought against this terrible disease by not identifying it to be true.  I pushed myself to go to work.   Many times I would go to the hospital chapel where I worked as a nurse and just ask God for strength to get me through my shift.  I had headaches so bad and yet I forged ahead.  Everyone thought I was wonderful, I was so strong and I had so much faith.  They didn't know what was going on inside of me, I didn't know what was happening to me.  Little by little I began to break down, I could no longer ignore this cancer that was living and growing in my brain. The journey became a realization in that I knew I had to go down the road. I wanted others to make the journey for me, to give me answers to the many unanswered questions that flooded my mind and my heart.  I wanted someone to point out a 12 step program that would teach me how to get from A to Z.  I could follow that, I was determined to do everything I could to deal with this.  My thoughts were to identify my concerns and my fears, to deal with them and to wake up the next morning and be okay  with everything. Imagine, being okay with the realization that you are going to die.  I really thought it was possible to accept, I was wrong.  It took me a long time to be at peace with what was going on in my life.  There continue to be hard days but I also have the peace and that is what I hold on to when I need strength for the next moment.  The toughest thing for me to realize was that I must make this journey alone, I had to walk down this road all by myself - no one could do it for me.



Finding out that one has a terminal illness is devastating.
Everything comes crashing in on you.  The walls that you have so carefully placed around yourself begin to crack.  You feel as if your very foundation is shaking.  There are no definite answers, only "ifs".  If the radiation works...., If the chemotherapy kills the cells...., If you live to be 40...., If surgery will remove all the cancer...., If the cancer comes back.  If, if, if.  There are no definites in that little two letter word and yet the meaning it holds has far greater impact on our lives then we can ever imagine.  That word held me. I was captive to it's ugly grasp.  It tore me apart.  I had always lived in a black and white world, everything was right or wrong, good or bad, possible or impossible.  My inability to identify and recognize a solution ate me up inside.  All my life I felt I had the answer to everything that was happening, knew the reasons "why" and "why not", so I thought.    This time, it was different.  I had no idea what was happening or why it was happening.  I couldn't accept that and it sent me into a tailspin. I was on a dangerous coarse to self destruction, the funny thing is,  I didn't even know it.  I suppose everyone has "ifs" in their lives, but we don't think about them, we accept them, until, we are forced to look at them face to face.

I heard many, many times "we all are going to die anyway".  What a stupid thing to say.  My answer to this statement became an object lesson I suppose. I would say, there are two elevators side by side, one says "frequently falls", the other says nothing, if you get into the one that is safe, even though it could fall at any moment, and you push the 24th floor, you don't worry, you don't even think about it, but; get into the one that falls frequently and push the 24th floor, as you pass each floor you wonder, "is it going to fall here".  Yes, we all are going to die but it's different when you've been handed your ticket.  You don't know when you are going to have to cash it in, but you have it, and it scares you.  There are times when I go to sleep with a headache and I wonder, "am I going to wake up tomorrow", "is my family going to find me dead?"  So, I had my ticket, and all I really knew was that God held me in His hand and the rest of my world was shattered. The only choice I had was to build from there.

I always thought that I was pretty strong in my faith, that I trusted God with my life no matter what happened.  When the reality of my cancer finally hit me I discovered how very human I was.  "Trust God" and "have faith" became words, only words, they were very empty.  I realized that it was so much easier to believe scripture when you really didn't have to.  My whole foundation began to shake and soon the walls that were built around me came tumbling down.  It was at that moment that I realized that pain and sorrow hits anytime it feels like it.  I lived in this protective sheild and all at once I realized that "hey, bad things can happen to me too".  I began to question my faith, my walk with God, my trust in the one whom I loved.  As I looked at all the rubble around me I realized that I was still standing on the foundation.  You see, what I believed in was being questioned, but who I believed in was still very real and powerful.  I stood there alone as a person and yet the God of all creation was standing there with me.

During that time my life seemed as if someone had torn it up in a million pieces and thrown those pieces into the air.  As I looked around me I remember thinking how very hopeless this was.  How could I be complete again? There was no way I could put the pieces back together.  I wanted to desperately put my life the way it was, for months I tried.  I lived in regret and sorrow. I knew that I was no longer the person I was the day before my diagnosis.  I tried to become that person again, as much as I tried, I failed.  From this point on my only recourse was to begin to rebuild.  I had to start with the inside.   My journey truly became evident to me then.  I knew deep in my heart that this road would not be easy to travel and yet I chose to walk down it, no matter what lay ahead.  The past 2 years holds many memories for me, some are so painful that I begin to cry just thinking about them.  No, this road has not been easy, there have been many rocks and obstacles along my path, but somewhere inside me I recognize that I am a better person because of it. I'm more connected with myself, with my family and with God.  For this, I am thankful.



At the age of 32 I can reflect back on many memories of my life.  I remember at the age of 8 that my sister Cathy died of leukemia.  Her life ended and I remember missing her very much, even now, 24 years later I still miss her.  My parents divorced and I spent time living with mom and
visiting dad.  In 1991 we found out that my mom had cancer.  She had surgery and two years later she died and went on to the other side.  I  realized how much of who I was, was a result of her influence, I was thankful for that.   I was with her during her last days and we experienced a lot together.  There was one time in particular, I was feeding her, she told me "someone is standing next to my chair", I asked her "do you know who it is", she said "no", I asked her "are you afraid", she said "no".  That was all that was said and I watched her throughout the day as she kept looking back and forth to the right side of her seat. I prayed for her that night and  I ask God to let her death be gentle. The next morning as she was rocking in her chair she turned and said "I can't breathe".  We got her back into bed and  I was sitting by her holding her hand.  I looked into her eyes and they were so blue, even now I remember that as if it was yesterday, her peace was beyond my comprehension. I told her "I love you" and she squeezed my hand and died. That moment will always be in my heart.  To me, my mom was in a wonderful place, she was home.

I realized after my mom's death that all I had left was my father.  I wasn't willing to let him go to.  When I came home I made sure I stopped to see him.  I always enjoyed talking with him.  It seemed to be so natural that he and I could talk and that I didn't need to think about what I was
supposed to say.  I loved to hear him laugh.  For many years I just shoved my dad to the side, as I look back and reflect on that I see how very wrong I was. All I have now is the present and I'm going to love him more than ever before. My dad is truly very dear to me and is a great strength during this time in my life.  I don't know where I would be without him ~ I'm  thankful that I do have him.  My dad is not the only one that has given me strength and love, my sisters have as well as have my Church and a few friends.  I also receive a tremendous amount of support from a lot of people that I don't even know. I say that because I haven't met many of them in person.  I do know their hearts and I'm so very thankful that our paths have crossed.  These people are all involved in a Cancer Support Room on the internet.  It is in this room that I can laugh and cry.  It is here where, when all my strength is gone, that I am being held up with love and concern of those who understand the road that I'm on.  It is here where I can just go and receive a hug that will help me live one more moment.  My life has truly been blessed.


Ever since I came to know and serve the Lord I have always felt His presence with me.  There were many times in my life when troubles seemed to loom around me.  In those times, although they were very hard, I never really questioned the fact that I knew God was in control and that I would come out on the other side.  At this moment and time in my life I feel God's presence and peace in a greater capacity.  There are many nights as I lay in bed I feel Him wrap His arms around me and hold me.  There is peace and comfort in those times that cannot be described here on this earth.  I have prayed over and over again for the Lord to back away a little if it wasn't my time to come home.  It is hard to explain for I truly don't think people understand this closeness unless they have gone through it as well.  I hold it in my heart so very often and really don't share it with those around me. As of right now, at 33 years of age, I want nothing more than to die and go and be with the Lord.  This has nothing to do with quitting.  It has everything to do with His love, His peace, His faithfulness and His willingness to hold me and love me. I reflect back on my life, yes, I am young but I have no regrets.  I have done all that I have set out to do and as of right now I feel as if my life is complete.  That is hard for many people, actually for most people to understand, but it is a deep underlying truth within me.  I have no regrets and no sorrow for what is happening now.

Anger has not been a problem for me.  There are many things that I can't explain to those around me.  I don't know why this cancer has happened but I truly do not blame it on the Lord.  For me, it would have been a waste of time to yell and scream at the God that I know loves me very much.  As a nurse, I saw that people die every day.  Different ages and different diseases. There are no answers to many of these questions and it does me no good to dwell there.  All I have ever known is that my life is truly in His hands and that I will go home when it is my time.  The one thing that I'm dealing with is that I believe it is my time.  The closeness that I'm walking with God even overwhelms me.  As stated before, I've ask Him to back away and let me live if that is what I'm supposed to do.

This journey is one that we only can make by ourselves.  Each and every one of us is different.  We feel different, we see different, we comprehend different and we desire different.  My main battle is not with this cancer, it's with myself.  I've always been very strict with me and I want to make sure I'm not quitting.  I question myself but when I look deep within I know it's not quitting, it goes way beyond that, deep down I trust the one who created me and I desire to be with Him.

I've come home to be with my family.  I've been away for 13 years and now I'm glad to be able to just  love them.  Once, when I was in the hospital, 500 miles away from my family I had a near death experience.  I remember standing in this pure light.  I can't even envision it, it was just so pure.  It totally surrounded me.  On my left was a tunnel which was also made of the light.  I looked down into the tunnel and I knew deep within my spirit that it lead to my heavenly home.  I stared into it for what seemed like hours on end, it in itself brought me so much peace and contentment.  On my right was a presence.  I could not visually see this presence but I knew it was there. It spoke to my spirit and told me that it was my choice whether to stay or go. I remember standing there and before me were two things, one was my boyfriend whom I loved very much, the other was my family.  I thought of my boyfriend but thought of my family more.  I knew I was too far away from them to leave them.  I told the presence "no" and I was back in my hospital bed.  My boyfriend and I soon stopped seeing one another.  Not long after that I came back home to be with my family.  In the last 2 years we have grown close and I've been able to share with them and truly love them.  From this point on, if I see that tunnel again, I'm going home.  I feel complete.  No regrets, no shame, only happiness that my life hasn't been short changed.

In closing I want to share with those of you who desire the peace that I have at this very moment. I feel very fortunate and blessed that God's presence is so strong in my life and that He himself is walking beside me. I'm not special, not spiritual, all I know is that since I became a christian the Lord has been the most important person in my life.  I had Him when the rest of my life crumbled.  Each of us must have Him within our hearts, I mean truly in our hearts...if we do, nothing that happens can take away the peace that passes understanding.  As I'm on my way to Him, I pray that for my family, my friends and even to those I do not know.  He's here for you and for me, may you feel His presence even now.

The peace within me is so very pure and rich and holy.  Even now, I smile at the knowledge of where my spirit will go and what waits for me there. I'm complete.  I know that and it brings me much comfort.  From this point on all I can do is live each day and trust the Lord for when my journey is complete. I truly look forwards to the time when God calls me home, until then may my life truly reflect His love and His hope and His peace.

If you would like to contact Cynthia, her email address is

Cynthia I want to thank you for submitting this story to my site and may God bless you and watch over you. Eva

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