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How Cancer Changed My Faith

When faced with a life threatening illness, many people have very specific reactions to their faith and how they continue to practice their faith. I wasn’t sure how my beliefs might change and what I would put all of my faith in, but as I continued to go through treatment and experience survivorship, it all became quite clear to me. I hope this video finds you in peace and that you are able to offer an open heart in understanding why I believe what I do.

I am always interested and open to hearing about your journey and how adversity has affected your belief system in a higher power! Please open that dialogue with me below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jim Smith moderator
    4 months ago

    @radiant-racheli I was raised a Christian in the United Church of Christ. Later, as an adult, I became a Seventh-day Adventist. Though that is a Christian faith, we kept the same Sabbath that you kept (Friday evening to Saturday evening). My wife, adult children, and their children are all SDA’s. I no longer consider myself one.

    My father died of lung cancer just prior to my own diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). I have since become an agnostic believing that the existence of God is unknowable. I can’t prove He exists and I can’t prove He doesn’t.

    I have not discussed this much with my family. In fact, except for my wife, I guess I’m still “in the closet,” so to speak. I still capitalize the word “God.” I guess that means I’m still holding on to my former beliefs in some way.

    Like you, I don’t want to harm anyone or put them in doubt of their beliefs. Who am I to say what is truth. I still often wish readers of my posts “Godspeed” so I hope it doesn’t seem hypocritical. I simply mean I hope that life will find the answers they need, whether from God or their own journey.

    Your video was very courageous. I found it very encouraging. Thank you.

  • Denise
    10 months ago

    Thank you for this incredible and daring post on a highly sensitive topic. Your honest and courageous approach was without judgment to others’ belief systems. Please know I’ve shared similar feelings for many years. You are not alone.

  • Racheli Alkobey moderator author
    9 months ago

    Thank you so much for that acknowledgement. I am so glad to know that I am not alone.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    10 months ago

    Faith can be tricky for some. Speaking for myself and all that I’ve experienced in my life… I tell you there must be a higher power. Whether good or bad, I’ve learned this is life, and when we state “Why has this happened to me?”, in regards to illnesses and death; I believe that though we don’t see it at the time, there must be something we’re to learn from our experience. For some it takes a bit to figure what that is, for others, they chime in with sharing and helping others on their journey. This site is a perfect example of allowing many to share and learn with the various experiences of hope and dignity.

  • Mike Padjen
    10 months ago

    Racheli, thank you so much for sharing this. Your presentation of a subject that can be controversial was so well done. I am a “Christian” and must say that early on in my treatment I had a very difficult time accepting what had happened and did question why a loving God would allow this on anyone. I did though continue to pray and meditate on my relationship and came to the conclusion that God had nothing to with my sickness. In fact, as time went on, I discovered my faith grew. So many positive things started occurring in my life. I have been able to be given love and love back so many people I may have otherwise not had the chance if I had continued living the normal life I had. I discovered a talent of being able to move people through writing, and so many other things. I also decided that I can serve God through serving my fellow humans, and environment. Finally I discovered a great Hope in the promises of God without trying to figure out why bad things happen or where all this ends. As you said, we all end up in a different spiritual place that makes sense for us. My place right now is a very grateful place for the blessings I have been given even in this awful situation, and I believe God has played a role in that somehow. Thank you again for bringing up this subject in such a tolerant, loving way.

  • Racheli Alkobey moderator author
    9 months ago

    Hi Mike! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response to this topic and my words. I love your perspective and think that your journey is so special!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago

    I dont think cancer has affected my faith in any way. I didn’t blame God, nor did I ask for help. I just depended on myself and what I thought was best for me.

  • Racheli Alkobey moderator author
    9 months ago

    That’s fair!

  • donnaclabaugh
    10 months ago

    Racheli, I have just been diagnosed with blood cancer.
    MDS & MF. I am a christian who loves the Jewish people. My heart broke watching your video. My faith in God is what helps me. I pray that your mind and heart will be opened. I pray for your healing.

  • Pamela Munnelly moderator
    10 months ago

    @donnaclabaugh – I’m sorry to hear about your recent diagnoses but am so glad you have found your faith to be helpful in getting you through this difficult time. While we all cope differently, faith is often an important part of the journey for many. Thank you so much for sharing with us here. – Pam (Team Member)

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