I am my own secret weapon

Strength and Courage •© GLOW IMAGES

Strength and Courage

“I am my own secret weapon.” were the words printed in the huge letters in a full-page ad in the July 25, Wall Street Journal.  Checking further, the ad was sponsored by Stand Up To Cancer and the Cancer Research Institute.

This ad indicates that we have the ability within ourselves to stand up – to take control of our health and what goes on in our lives.  We have within ourselves the tools necessary to deal with – and in some cases – destroy this often feared disease.

One common way that people diagnosed with cancer find inner strength to stand up is by turning to an existing spirituality or faith or discovering a new one.  Research consistently shows that the positive impact is separate from a specific theology or denomination.

In eastern philosophies there are long-standing teachings that focus on how to view illness in a way that brings ease. “Disease is, above all, dis-ease, absence of ease or Santi — sweet, joyous peace of the spirit reflected through the mind in the body.”  Baird T. Spalding, Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East.

In addition, “A number of spiritual teachers contend that a human’s spiritual growth is the most important thing in our life, and that challenges of all types always contain a hidden gift in the sense that they can help a person grow as a human being, …make them healthier and/or benefit them in other important ways,” states an article published in Healing Cancer Naturally under the title, Spirituality and Cancer Development, Healing Testimonials, and Spiritual Approaches to the Cancer Riddle. It goes on to say, “Whether this ‘hidden gift’ concept indeed is true to fact or not, it would seem that the best and most constructive attitude to take any challenge in life, be it on the physical, emotional … is trying to find what opportunity may be concealed inside our challenge, rather than considering oneself the helpless victim of (un)just circumstance and give up.”

“A cancer diagnosis often hands people reason to turn to prayer.  For many people, spirituality has a way of calming the spirit and providing answers.” says Mark Neidig, Sr., executive director of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, in a post titled, Why cancer patients turn to prayer.  He continues, “Putting one’s faith in something or someone offers comfort and hope for what we can’t explain … Turning to God in prayer often provides a reason and comfort to explain away the loss of control that we feel.”

In the Healing Cancer Naturally article the story of one woman is shared.  She had been diagnosed with cancer and was praying, not specifically for her recovery, but for courage. And, those around her were praying for her health.  The doctors were astonished when she did recover.  Her comment on this experience is especially revealing.  She says: “I am gladdened to find that I can still ‘write my life’ by choosing what attitude I face the world with.”

This idea that we can take charge of our health is not new.  Over a hundred years ago, Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who spent the first half of her 89 years seeking health and the second half writing about the role of spirituality and prayer in healing, wrote, “Take possession of your body, and govern its feeling and action.”

“Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good.” Eddy continues.  She realized her strength to overcome any adversity was from within – that her “own secret weapon” was spiritual.  She continues by telling us that, “God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.”  Each of us does have the innate ability to use our inner “secret weapons” — courage, determination, spiritual strength, fearlessness,  hope, expectancy of good, and trust — to overcome even life-threatening diagnoses.

Many years ago, I was diagnosed with an “aggressive growth”.  The physician’s diagnosis and prognosis, including grafting, amputation and possible death were so alarming that I fainted on the examination table. I was strongly advised to immediately check into the hospital and prepare for surgery the next morning.

In the hospital room that evening, I decided I could stand up to these dire predictions and I turned to God in prayer – something I hadn’t done for years.  I called my mother and asked if she would pray with me too.  She spoke to me encouragingly and gave me a Bible verse to think about.

Instead of sleeping, I contemplated the Scriptures and continued to pray.  After surgery, when I awakened in the recovery room, the physician said he was amazed at what he found – nothing.  All evidence of the “aggressive growth” was already gone.

Thomas Jefferson has said to, “never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.” In my observation, this may also be good advice when it comes to standing up and taking care of our health.

Kate is interested in blogging about health, health care, spirituality, Christian Science, science, the importance of prayer and religion.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler, and riding motorcycles. 

Science and Health, page 393





  1. Such an inspiring blog! Thank you, Kate!

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience! I had a similar experience, where the prognosis was “delivered to me straight.” I ALMOST fainted, but my head and the room was definitely spinning! I called my dad for a steadying voice. Once grounded, I was able to pray, and let the light of the Christ fill my thought. The result was the same, when the next diagnosis came, that particular “problem” had effortlessly vanished..I am so grateful to have this opportunity to share this experience and to read yours.