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Tony WinterBy Tony Winter, MDiv,
Board Certified Chaplain

Being told that you have cancer is one of the things no one wants to hear. It will make you look deeper and maybe differently at much of what you know and believe about your life. I have listened to hundreds if not thousands of patients tell their stories.

As a chaplain, they usually will tell me about what has happened most recently. Then their story will journey back in time to important moments that brought them to the present time. Eventually, they will explore where they may be going next. I will help them connect with what has helped them find meaning in the past. Together, we will see if it still does now or if it may again in the future.

Patients may have questions like: Where is God? What did I do to deserve this? Will life ever get back to normal?

I have said to many of my patients that if I ever wrote a book, it would be titled, "How Cancer Hijacks Your Life." I say this because many things like career goals, time with family, vacations or retirement were all put on hold, changed or canceled after their health challenges and cancer treatments took over so much of their energy. 

If you can identify in some way with what you have just read, know that Moffitt Cancer Center has board-certified chaplains available to talk with you.

If you would like to talk with a chaplain, please call 813-745-2856.