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  • Writer's pictureSandy

The Hand you are Dealt

Hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds, wild cards, jokers, runs, groups…………

Growing up playing cards was always something my family did. In fact, it was a very special feeling when you were finally old enough to be a participant at the “adult” table. Though you were included, it still took many games to learn the rules and maybe years before you could finally win at least one hand against Grandma!

I cannot help but think how dealing with cancer or whatever life may decide to throw your way, is a lot like playing a game of cards. When you get the news you are diagnosis with cancer you may not feel like you are “playing with a full deck.” Sometimes you look at the hand you were dealt and cannot see anything good will be come of it. Other times you look at your hand and you see a great hand. Life can be like that. Sometimes a bad hand can become good by drawing the perfect card. You never know what the next card will bring. Just like each day you awake and you never know what might go right for the day.

Worrying about what cards will come your way is like worrying about the future. It is out of your control, so the best thing to do is to take things as they come. I know worry is a part of life, but putting your trust in God, for me, is the only way. Faith over Fear.


“We cannot change the cards we were dealt, just how we play the hand.”-Randy Pausch

Remember when someone tricked you in to playing 52 card pick-up? The game that was really a joke (on you)! The person would spew the cards into the air and you would have to “pick them up.” When the weight of cancer is heavy on your mind, from time to time, I would feel like the cards were flying in the air. I would keep things inside until the littlest thing would cause me to explode, like the 52 pick-up. Was it what I wanted to happen? No, but it is usually what needed to happen. Time to release my frustration of my life changing in a way I have no control over. Once the outburst is over you can get back to your “normal” or at least have your emotions under control for a while. I encourage you to try to get those feelings out from time to time, don’t be afraid to play your cards.

There are days when a game of solitaire is all you need. Being alone with your thoughts, shuffling and taking the cards as they come can be very therapeutic. What happens when you lose while playing solitaire? You just shuffle the cards and try again. Play enough and the luck of the cards will come your way. You don’t give up, because you know eventually things will work out. Solitaire is that reminder in life to just keep trying, you may have to shuffle every once in awhile to get on the right track, but don’t give up.

Our favorite card games we play usually have groups (3 of a kind) and runs (same suit in correct order) and of course there are wild cards and jokers. What would life be like if there was not a “wild card” here and there to mix things up? You can have an awful hand and all it takes is a wild card to make things better. Just like in life, you can be having a bad day and all it takes is someone to smile, thank you, or compliment you on something and it can turn your day around. When people take the time to share something positive about the person you are interacting with, it can make such a difference. Knowing you have done a job well is the best feeling. Knowing people care is like having the ace in the hole. That secret card that makes everything fall into place. Take time to be the “wild card” for people.

We continue to love playing cards with friends and family. The games we choose seems to be a lot less “challenging” but its great entertainment. Some people feel that it’s just a game of chance, but who knows, there could be more behind the choices we make. Ultimately, it’s fun to win, but it’s more fun to play the game with the people you enjoy spending time with. So, in life, remember to play the “joy” card in all you do.

There really is no right or wrong way, only the way you choose to “deal” with what life sends your way. Just remember you hold all the cards. You can decide when to play your Ace. Like life, the more you play the better you become!

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