Note: On 12/24 it will be 11 years since I completed my final cancer treatment. This week I am writing reflectively a bit about my experience.
My chemo treatments were an all day affair at the doctor’s office in his treatment room. Hopefully you have never had to visit one of these rooms. Mine was filled with large recliners set side by side and I was typically by many years the youngest person receiving a treatment. The type of chemo I received was different from the other folks in that I got it all in one long day and I did not lose my hair. The in office treatment was followed by immunotherapy through self administered shots in the evening. I will spare the details only to say the reaction to the interferon was far worse than the chemotherapy.
The miracle here was that the therapy began to shrink the tumors faster and to a smaller size than the Dr’s had believed were possible. Suddenly the prospect of having the tumors surgically removed became an unexpected reality. In this second surgery they would remove the remaining tumors and at the same time all the lymph nodes under my right arm and near the right side of my neck.
Hope was on my radar.
The second surgery—
I will never forget the day we met with the Dr. for the results. The poor guy could not even look me in the eye as he told me the news. Yes they successfully removed the four remaining tumors. Unfortunately, almost all of the nodes removed showed clear signs of cancer.
All I could think was, “this can’t be happening to me” “I have too much left to do” “Why Lord would you have my son grow up having never known his father just as I had? Why! Why! Why!”
I decided right then to no longer ask why or fear my fate. Instead I wrote this credo in my journal:
What I know:
Through the power of Christ, I will be healed;
I have read all the statistics and understand the challenge before me;
This is a battle that cannot be fought alone;
There are people out there who are beating this thing;
I have a wonderful medical team working to help me be well again;
Cancer is a word and not a sentence;
What I plan to do:
Since I have already read the statistics, I will no longer worry about them;
I will work every day to get closer to God so that I may understand this plan for my life;
I will put my health and treatments before work;
I will remember that what is important is to love my family and strive to support them (its really not about me);
I will continue to believe that I will be healed;
I will seek out support from friends and family;
I will work to reduce stress in my life;
This credo indeed was a bit of a turning point for me from an internal attitude point of view. I had decided to move on and live life no matter how long that life may turn out to be.
More to the story with my next and final post on this topic….