From my husband, David, my brave cancer survivor:
I am blessed. Six months ago I was lying in a hospital bed in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first time I had ever been an inpatient in a hospital in my life. A few days earlier a doctor had come into my room to tell me I had a blood clot in my lungs which she said "was not uncommon with a malignancy". MALIGNANCY! That means cancer. No one had told me up to that point that I had cancer.
I had just been diagnosed with a large tumor at the base of my spine on March 20th. I was hoping it was benign and they could just get rid of it. No, I had cancer. Just before that, Annette, a friend of mine from high school was diagnosed with cancer. Annette and I emailed back and forth many times in the last six months about our cancer journeys. A month or so later, Eldon, a ministry friend of mine in Florida was diagnosed with cancer in the same area as me. Eldon and I talked on the phone a number of times about our journeys.
Eldon died just about a month ago.
Annette died just this past week.
As I sit here on the first day of my 58th year, I am healthy and strong. After 6 all-day chemotherapy treatments over 5 months, I had a PET Scan a month ago that showed that I am in total remission. Yes, I missed 4 weeks of work. Yes I was sick for a few of the other days. Yes, I have had multiple side effects.
But I am alive.
I am working full time and living a full life with just a few side effects left. I have a wonderful wife and 8 great children. I am also now blessed with 5 grandchildren. After 3 solid years of financial instability I have a new great job that meets our financial needs. We have had to move 3 times in the last 3 years but next year we will we able to make a permanent move and buy our own home once again. Ministry is still very unsettled but that is not under my control. I see God opening and closing doors for us and know He has a plan for us in that area too.
When I realize what is and what could have been, I know I am blessed. When I realize my two friends are gone from this life, I realize that could of just as easily been me. But is it not. I have sat with many an elderly person when they reflected on why "God has still left them here." I have always told them that God has more things for them. Now I am telling that to myself. I look with anticipation to a new year in my life and wonder what God has for me. I know whatever it is, it will be good to His glory.
Thanks for listening (if you read this far).