Happy Socks Pt II – Music Moves Me

I trust that everyone is well and dealing with whatever changes that the corona virus has made in your lives. I must say that I really feel sorry for the high school and college athletes who have their senior seasons cut short. Some campuses may even cancel graduation services and those who have worked so very hard for a degree will not experience the joy of actually walking across the platform and receiving their diploma. As you have read in previous posts our youngest grand daughter is on the high school track team and was on track to have a great season. The team had the chance to win their third consecutive state championship. That is certainly in jeopardy. Fortunately our grand daughter will get to compete on the college level, but the vast majority of high school/college athletes in their senior year are closing out their athletic careers and will never know how their senior season would have ended and will never again step into the arena of competitive sports.  With that said, keep this entire planet in your thoughts and prayers and global leadership, science, and medicine attempt to get this virus under control and find a cure.

 

Happy Socks Part II

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If you want the full story about these colorful socks you will have to begin at the beginning. Scroll back to last week for Part I of the journey.

As I shared last week tests revealed that I had a large soft tissue sarcoma in my abdomen and needed to be removed and none of the local surgeons were comfortable dealing with a mass the size of the one that occupied my abdominal cavity. What surprised them was that I was showing no signs of any problem. I was not experiencing any pain. All of my normal functions were functioning normally. Other than appearing to be significantly overweight there was no indication that a large mass was rearranging the position of multiple organs. The CT guided biopsy was done in mid September. After several days I was told that I had an appointment to see a surgeon at the University of Arkansas Medical School (UAMS) this first week of October. So we wait again. So far the thought that this whole process might be deadly serious had not really sunk in. We met with the surgeon in Little Rock and he explained that this type of cancer does not often show signs of it’s presence because it doesn’t attack organs. It grows on a fatty soft tissue tumor and is not typically discovered until doctors are looking for something else that requires a CT scan.  He was very confident that the mass could be removed but that a kidney might be lost in the process because the mass had grown around it, kind of like tree roots growing around a rock. It’s easier to just dig up the rock than try to remove each root and save the rock. Surgery was scheduled for the last of October so we wait again. During the waiting period I was to be on a low fat diet which is not as difficult as it sounds.

So…after seven months of appointments and tests we know that I have two types of cancer, both are treatable but they have to be done in a certain order. Surgery first, then radiation. It was during this waiting period that the reality of the situation hit me. I might not survive this ordeal! I had never asked, “Why me?” I had always wondered “Why not me?” I had lost several younger friends to various diseases and found myself wondering why had I been spared these maladies. Apparently, my time had come. Until now I had not given much thought to my situation. Then one evening, when the house was quiet and empty, I cried. Later I would call it my “cancer cry”. I had become fully aware that one of these two forms of cancer might end my life. I never blamed God for my situation because I had seen better Christians than myself fall to disease. I cried out to God. I asked that He be honored and glorified. If he chose to heal me and give testimony to His power over all disease that would be glorious. However, if He had chosen to call me home by way of cancer I only asked that my witness and life through the journey would bring honor and glory to my Lord. It was at that point that I felt a peace about the whole situation. I had come the place where I understood what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Over the next couple of weeks it became apparent that a small army of fellow believers were lifting my wife and I up in prayer. We got cards, texts, emails and phone calls from every corner of this great nation and seemingly every decade of our lives that offered encouragement and prayers. As I said, waiting is the hard part. Three days prior to surgery we decided to head toward Little Rock and make preparations for my surgery.  To be continued…

Monday’s Music Moves Me

This week the theme is St. Patricks Day…of course.

19 thoughts on “Happy Socks Pt II – Music Moves Me

  1. John,

    We don’t know why we’re pulled into any situation but we can rest assured that God has a purpose for all things. I’m delighted to know that your prognosis is good. This I know, my friend God is honored through your words and deeds. What a blessing it is to count you as my friend and brother in Christ!

    Things are well on this side and I pray that it stays. The world is going crazier. The unknown always makes everyone wonky and that fear drives people to behave nuts-o. I do think it’s a good idea to cancel large public gatherings for a few months until this mess blows over. Tell your granddaughter while she’s disappointed with how her senior year is turning out to think about how interesting it’ll be someday to pass this story onto her grandkids. The good news is we’ve learned a lot from other countries since this started. Common sense and self protection are essentials to surviving this or any crisis. Don’t be afraid to avoid someone’ s cough or sneeze or to shake hands. There’s no need to put yourself or others at risk. Keep your hands away from your face and frequent hand washings will cut down much of the contamination. I say your immune system is a bit more compromised than others with your recent cancer treatments, so be well my friend. I am praying for this to pass quickly without loss of many other lives. Thanks for joining the 4M crew on the dance floor. Have a joyful week, my friend!

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    1. We broke all of the rules this past week-end as we traveled to Branson, MO for a three day gospel event with 3000 of our Christian brothers and sisters. We are limiting our excursions now. I’ve got a few personal projects to work on and we now have a 1000 piece puzzle to figure out. Life goes on.

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  2. It’s a shame that so many young folks might get cheated out what they have worked so hard for.

    I’ll await your next installment. What a frightening thing to go through.

    Have a blessed day and week, my friend. 🙂

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  3. I guess as a friend I should say I am so very sorry about your situation and I do say that, but as to all my brothers and sisters of the Lord I say, “I’m your sister in faith my friend and I truly believe the Lord is with you every moment to guide you down the right path until the devil is cast out of you. The Lord I’m sure has made a wall around Satan as for him not to bother you anymore then he already is. I put you on my prayer list last week. One thing puzzles me though with these doctors. Why are they waiting so long to get rid of this mass? I don’t get it. Anyway, such a good person you are my friend and you shall remain on my prayer list for as long as it takes to cast Satan out. “When you feel like your drowning in life, don’t worry you life guard walks on water! “The Lord”! i had a wonderful picture for you, but you can’t post any here. 😦 Sorry! There’s another pic with only one set of footprints in the sand of which I’m sure you know that one. He is always with us, Amen. Thank you for playing along on our Music Monday Moves Me. hugs

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  4. We hope everything goes well with the cancer and treatment. As for the kids, we feel bad for our niece who is a senior in high school, always involved in activities and is not stuck at home, probably no prom or graduation. Missing out on all the life moments is sad. In the neighborhood all the college kids are home until at least the fall. Many of them are also seniors and missing out on that special time. It is a sad time, but we have to get through it.

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    1. The local administration will review the situation in a couple of weeks. Hopefully some of the spring will be salvaged for the kids. In the mean time we just have to do what we know is in the best interest of the community and country.

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  5. I think back (before my time, but still) to the Greatest Generation whose high school graduates immediately went off to war. We are having a small taste of it now as it is the current generation’s turn to sacrifice. We all will know hardship of some kind in the coming days. I speak as someone who lives in New York State, where the virus has taken hold (although it has just started in the county where I live). We will see the best and the worst in humanity in the coming days. Cancer is something I have not faced and I may or may not face it, and I will continue to both think of you and look forward to the next installment of your story.

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