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
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.