Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Benefits of Cancer (Part 1)

I don't know that I've ever tried to create a post while on this much pain medication. This should be interesting. But, since I still feel fairly coherent I'll give it a shot.

Cancer has been a wonderful blessing. (It's not the drugs. I really feel that way... sometimes.) This disease has given me a sharper focus on what really matters. Relationships I never expected, and some that were just under-appreciated, have become flourishing blooms of light amidst the darkness that looms just beyond my colon. (The darkness being the cancer... not other things that loom* just beyond my colon.)

One of those relationships is Sonja Frigaard. She was the captain of our Relay for Life team and I'm quite sure that we never would have met her had I not acquired cancer. She's a joy, a faithful friend, reliable, loving and sweet. I know it sounds like I'm describing a lovely Cocker-Spaniel but she has become one of our best friends. (And for you single guys out there: She's incredibly cute, has her crap completely together and I'm pretty sure she'll be independently wealthy before 2015.)

Having cancer has taught both Kristin and myself so much more about reliance on God. Sure, we've yelled... er.... "cried out" (that's how Christians are supposed to say it when they talk about yelling at God) to God on more than one occasion since this all started. I can't say we know His plan, but we didn't before. What we do know is that He has a plan. That's never in doubt. Though His timing is rarely what we'd hoped for, He doesn't fail us. We're still learning. Which works out, because He's still willing to teach.

This experience has also given me a more purposeful purpose. I've been truly touched by those who are following my experience and how I handle it. When people comment to me I rarely know what to say other than some slightly self-deprecating joke. But sometimes those comments have really helped to get me through the day. It's also a good reminder to know that someone, other than God, is watching you. It makes you think about your actions and reactions a little more.

There are many other benefits to this cancer that dwells inside me. The miracle of the amazing nursing staff and doctors at WVCI, the generosity of so many people (some whom I don't even know) to help us pay our bills until my disability finally kicks in (first check on January 3rd), the ability to finally put so many principles I've learned into practice and to realize how many principles I've actually learned... It goes on and on.

Unfortunately the Oxycodone I'm using to deal with the pain of my chemo-withdrawals is finally kicking in and I'm unsure if it's wise to use so many parentheses in one post.

So we can't afford to go to Portland for the day, we can't afford to have a Halloween party, we eat a lot of peanut butter sandwiches... in the big picture the only thing it hurts is my pride. Many of you have known me long enough to know that my pride could use a little hurting now and then. I watched my puppy run through the dog park today as my wife stood there smiling. Don't think I could ask for much more than that even if I was cancer free.

God bless you all. Goodnight.

*As I type of the cancer looming beyond my colon I get this picture of a horrible dark blob of cancer dressed as Sleeping Beauty and pricking it's finger on the needle of the spinning wheel. Loom... get it?

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