Last Tuesday was it. It marked the end of a twelve month chapter. 164 days of Interferon. On Tuesday and Wednesday of last week I had fun reminiscing back to the very first day of treatment. I enjoyed reading one of my first blogs “Day 1- The Beginning” and reflecting on a year that has changed my life forever.
February 23, 2010 –I wondered with much anxiety the night before my first treatment what I was supposed to expect. My heart and my mind were filled with reluctance. It was an eerie feeling realizing that this was going to be the last normal night for me for a while.
February 23, 2011- Wow. I am completely and utterly speechless. This year in its entirety has been on of surreality, but with that last injection last night, I felt like I had just entered another world. I feel more relief now than a few hours following a three course feast of Mexican food. That probably makes no sense, but who cares. RELIEF! Ahh yes! I, my friend, just belted out the word ‘FREEDOM!’ in a way that would put William Wallace to shame. And then looking over my left shoulder, I caught a glimpse of a woman staring in perplexity as we waited for the light to turn green. Embarrassing? Nah!
February 23, 2010-Now, I know I’m not the bravest man in the world when it comes to needles and knives…actually I’m quite a pansy sometimes…BUT boy o’ boy that needle was big. Knowing that particular needle was going to be put in my chest made me curl my fingers and toes in extreme discomfort.
February 23, 2011- And I’m still a pansy. Never did work up the courage to actually stick myself with a needle. Actually, the thought never even crossed my mind again after my first attempt last March. God bless my wife for sticking me over 300 times!
February 23, 2010- I felt like horse manure and coming to terms with the fact that this was only day 1…well, it wasn’t a fun feeling.
February 23, 2011- Speaking of horses, I think I just pulled off a move that resembled a wild stallion. Wild stallion? I wonder if Mary thinks that’s a good nickname…
February 24, 2010- The rest is history and she is now sitting beside me day by day supporting me through my treatments. She’s more adorable than ever, especially since she’s carrying our first little girl, Reese. She sits here with me, Bible open, yearning to know Christ better. She prays with me daily and encourages me more times than you could imagine. Obviously she didn’t sign up for having a husband who has cancer while at the same time carrying our first child. But she has never complained. She has been a consistent rock all the way through this. Shame on me for the days that I forget to thank and praise the Lord for this wife of Noble Character; my drop dead gorgeous queen. She’s my bride and I consider myself the most blessed man alive.
February 23, 2011- I’ve shed a few tears this year. July 3, 2010 was the day after Reese was born. Completely exhausted and running on the fumes of adrenaline carried over from Reese’s arrival, I decided to run in a local 5k for Melanoma which was in honor and memory of Denny Neely who lost his fight with Melanoma in 2009. Being the first year for the race, there wasn’t a huge turnout, but I had many close friends who came out in support. You ever feel pain both physically and emotionally in your heart, and all of your insides just stand down and allow tears to flow? This entire race, I fought holding back heavy tears. My eyes probably turned blood-shot red. I held them back all the way to the finish. But as I walked from that finish, I literally was brought to my knees and wept uncontrollably.
I can’t describe to anybody in words what I felt at that moment. God has overwhelmed me by giving me such a selfless and loving wife. She’s a gift, and she’s a gift that never stops giving. I can confidently say that my wife is my best friend. But I can also proclaim that she is also a hero to me. She reflects the unconditional love of our Savior better than anybody I know.
February 23, 2010-“It’s all about you, Jesus, and all this is for you, for your glory and your fame, It’s not about me, As if you should do things my way, You ALONE are God and I surrender to your ways.”
February 23, 2011- I had to be careful when thinking what to title this entry. How quickly I want to call this The End, but it’s not. Even though the circumstances of physical strain and exhaustion in the form of Interferon are gone at the moment, I know that happiness in that can quickly become just another empty hope in something other than Christ. And of course it’s not the end to my battle with cancer. That continues. But I don’t want to be known as a brave man who fought cancer. Forget cancer. I want to be a man known for his fight for his Savior, Jesus Christ. And that does not end. That is a daily fight that I will wrestle and grow with for the remainder of my years here on earth. And forget being known by man, for that can cause my heart to live in selfish ambition. Lord, let my life reflect the glory of your powerful name. Let it be a sweet aroma. I long to know the fear of the Lord, as I humbly press on toward the goal that you have set before me. And nothing comes from me, but it’s by your grace and your grace alone Father. “It’s all about you, Jesus…” and that does not change, even a year passed. It will never change. My God never changes!