Wednesday, September 25, 2013

News from a fellow cancer warrior

"Tim" is a family friend from years ago. He is a fellow cancer warrior and I wanted to share with you an announcement he sent to his friends. Tim is a great man and I look up to him. He inspires me and I hope his words inspire you, too. Every time I am reminded of the great people out there, it continues to restore my faith in humanity.

How is it that I didn't marry a man of great character to begin with? I'm going to think about this one and write a future blog post on this very topic. I need to ensure that my next choice is a good one and I never end up repeating past mistakes. I'll leave you with this as I think about how I'll ensure I do things differently the next time. Stay tuned!
Dear Friends,
I have been a bit remiss in giving health updates, primarily because much has been up in the air. It is settling down now, however. I go in for a major operation on Thursday, September 26. The current plan is to remove a cancer from my ureter and to possibly remove my bladder (it is clear of cancer at present, but it may be best to remove it, since my cancer did recur on one occasion). If this happens, I will be in the hospital for 8-10 days and will recuperate for a couple of months. This may sound ominous to some, but I am completely at peace. As I have prayed about this, I have felt great peace. Let me share the note that I wrote to my doctor:

 "I have spent much time reflecting and praying, even fasting, regarding what I should do. Earlier this week, I awakened early and had the strongest sense that all will be well and that I should simply ask you to do what you would recommend or do for your own father or brother if they were on the operating table and asking for your counsel. Throughout this entire process, I have been told and have felt that the best thing I can do is what you would have me do. During the operation on Thursday morning, I know that you, and those working with you, will be blessed and inspired to use your talents well and wisely. I am at perfect peace about that. You will surely address the left distal ureteral carcinoma. The present plan is to proceed with the removal of the bladder and the dissection of the lymph nodes. I am certainly fine with that and would only add that when you go in, do what is best and what you feel to do. I am prepared for whatever that might be. There are so many wonderful blessings that have been associated with this learning experience. I am a better person (husband, father, grandfather, and even teacher and scholar) for what I have learned as I have dealt with this cancer. One of the best of those blessings has been to know that I am in such able and caring hands."
I am currently teaching contracts and I told my students that if I were offered the opportunity of becoming a more loving and kind human being, husband, father and grandfather in exchange for this cancer treatment, I would agree in a minute, and I suspect I did just that in the world before this world. I am so deeply grateful -- awe would fit well here -- for the blessing that this has been.

I know that the coming weeks will bring their challenging moments, but moments they are. I also know that I will be blessed by the Master-Teacher as I face this great learning experience. Having said that, I will ask for one favor: I know that prayers are effectual, and I ask for yours, if you feel so inclined.

As I am wheeled in to the operating room on Thursday morning, my heart will be full of love for all who have been so good to me over the course of my lifetime, many of whom are friends on this page.

With love and gratitude,