Well, obviously from my last e-mail I have been more than a little discouraged by the recent PET CT results. While I am not one to sit around the house moping, I have to admit I have gone out of my way to avoid talking about what I am feeling. When I start feeling sorry for myself I am reminded of the many soldiers that have given their lives to protect our country from terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am also reminded of the injured and disabled that live in pain all the time. I am also reminded what a gift dancing/living on the edge of heaven is. I decided to go back and read a few of my Blogs thinking I might gain some wisdom. While I read a number of them the following were the ones that spoke to me the loudest:

7 September 2007 What is it about letting our kids go… Don’t waste your time looking for affordable glucophage deals anymore, because you’ve found it – buy your medicine for 0.25 USD now!
28 May 2007 A word from the heart
25 April 2007 Live Like you were dying
19 April 2007 An amazing day jam packed with joy
11 April 2007 Healing Tears
3 March 2007 A Discouraging few days
22 February 2007 A hard conversation with Doug Lee
18 October 2006 Three chances to escape Cancer
15 October 2006 Colonscopy, No colon cancer and dinner celebration at Canlis

So what did I learn, drinking my own Kool-Aid? I actually didn’t learn anything new but was reminded of a number of truths that are important:

  • God is good, all the time, despite our physical circumstances and limited understanding.
  • Eternal life is a real destination, not imagination.
  • Breathe every breath, live every day as if it were your last.
  • My heart has been transformed in ways that would never have happened without cancer.
  • This journey is a roller coaster and things change, good or bad, frequently and unexpectedly.
  • PET and CT scans can be interpreted differently by different specialists. All data is helpful.
  • We are still going to do everything we can to beat the &%$%@# out of the tumors.
  • Dancing on the edge of heaven rocks!
  • Joy of living is different than fear of death.
  • Miracles happen then and now.
  • I am a blessed man.

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Comments

7 Comments so far

  1. Polly Urquhart on October 1, 2007 8:01 pm

    Don, we think about you and pray for you even more than daily…sometimes daily but other times many times through the day. And that’s the Spirit, not us. Today’s blog was so good after the day before which was so hard to hear. I just want to say, “please don’t be too hard on yourself for being human and having negative feelings about what is coming your way and such disappoint news. It’s healthy to have those feelings with our Father. Hopefully you did. Probably you did and He reminded you of all you’ve learned. Remember Jesus in Gethsemane…He had a hard time with the Father’s will. I’m still asking for that miracle…that He will glorify Himself in your healing and continue to strengthen and encourage all of your family. I’m so grateful we know we can trust Him. Doug and I care so very much.
    Polly

  2. betsy b mullen on October 1, 2007 10:37 pm

    Dear Don and Heather,
    Because I read your blogs I am much less whiny, much more grateful, and I have much more faith in the Goodness of God at all times – at least for the ten minutes or so following the reading. Honestly, I have felt so bolstered in my faith and in my life by reading your story, that I am also feeling a little guilty for taking, taking, taking, and not giving anything back. I think that I am a little afraid of interfering with the good thing that you have going. In any case, I don’t have anything profound to offer but my heart-felt thanks for being wide-open and transparent as you live your life. It is beautiful and moving and challenging and incredibly life-giving. I do pray for you and your family near and far, and I am a huge Tim McGraw fan.
    Blessings,
    Betsy Mullen

  3. stan on October 1, 2007 11:50 pm

    Thanks for the reflection and affirmation..Don,
    no matter what happens, you are (being) the light..allowing the Spirit through you, so vividly…..thanks….we will keep on praying and pleading, when we can remember to pray….24/7…unceasingly…..always….
    thanks again…..and keep on truck’in….

    Smile,
    Stan

  4. Mike Murray on October 2, 2007 7:10 am

    Hi Don,
    One of the first things I do in the moring is read your e-mails. Your resolve is amazing. I am fighting something as simple as my weight gain and your messages are great reminders of the need to keep fighting.

    Take Care and God is Good..
    Mike

  5. Polly Urquhart on October 2, 2007 12:20 pm

    Don this is a short interview but a “long comment” I just knew you could relate and felt you would enjoy…..Polly

    Rick Warren Interview

    You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having “wealth” from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, “Purpose Driven Life ” author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California .
    In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:
    “People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me. I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
    We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense. Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
    The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
    This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore. Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
    And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for. You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is ‘my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

    We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
    You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy. It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
    So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72. First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases. Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation. Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
    We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)? When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do. That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.
    Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
    Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
    Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
    Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
    Every moment, THANK GOD.

  6. Polly Urquhart on October 2, 2007 12:21 pm

    Not that I’ve let go of the healing expectation and request!
    Polly

  7. Randor on October 5, 2007 11:19 am

    Dear Don, It’s hard to add anything to what Rick/Polly said. They are both RIGHT ON! Debbie and I continue to pray for your healing and that God will greatly use you to bless other people, you have certainly blessed me in ways that I could never express.

    Your story continues to inspire me to live like I am dying and to share Jesus’s love with everyone I meet and to use words only when necessary! My “Don cut” hairstyle also gives me great opportunities to share about you and in turn Jesus! Keep up the “good fight,” I we will see each other soon!

    YBIC, Randy

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