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April 07, 2005

Popping Cancer: Timing is everything.

When I was a teenager, and first diagnosed with late stage Hodgkin's Disease, it was quite a shock. We all think we're going to live forever, especially when we're kids.

I had a sore throat and some mild weakness. I didn't notice that the lymph nodes in my neck had hardened and swollen enough that I had gone up a full neck size in my shirts. I was a kid on summer vacation from college and all I ever wore were loose t-shirts.

This time around, as a man of 35 (now 36), it was the same deal. In spite of 6-month checkups, I felt good and thought I would live forever. In this case, timing was even more important.

The sarcoma started as a lump on my back in the spot where I had taken radiation treatments as a teen. I had lost 85 pounds (on purpose) and the lump was growing as I was shrinking. Finally, I noticed it when I went to bed... like I was on a rolled-up sock.

By that time the lump was very large... the incision from the surgery to remove it was about 9 inches long.

If I had found the lump a month earlier, it is very possible that it could have been removed completely and treated with a little radiation before it spread to my lungs. If I had found the lump a month later, it is very possible that I wouldn't be doing treatment right now, other than taking meds to make me comfy before I died.

Timing is everything.

Of course you think you're going to live forever. Of course, when you feel good, you can't imagine anything going wrong. You can't imagine being sick, especially not at your age.

I'm just saying that I was 17, and I was 35.

Maybe food for thought.

Posted by Dan at April 7, 2005 01:25 PM

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Are you saying age is NOT wisdom? I have to ask because at age 50, I was hoping I am wise now.

Posted by: Pam at April 7, 2005 02:22 PM

Pam, check back with me at 52.

Teasing, of course.

Posted by: Dan at April 7, 2005 04:55 PM

Wow, Dan. Yeah. Exactly.

Youth is wasted on the healthy. :-)

Posted by: Alex at April 8, 2005 02:36 AM

When I turned 35 in April of 2003, I had spent the last 5 years being ill 24/7 with a form of Muscular Dystrophy along with several other health issues. Having had to use a wheelchair, walker, cane, urine bag, extensive amounts of prescription medicines, being fed by others, bathed by others, and the list goes on/on. By August of that same year, the doctors declared me completely healed as a result of a miracle! Actually God had already done so!

Now fixing to turn 37 this coming Friday (Yes! Tax Day!), I find myself picking up my family (hubby and 3 sons) and moving to another city in Texas to become the primary care-givers for my daddy who has advancing Parkinson’s Disease and Diabetes. I am to be his driver, as he still wants to be out and about telling others about the love of God by visiting them in hospitals, taking them meals, and etc. While he will let others drive him from time to time, he has made it known that there is something about having his only daughter whom the Great Physician healed behind the wheel that brings him such peace and joy! If only he had known that when he was teaching me to drive when I was 15 and was challenging him at every turn. While my daddy holds no degree from any seminary, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not consider him to be a minister or my mother either for that matter.

Hubby and I met on April 10th, 1988. That Friday, I turned 20 and he started with the same company he has been with till this day. While he is walking away from the company after almost 17 years, he is still walking on with that friend of his brother’s who he met on that Sunday night at church mainly because even though the road is not always easy, it is the right one. On August 19th, we will be married 16 years.

Almost a year ago, we surrendered to full-time ministry. While this year has found us both attending seminary as well as being busy in our home church and neighborhood as well as other places, we always knew the day would come when we would leave our lives as we have known them all these years for a new part of the journey elsewhere. Little did we know that we would be taking it to this level when doing so?

The kicker here: We cannot imagine life any other way at this time! And we have a peace that passes all understanding, as a soon to be household of 7 come June 1st, 2005, and for the rest of my parents’ lives. Did I mention they are only in their mid 60’s and still so many details to work out?

Also about “full-time ministers”, aren’t we all who call ourselves believers in God (going one step further, Christians) suppose to be that anyways in our daily lives no matter where it may take us, or the personal cost?

And what is time according to the bigger picture that we cannot see with just our eyes?

Posted by: Cam at April 8, 2005 12:41 PM

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