"We often can find God’s strength in our times of greatest weakness! My hope is that each of us, as we struggle with whatever those “afflictions” may be in our lives, be encouraged to take the opportunity to be open about those struggles and seek out faith and friends as a means of support to provide hope and comfort. "
It’s been a while since my last update and I wanted you to know I am excited that today, I am celebrating my three year anniversary since being diagnosed with cancer on this date in 2009. Still cancer free and a survivor!! My next full scan will come in April and my hope is to get referred to the “Survivors Clinic” at the University of Iowa’s Clinical Cancer Center. The journey continues as I have had some recent “tune up and maintenance” sessions in Iowa City with regard to some lingering side effects from treatments, but I am attempting to manage them through bio- feedback for pain management and daily exercise routines. I am really trying to continue to avoid the “medication route” if at all possible and so far it’s been working for me.
As my journey continues, I have had several recent discussions with friends and acquaintances all having a similar connection. Each has had experiences with multiple cancer diagnosis in their families, and all have asked the question “Why has God allowed this to happen to our family?” I have to be honest, that question was one that often came to mind for me during treatments and journey as well. As I was sitting in the waiting room in Iowa City earlier this month, a young lady was sitting beside me having a hard time keeping her composure as her husband had been recently diagnosed with a malignant tumor, just after he had lost his father to cancer several weeks earlier. We began to visit, and she just felt overwhelmed at the situation. I shared I was sorry to hear her news, but told her that her husband was in great hands with the team of doctors who work with cancer patients here in Iowa City. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is listen, so I did and offered my prayers for her and her family.
The question this young lady raised is one my family and I have struggled with many times, and one that sticks in my mind as I celebrate my third anniversary since being diagnosed with cancer. A comfort for me has been some words that were shared when I was originally diagnosed and working through treatments, and then again were shared at a recent Sunday morning service. Those words; "Jesus doesn't save us from something, He saves us for something" have provided me a focus over the past three years. I often reflect on that as I've battled the anxieties and difficulties that go with living through cancer, and in turn, have firmly decided that I'm not about to give up! I truly believe that God cares about our afflictions and is more than able to bring us through them. We often get placed in what has sometimes been referred to as the "fiery furnace of testing", and having faith that Christ is with us always despite those uneasy and often painful times we face as cancer patients and survivors gives us the strength and stamina to continue . I believe we can have an impact on others who may be facing similar trials by modeling a positive and determined "attitude" as we battle this disease each and every day. Just could be that is what God is "saving us for".
The picture above comes from the photographic studio of Rob Bohning and depicts for me both the strength and peace that can come from having faith, despite the afflictions that we often have which will test each of us. We often can find God’s strength in our times of greatest weakness! My hope is that each of us, as we struggle with whatever those “afflictions” may be in our lives, be encouraged to take the opportunity to be open about those struggles and seek out faith and friends as a means of support to provide hope and comfort. I can't thank all of you enough for the prayers, love, support and strength you have provided both me and my family during the past three years, and hope that as we prepare for this Easter season, we all keep in mind that He suffered, died and has risen for each one of us. I’m truly excited to be able to have the opportunity to celebrate yet another Easter season together!
Link to: Reflections from the Home Team BLOG
Link to: Reflections from the Home Team BLOG
Link to Youtube: Reflections from the "Home Team"... Go the Distance
Link to: Tommy Emmanuel and "Angelina" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhR04kmcSXU