Well, here I am -- fifty-two. I have made it to my fifty-second birthday. A birthday that, except for the grace of God, the odds were against me seeing. One year ago I had taken to sleeping on the couch. After completing fifteen radiation treatments, my right side and back hurt so bad that I had to prop myself up on my left side to get any sleep.
One year ago, I received a phone call that the latest pathology report came back showing that my cancer was ALK+. Everything we did from then on was targeted to get me into a clinical trial for a new medicine to treat ALK+ lung cancer. I would be given a month to recover from radiation and then start my first round of required chemo treatments. Two months later, I was accepted into the clinical trial and six weeks after that we received the first report of "no evidence of disease."
Over the past year, I have lost count of the number of people I know who have lost their battles to beat cancer. But here I am muddling along and still kicking. There is no road map for this journey to beat cancer; it is a day-by-day, step-by-step journey. Along the way, I have learned to trust God to place my feet on solid ground.
The past year has been as much of an emotional struggle as a physical struggle. I have seen parts of my life erode away much like giant waves hitting a beach and sweeping the sand out to sea. At one time, I prayed that God would show me the unimportant parts of my life and remove them. Is He answering that prayer?
The past year, I have developed a real appreciation for what Jesus did for me on the cross. There have been moments when every breath seemed to be a struggle, and after fracturing two vertebrae in my back, it seemed like every bone in my body ached, and I was not nailed to a cross. The discomfort that I have experienced just does not compare to the pain and suffering that Jesus experienced on my behalf. The prophet Isaiah said, "by His stripes you are healed." The day that Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross, He provided a way for my sins to be forgiven and for me to be healed.
Thank you, Jesus!