Today, my dad gets his port out. Dad was diagnosed with throat cancer in February 2009. He had a feeding tube, and a port put in to his body. He went through strenuous chemo and radiation from April to June or July. He lost his saliva glands because of the radiation, he lost his taste buds and 40 or 50 pounds. But now, we are blessed that he is still recovering, did not have to lose his voice box, is starting to gain weight and is cancer free! We still have 4 more years before the doctors will totally say he is cancer free, but we are grateful for every day that God gives him and us.
I know a lot of you are going through scares right now or are in the throes of this horrible disease. Most of my dad's family has died from cancer. In my lifetime, I have at least 2 great-aunts, 4 great-uncles, a grandfather, an uncle, a 9-year old cousin that all passed. I have another 2nd cousin going through the treatments, and even though I have not experienced the horrible enemy in my body, I have been right there with my parents, learning everything I need to. I wanted and still want to be the one they call when there is a problem. My parents mean the world to me.
I have a friend who's husband is going through all of this right now. They are hoping that he can get the bone marrow transplant he needs to go into remission. But as for all cancer patients, the future is uncertain. Once you have been diagnosed with the "C Word", it is always there. At times it is larger than life and it is all you can focus on, and other times it is in the background of your mind, quietly sitting. You know that it is there, but you don't think about it and you don't talk about it. But every abnormal thing that happens can push you toward it. It's not fun. It's scary.
There were times when my Dad asked God to just let him die. He didn't want to hurt from the radiation and chemo. But God spared him for another time. My dad has had quadruple by-pass surgery, a hole poked in his aorta, and now cancer. He also was in a terrible car accident where it broke his lower back and his jaw. He was told he would never walk again. But every time he was told he wouldn't, he would set his mind to "Oh yeah? Well watch this!" He would walk, talk, and learn to eat and drink better and now lives his life fully as God has intended. He isn't perfect and many of you have similar stories of someone in your life that you totally feel is just a wonderful and courageous. I commend all of them and you.
For those of you just starting out on this journey, I want you to see that there is hope. There is those who do get to the other side. I've been there for both. My grandfather died six weeks after his diagnosis. We spent 5 weeks in California and my dad and mom took care of him. It was hard to see my grandpa go. It was hard to watch my dad take care of his dad. It was hard to encourage and help dad through this last year. But we put our faith in God. We prayed and we are here as a testimony not to ourselves, but to God. We give him all the Glory that he deserves. For those of you in middle. I pray that you will keep pressing on. For those of you that came out the other side, remember, God has a plan for you.