Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cancer Is A Family Thing

It has been almost eight months now since being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Insurance paperwork, visits to the oncologist, visits to the hospital for blood work, chemotherapy treatments, visits to the orthopedic oncologist, physical therapy, and occasional visits to the ER keep us busy.

But others aspects of life do not stay on hold. There are household chores, ministry responsibilities, activities with our children, etc. In some ways, we have learned how to better balance all these things. At times, we seem to have it all under control. At other times, it seems like overwhelming chaos.

As I blog, I find myself “talking” less about the cancer and more about other aspects of our lives. As I have mentioned before, cancer does not define who I am, but it does impact all areas of my life and the lives of my family members.

My wife, as my wife and mom to our children, is the one most affected by my cancer. She is the one who has to hold everything together. Caring for me is, in many ways, like caring for a two-year-old. While I seldom throw tantrums, I do require a lot of maintenance. On most days, my wife demonstrates a strength that can only be explained in relation to a strong walk with Jesus Christ. On some days, though, she feels like things are unraveling; but even then, she knows that it is our Lord who is holding all things together. I cannot thank God enough for my wife.

My younger son, our four-year-old, takes things in stride. He prays for me every day, several times a day. He will be turning five in a few weeks and is looking forward to having a birthday party with his friends. He will be entering Kindergarten in September. He has informed us that he cannot wait until he finishes school so that he can go to West Point, just like his big brother. He forces us to take time out to play and keeps us laughing throughout the day.

Our fourteen-year-old daughter has really become a delightful young lady this summer. It’s not that she has not always delighted us, but her whole personality has changed for the better. In some ways, she was living in the shadow of her older brother. A month ago, at summer camp, she re-dedicated her life to Christ. She has become a great help and encouragement to all of us, but especially to my wife. She asks what she can do to help around the house, and often does things that need to be done without being asked. I am thankful for the changes that God has wrought in her this summer.

Our older son, of course, is out of the house. We are delighted to see how he is learning to “fly” on his own. As my wife was re-arranging the things in our living room bookcase, and placing some West Point memorabilia on a shelf, we observed that we kicked our son out of his room and gave him a shelf. Even though he is not here with us, he encourages us by the way he is seeking to live for Jesus Christ and His glory.

In many ways, we have all become accustomed to life with cancer. We have come to expect the unexpected – changes in treatment schedules, visits to the ER, etc. We know that God is in control and that He uses all things to perfect us and to glorify Himself. Cancer has brought us closer to God and closer to each other.


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Googleman said...

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