Thursday, October 17, 2013

My belief’s save me. This summer passed has been horrendous. I hate to keep complaining, and I am not now, I swear. I just need to share this with you as I promised I would. In the meantime, in order to show you that I am not, now complaining, I am actually doing quite well, feeling refreshed, quieted and implausibly rested. As I fought with cancer this summer passed, I had to lay down even the hammer and saw at the cabin for lack of energy and strength to carry out even the meagerest of tasks. Even during this horrific time, the cancer treatments weren’t even my largest worry, my greatest source of pain and sickness, nor the largest drain of my energy. My Son’s battle with drugs far out shadowed the cancer and treatments. I will spare you the details as reliving it now is not my intension. But suffice it to say, I had no idea that people got that bad off with drugs, I simply did not know. I had no idea what drugs could do, and I thought I was fairly well informed (as I still believe I am). With drug addiction, there is no end to the Hell and you when you find yourself entangled with an addicted family member, you are robbed of any reasonable sense of sanity and decency and left, writhing in illogical, incomprehensible pain of so alien a character, you’d sooner believe you, your own self had gone mad. It is in this context I wish to begin your understanding of what happened recently. I was at a bitter extreme as to how to handle my Son. No matter what I did, and it seemed I didn’t have any help. As I got sicker from the treatments, my ex-wife began to get more involved (which was hard for her sense she lives several hundred miles away, and our Son simply would not return her calls or texts). When things literally couldn’t possibly get any worse, he finally agreed to go in to treatment. I couldn’t believe what happened next. As our loved one suffered some of the worst pain I have ever seen or even heard of, we could find NO help for him! The local “hospital” wouldn’t take him. Nor would any of the regional hospitals near Somerset. Finally, he agreed to go into the Ridge where he had been earlier, but had left against medical advice (AMA), but even they left him waiting what would have been 24 hours in their waiting room, withdrawing from drugs while the insurance company decided whether or not to allow the payment of the treatment. He finally left the waiting room, as would I have done myself, and he found more dope. I simply didn’t know what to do, I went up into the woods behind my mother’s house, and I prayed to God. He had been answering prayers in my own life every day in an astonishing way, but when it came to prayers for my son, God didn’t seem to be listening. I had been praying for him all summer yet nothing was happening at all. I was dumbfounded when even the Ridge wouldn’t take him in for help. But then the morning after my prayer, my ex-wife called and proclaimed that she had found a treatment facility which would take him in that night, and they would handle every detail! This seemed beyond hopeful and as I remained cautiously optimistic, suddenly things started happening. But I went down for the count. I became so ill, my mother had to come get me and take me home with her for a few days. I could not rise out of the bed for several days, and I had never, in my life, been so sick. When I came out of the haze, even though I had all of the facts as they occurred I realized that my Son was in Florida and he had made it through detox with no problems. Yesterday was his seventh day without drugs and he was on his way to a new treatment for the next 30 or 60 days. When I spoke to him, he was so happy and he sounded so happy and sane! I know he is not out of danger, but at least he is in a good place, and he is out of immediate danger. What I find astonishing is how God answered this prayer. He closed off every other avenue, except the one in Floridian and I am certain he did this for a reason. He disallowed what I considered to be our only option, The Ridge. But if my Son had gone to the Ridge, he probably would not have stuck it out, and would have checked himself out like he did last time, and he would be right back in the town he knows so well. Alternatively, he is happily along his way to rehabilitation in Florida. Even is he checked himself out, he would have nowhere to go, and no way to get home! It is amazing how this worked out. Then, to top it all off, last week, when my Son arrived, somebody took a photo of a cloud in the shape of an angle in the sky’s over Palm Springs, Florida. It is amazing that I even saw this photo, with the millions of photo’s that people put on facebook. Friends, I am not a very good Christian. I was raised in this belief, and I have never renounced it. In fact, I have always believed, but I have not been active in my beliefs. I have not prayed as often as I needed too. But even after many years of me sitting on the sidelines, God has been there for me through this cancer and all other problems. Any doubts I might have had about Christianity, those are now long gone, and I am left with the sweetest faith and belief in a God who loves me and is moving me through my life by my side. We need not face a single thing without God at our side.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Since the day they found the cancerous mass, August 26, 2011, I have prayed for God to heal my body. After days of bedridden sickness due to chemotherapy, I was driving to the lake to meet my mother and step father for a boat ride on Lake Cumberland in the glorious October. Hazy and still a little foggy from the chemo, something profound occurred to me (don’t stop reading). Reeling from the deep depression and anxiety of being as sick as I was, I prayed that daily prayer…. For God to remove all cancer from my body. As a gust of wind blew a bundle of yellow leaves just in front of my vehicle, I wondered briefly, when and how would I know I was healed. When I would know that God had healed me? After more than two years of praying this same prayer, I have come to realize, in order to improve the quality of life, I need to know if God intends to heal me or not. A solution came to me in a push of great relief woven perfectly with a sense of duty and mission. That great question was entirely up to me. My whole life, I have expected to be normal. I have expected I would live to be 75 to 85 years old, and that was fine with me. Just like every cancer patient, I have lived the last two years knowing that my lifespan could be and most likely would be greatly diminished. So you and I have been praying for divine intervention – for God to remove the cancer from my body and restore me to my previous sense of mission. Driving, I thought about how I would know I was healed. Would it come with a clean PET Scan? After having several clean scans, I realize a clean PET scan would not be evidence of God’s healing. If there is no diagnostic instrument that can answer the healing question, I guess I would have to wait till I was 75 to 85 years old in order to see if God healed me. But if He did heal me, but I waited the remainder of my natural, cancer free life to know it, or to witness the “proof” of it, what good would the healing be anyway? I would have lived a complete life believing I was still sick and diminished – forty, fifty years of NOT living, but wondering. It then occurred to me in that emotional push of great relief and a long, firm reach for strength, God would heal me the moment I accepted it. I have already lived longer than the doctors expected. I have no reason to believe this will not continue. In the absence of any medical tool that can proclaim me healed, the only other device would be in taking the journey to the end of my life to know whether healing had occurred. If I continue in the mindset I have been in for the past twenty-six months (wondering if I had been healed or searching for the answer), forty years hence, I would have destroyed any and all healing God had actually done for me, no matter if I lived one more year…. Five more….. ten more…. 50 more years. The entire question and Idea of healing collapsed right in front of me and I realized that true healing of this cancer means living each and every day that I possibly can, for the soul purpose of living that day. And if I had the strength to do this, then I am healed by God through my faith. The need for “proof” would fasten me to a diminished life of illness of any given length. So I suppose I will borrow a device from my friends in addiction recovery. I am healed from this cancer if I can live each day as it comes and as long as I keep looking for healing to come, it never will. Rather, if I accept that I am already healed, only then am I truly healed. And I will go forward stitching together the days of my life just like everybody else; with no idea when it will all end. I suppose it could be argued, the only illness I have is an emotional one wherein, I cease to completely live for fear of dying.