As I go into the Thanksgiving season I am overwhelmed by the things that I have to be thankful for. The reason for this is where I was at in my life just one year ago. To be honest I was not very thankful at that time.
A year ago in September I had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. I year ago this week I was in the middle of chemo and radiation treatment. I remember only being able to take one bite of ham for Thanksgiving because I could not swallow. It was a scary and sad time in my life.
This year it is so much different. After a reoccurrence of cancer at the beginning of this year, major surgery, and another regime of chemo I am done and cancer free. Wow, that is the first time I have said that – I am cancer free! It feels good :-).
This year I am looking forward to eating as much ham as I can stuff in my stomach along with all the other Thanksgiving goodies. I have no doctor’s appointments to go to, no treatments, no medications. I am back to a normal life. It feels so good to be here, I am so thankful that I made it through.
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
There is no way that I could have made it this far without some key people in my life. For them I give much thanks.
He was with me every moment of my battle against cancer. It is not that anyone left me or ran out on me but it is physically impossible for another human being to be there all the time for you. That is not impossible with God.
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. – Joshua 1:5 NKJV
And He didn’t. There were times when I honestly would get mad at God and throw fits like a little kid because I did not like what I was going through. That did not matter to Him, He was still there for me, and He still is today.
Although I said above that nobody could be there all the time for you my wife could only be beat by God himself. She takes such good care of me. There were times when I had to tell her to go do something for herself because she so attentive to me. She amazed me on how she could continue to love me and be there for me even when I would snap at her because I wasn’t feeling well.
The bible righty says:
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 18:22 NKJV
All I can say is that I have received a ton of favor from God in the form of my wife. I love you babe!
My kids helped me so much through this you have no idea. The did this by making me hopeful for the future. I did not bring them into this world to leave when they are young. No, I want to be here to see them grow up, finish school, get good jobs, marry, and have kids. I want to be apart of their lives every step of the way.
Their smiles, laughter, and questions about how I felt pushed me through every needle stick, treatment, and procedure. My view was if I could push myself and go through this then I could help them get through the hard parts of their lives. That is a part of why I am here.
I had to overcome so much fear in the last year that I feel much more qualified to help them overcome the fears that they will face. Going through what I went through has equipped me to be a better parent now. My hope is that by being a better parent they will have better lives.
Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father. – Proverbs 17:6 NKJV
They truly are my crown.
Other Family, Friends, …
There are countless other people that helped during this time. Family members, friends, ministries, organization, etc that in some way reached out to my family and I and helped. They were instrumental in helping us when we could not help ourselves. Seeing people reach out like that inspires me to want to do the same.
Thank you to all of you that helped during this time.
The things that I have had to go through in the last year have not been pleasant but I made it through them. I truly feel like I have come out better on the other side. I am so thankful to have made it and am thankful for the people that were there that helped my family and I along the way.
My hope is that as I return to normal life that I can take what I have experienced and learned and use it help others that may need a little help themselves.