One Year in the Life of
It was last St. Patrick’s Day, one year ago, when I got the phone call at work that the biopsy of my tumor was positive–I’m very sorry but you have colon cancer.
Since then, that sentence has become like one word in my mind: Imverysorrybutyouhavecoloncancer.
One word that changed my life forever. Jen and I will always refer to our lives as BC and AC now. Before Cancer and After Cancer.
I will never be the same. That’s good and not so good.
Good because my year with cancer refined me in many ways, matured me, strengthened me, softened me and hardened me (yes, that’s possible). Not so good because I lost a certain innocence. I never used to think of death in terms of “when” not “if”.
But maybe that is a good thing. Thinking about death and recognizing it as a certainty is not necessarily a bad thing, not even necessarily a not-so-good thing.
In some ways I feel like I lost a year of life. Like I was robbed and can never have that year back. The things I missed. The things I didn’t notice. The times I chose to stay on the sidelines or was forced to remain there. Those things and those times are gone forever.
In other ways I feel like it was a year I could never even hope to repeat. The things I experienced; the things I learned; the lessons that finally sunk into my head and heart. All invaluable stuff. The stuff living is made of.
It’s funny, when I look back on it, the year seems to have gone by in a blur and in slow motion. I can still feel the pain of some of the procedures I went through, of the surgeries and all their grisly trimmings. My stomach still tightens if I think too much about that ostomy and the ominous possibility of having to deal with it again at some point in my life. I can still smell the chemotherapy emanating from my pores, feel the stick of the needle as it accessed my port.
But I can also still bask in the warm light of God’s forever love. Hear His voice in my ear, feel His hand around mine. He is still so close to me I feel like I could literally reach out and touch Him. That’s the good stuff.
It was year to remember and year to forget. A year of pain and year of triumph.
Thank you, Lord, for bringing me through it.