Reflections on My Cancer Battle (Part 4: Celebrating Three Years)
I had an anxiety attack. I was sitting at the dining room table with Jen and the weight of the whole “cancer thing” landed on me all at once. Things were moving too slowly.
Here I’d been diagnosed, seen the surgeon, and still didn’t have an appointment with the oncologist. I had no idea how long it would take to get an appointment. And in the meantime the monster within me could be growing, spreading, infecting other organs. I had no idea. I was so scared.
And I panicked. I just lost it. I began shaking and breathing hard and rambling on and on. Poor Jen thought I’d lost it. Her rock had turned into a sponge.
* * *
The first time I cried was days after being diagnosed. I was on my way to work, thinking about cancer (it was all I thought about) and what it all meant and death was on my mind. I thought of Jen and my girls. What if this cancer beat me and took my life? Jen would be a widow. My daughters would grow up fatherless, having gone through one of the hardest things any child can go through—losing a parent.
I couldn’t take even the thought of it and the tears began to flow, waves of them. I had to pull the car over and sob.
I didn’t want to die.
I cried out to God, told him I didn’t care how hard this battle would be or how uncomfortable it would get just please, please oh please, spare my life. I could handle pain and discomfort and inconvenience. I could bear with the surgery and the chemo and the awful side effects. What I couldn’t take, what I couldn’t stand even the thought of, was leaving my wife and girls.
From March 21, 2008:
I’ve often noticed that a person’s health seems to take a nosedive after the diagnosis of cancer is made. Now I know why. It’s not just the physical fatigue, but the emotional and mental blow. The enormity of it is quite jarring and it’s easy to give in to a defeatist attitude and just throw in the towel. The uncertainty, the tests, the results, the probing and prodding, the fears. I don’t want to be one of those people, though. I want to keep on exercising, keep on laughing, keep on loving. I know that above all this “cancer stuff” is my Heavenly Father, my Daddy, who loves me more than I could ever love anyone and cares for me and about me. He has a plan in all this; I know that. I trust Him with my life. I do. He saved it; He owns it; it’s His.