The Event That Killed Me


Sometimes, events happen in life that change you. I don’t mean they change the way you feel about something or the way you look at something. I’m not talking about some trite change in point-of-view or attitude. I’m talking change. Total, radical, change. As in, the person you were is now dead, gone, never to be resurrected, and a new person who has established a new normal has taken over.

These are usually terrific events (terrific used in the sense of terror-inducing). The loss of a child or spouse. A battle with a major illness, like cancer. Witnessing the decline and death of a loved one.  Loss of a limb or the use of limbs. Combat.

Something happens inside you. Whether it be some altering of the dna or rearranging of cells or reconstruction of the psyche at the deepest levels, a change occurs. Actually, more than a change, a metamorphosis.

I speak from experience. I will forever refer to my life as B.C. and A.C. Before cancer; after cancer.

Dr. Who - Cybermen episode

Dr. Who – Cybermen episode (Photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell)

I’m not the same person I was before my year-long battle with colon cancer. That Mike Dellosso is dead. On the outside, the new Mike is no different, albeit a little grayer and little, um, weightier. It’s the inside that’s morphed. No, I didn’t suddenly become a Time Lord and grow another heart (Dr. Who fans will get that one); my blood didn’t turn green; my bones aren’t made of iron. Physically, I’m the same, minus about sixteen inches of my colon and plus a few scars I didn’t have before. But who I am, the core of the person, is not the same.

I like to say I’ve been regenerated twice, once spiritually and once emotionally (now for you Whovians, if I was a Time Lord how many regenerations would I have left?).

So what does this metamorphosis look like? Speak to anyone who has encountered the terrific (again, terror-inducing) and you’ll probably hear similar testimonies. I see life differently, it’s more precious, shorter. There is a sense of urgency to do more meaningful things, to make an impact, to inspire change in others. I see people differently, not as just bodies taking up space, sharing air with me, but as people, real people with lives to live and dreams to achieve. People who hurt and suffer and fear and struggle with what life throws at them on a daily basis. Lost people. Confused. Lonely. Angry.

Is this metamorphosis a good thing? Most will tell you . . . mostly. It does bring with it some baggage. Stress of its own. Burdens. But as I’ve said before and will say a thousand times more: if I had the opportunity to go back in time and avoid the whole cancer thing, I wouldn’t. I’m thankful for my experience; I’m thankful for the death of the old Mike Dellosso; and while this new Mike is severely flawed and needs a ton of work, I think he’s on the right track.

So how about you? Have you undergone a metamorphosis? Has there been one event in your life that so radically changed you that you’re not the same person you were?

P.S. Next time I’ll tell you about the first time I died.

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on August 1, 2013, in Cancer, Christian Living, Life in General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Wow, Mike. How could it not change you? This blog gave me goosebumps.

    I can’t say there was one event that profoundly changed me, but I can say three: 1. The death of my mom, 2. The first time I dropped my 15 year old son off at an alcohol and drug rehab (he’s 21 and not clean or sober yet), and 3. my diagnosis of emphysema.

    They’ve changed me in the way your experience changed you. What truly matters is different, my need to help others, touch others, make a difference runs deep and flows powerfully.

    Sadly, I struggle still everyday and what a mess I am. I’m so grateful my Father in Heaven doesn’t feel about me the way I can sometimes feel about myself.

    My desire to please Him and become what He has planned for me and love others the way He does… that’s my path in summary.

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  2. Thanks for your input, Denise. I love “Sadly, I struggle everyday and what a mess I am.” How true! So thankful all God sees is a beautiful mess.

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  3. Mike, I stayed up late into the night discussing this very thing with my youngest son! He is 18, and he is passionate that people need to live for the eternal and not for the now. We discussed the event of dying on the inside that occured in our lives 2 years ago – the end of my 23 year marriage. Even now we are coping with the remnants of that event. Both of us agreed that we don’t view things the same as we once did. God has used this to regenerate a passion to live for Him like never before. We should never become complacent in our faith. Time is short, and the need to reach others for Christ is urgent!

    Whether it is a pysical illness, the end of a marriage, the loss of a loved one…any number of events qualify…we must all die to self and live for Christ. We all must choose life and not death when it comes to our spiritual lives in Christ. This was an encouraging post for me.

    Like you, I may look the same on the outside, but inside, things are forever changed!! Praise God HE NEVER CHANGES!!! But He is faithful to call us to Himself no matter what life throws our way!!

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    • Kim, yes, you and your sons have gone through a terrific (terror-inducing) ordeal and yes, you’ve come out on the other side changed, permanently. God is doing a work in each of us and he uses these trials and heartbreaks in our life to change us, sometimes in small increments, sometimes in huge chunks. I’m so thankful you can say as Job did so long ago, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him!”

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  4. Thank you Mike, for writing this, for writing from the heart. It is a story that touched me deeply and was a word that I needed to hear at this time and at this moment and a reminder of what it is all about!

    You and I traveled the same journey with cancer and indeed it was an event that radically changed my life, that changed me.

    As I read it, I truly felt like you were telling my story too, that it would be the very words I wanted to share with others and I feel like my friends and family that will read your post!

    That they will have a better understanding of my journey and why like you if I had the opportunity to go back in time and avoid the whole cancer thing, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be where I’m at, doing what the Father has called me to do.

    Like you I am thankful for my experience, I Am thankful for the the death of the old Paul, and like you, this new Paul is severely flawed and I need lot of work but I am on the right track.

    Indeed I went through a metamorphosis and I’am not longer the same person I was!

    Again, thank you!

    Your friend and fellow survivor,

    Paul

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    • Thanks for checking in, Mayor! Yes, you know what I’m talking about. Been there, done that, got the scars to prove it 🙂 I’m thankful for other survivors like yourself who have put the whole cancer thing in perspective and found the blessing in it. I truly believe Satan hates that. And God loves it!

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  5. Mike, praying for your continued recovery…and yes, it’s not fun, but we often arise a better person out of our troubles and tribulations.

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  6. AMAZING testimony, Mike. Thank you.

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  7. Powerful message, Mike. I reckon you’re on the right track too.

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  8. Who Question: You would have 10 regenerations left (according to and episode when the doctor was still in his 4th regeneration but in an episode of the Sarah Jane chronicles the doctor [Matt Smith] says his regenerations are unlimited)

    To answer the serious question. First time would be when I was saved. I would say though that the largest change in my life was my freshmen year of high school my family moved from Missouri to Texas for a year my dad ended up working about 10 different jobs (moving from one to another) trying to keep us feed. If not for food banks and people who were listening to God and following what he told them to do things would have been bad.We were surrounded by miracles. A few examples a coworker of my dad’s butchered a cow and gave us an entire side of beef so he could clear room in his freezer. Our landlord told us he did not expect rent and wanted to pay our utilities for 6 months (this happened on the day our power was going to be shut off. We could see and feel God so much that year and I grew closer to him and started out on a deeper journey that has lead me to where I am today.

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  9. Dear Mike, I want to begin by sharing my first experience with baptism. I was very small, between ages three and five. My mother was being baptized. I remember I sat on the first or second pew. I thought the preacher was drowning her! I remember screaming “Don’t drown her!” Of course we have laughed about this a lot. My mother is with God now. Her faith kept me on track even when my father stopped going to church and listened to a radio preacher that preached a gospel of fear. I continued going to church, was saved and baptized at the age of eleven, over half a century ago! I was confused, even after I was saved, by what my father’s preacher said and what our preacher said. I prayed a lot as a child to know the truth. I didn’t hear much about God’s love. Just His judgment. After we were married, we attended a church that talked a lot of the love of God. I learned what the truth really was, God answered my childhood prayers! I did a lot of Bible studies, learned a lot. The one passage that has changed me the most is Romans 8:28, 38-39: ” For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Another passage that has helped me a lot is John10:27-29: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” This is my testimony of how the Love of God changed my heart and freed my mind. To Him goes all the glory. Cathy Groover

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  10. Thank you for sharing. I am 32 years old, shortly after I turned 25 I had a life changing accident. To make a long story short, I was a concrete pumper and got my arm caught in the pump which resulted in the loss of my lower left arm just below the elbow. I had been married just 3 years when my accident occurred(actually it occurred the day before our 3 year anniversary). I have now been married for just over 10 years and we have a 3 year old son, living through this these past 7 years my wife and I have grown so much closer to God and to each other. I completely agree with you Mike, if I had the chance to do this all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Something changes, like you, I see life differently. It is amazing how quickly we take things in our daily lives for granted until they’re gone. My experience has allowed me to be a great witness to those going through similar situations. I am constantly reminded in my daily routine how fragile and precious life is. Stay strong with the knowledge of God, live deep in the light of His love.

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  11. On February 5, 2009 my husband was wheeled into an operating room where he remained for 16 hours. The doctors at Hershey Medical Center removed this entire esophagus and a portion of his stomach due to cancer. As I sat there waiting with our oldest son and my sister, I knew our lives would never be the same. Because I have physical limitations, I had to depend on my husband for so much and I had no idea how I was going to be able to take care of him. In poor health myself, fear gripped me. He came through the surgery even though his surgeon told us that Jerry had a rough time of it. From February until March daily I sat by his bed in SICU. Finally, April 14, our anniversary, he was able to return home. Many weeks of recovery followed. During this time I learned what it truly means to trust God to supply all of our needs.Even though I have personal illnesses that cause me to have little strength, I always had the necessary strength to care for my husband . God’s presence was tangibly real in our home. This changed me dramatically. I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can take us through the most horrible of circumstances filled with His peace. We also realized first hand His deep love and compassion towards us watching devine intervention on our part repeatedly displayed by a loving, caring heavenly Father. We lived through our greatest fear and not only survived , but flourished. Jerry is in full recovery, and as his doctor promised was able to return to eating steak. God is good!

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  12. This is a great post! I can relate to it a lot!
    As a teenager I struggled with depression off and on throughout those years, and contemplated suicide. It wasn’t until I was studying the New Testament in High School that I began to undergo my change. God became real to me and not just a name that I knew of. It changed my whole life, but I wouldn’t take back the bad things I went thru because of where I am today.

    I really enjoy reading your blog, it’s inspiring and encouraging, thank you! =D

    Like

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