A Cancer Story: The Deepest, Darkest Valley


Anyone who has ever gone through cancer is no stranger to life’s valleys. Cancer is a geography full of deep caverns and lightless places. But of all the highs and lows I experienced, the five days in the hospital following my colon resection and ileostomy surgery were by far the worst of my life. No doubt about it. The landscape of that week was pitted with craggy, shadowed places, pitfalls, caves that burrowed to unknown depths and led to nowhere.

When I was coherent enough to see and understand what state my body was in I found tubes coming out of almost every orifice, an ostomy bag, a drain bag, a Foley bag, and multiple IV bags. I had an incision that ran from just below my sternum to my pubic area. My biggest fear when I stood up was that the incision was going to burst open and my guts would be strewn all over the floor. I was assured that wouldn’t happen.

Eventually they let me eat but the food had no flavor and caused severe stomach discomfort. I was encouraged to walk but my right leg kept spasming and cramping (the surgeon said it was due to the way they position the leg during the surgery). Nothing seemed to be going smoothly.

But worst of all was the depression. I missed my family. Jen would come to visit then she’d either get the girls or my parents would bring them by. They’d keep their distance and stare at this man in the bed who they knew to be their daddy but didn’t look like the guy they called Daddy. When they’d leave I’d open the dams and let the tears come. I wanted to go home so badly. I wanted our life together back. I wanted to go to work and come home and eat dinner as a family and read together or watch a TV show together. Instead, they were going home and I was stuck in that blasted hospital bed, alone, scared, battling more depression.

Interestingly, during that time I didn’t have a single revelatory moment. I didn’t hear God’s words in my ear; I didn’t feel His breath on my face or His arm around my shoulders. All those experiences would come later. But still I knew He was there. I just knew it. Did I question Him? Yes. Did I cry out to Him? Daily. Was I brutally honest with Him? Of course. But He never answered me, didn’t write on any walls, didn’t miraculously bring healing.

All the hours I’d put in over the years studying His word, listening to sound teaching, exploring different doctrines to better understand Him had paid off. This was the moment they kicked in like never before. And they all focused on one truth: No matter how alone I felt, I wasn’t. Not by a long shot. He was there, trudging through that valley with me step for step.

What was your deepest valley? Did you sense God’s presence there?

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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 March 19, 2014, in Cancer, Life in General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My deepest valley was when I all most died. I didn’t even really remember I’d had a bday til he was 4 days old and didn’t get to hold him for 5 and yes, I felt Him with me all the time

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  2. The 23rd Psalm automatically comes to mind. You’re right, Mike, it is during our darkest valleys that we learn to rely on His Word and the teachings that we have studied. During my darkest days verses such as Jeremiah 29:11, Joshua 1:9, and Psalm 23 pop into my head, and I know that He is walking with me and that I can persevere.

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  3. I have walked the road of being a natural disaster survivor. It is not an easy path for a natural disaster survivor. Many just want them to get over it without processing the emotions. Some speak about it some write about it. Yet God will come through everything. I have a full page of Verses given to me through Friends, God and everything. 🙂

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  4. Powerful, Mike.

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