Let me start with this …
I PRAISE GOD FOR EVERY SINGLE STEP IN MY CANCER JOURNEY … a journey still underway
EVERY SINGLE STEP!
It all started in August 2007, when a routine colonoscopy found a polyp too big to remove with the scope. It resulted in a sigmoid colectomy and by the time they removed the section of colon the polyp was cancerous … but tests revealed they got all the cancer.
Flash forward four years to 2011, routine colonoscopies revealed problems … but my surgeon was unclear as to what it was. A CT Scan just before another scheduled sigmoid colectomy surgery revealed a mass … the biopsy during surgery revealed it was cancerous and had made an absolute mess of my colon. My surgeon, bless his heart, got all the cancer he could but reconnecting the colon was out of the question and I ended up with a permanent colostomy bag. Also they found the cancer had spread to my lungs … Stage IV Metastatic Colon Cancer.
In the moment I came out of anesthesia and my wife relayed all these things to me, it was like the fulfillment of some kind of foreknowledge God had given me and I truly experienced a peace beyond all understanding … a peace that baffled those around me.
About six weeks later, I started bi-weekly chemo. Basically I would go into the oncologist and I would have 4-6 hours of chemo infusion and then return home with a pump that for the next 48 hours would continue to pump chemo into my system. About the time my blood counts recovered from the last chemo it would be time to do the next. And this continued for nearly two years. And the cancer did not grow or spread … but it really didn’t shrink either.
And yes, I also made the personal adjustments to a colostomy bag. Now while I would never of my own free will make the choice to have a colostomy bag, after three and a half years I would not choose a reversal even if I could. It’s second nature now …
And in all those times … specifically in the midst of the greatest difficulties … God was present and intimately making His presence, peace, comfort and joy known. It was such an intimate encounter with Almighty God … even if I could go back and eliminate the hard times I would not. The Lord is found in the midst of the storm.
Also, in the midst of all this the Lord made provision for me to continue to keep my job and as the primary bread-winner continue to provide for my family. Unbelievable!
But then in the summer of 2013, I started having a problem with Ascities … basically my stomach was filling with excess fluid. In the course of about 6 weeks I lost 45 pounds … most of that in two paracentesis procedures where they basically stick a needle in your stomach and siphon liters of the excess fluid out of your stomach into a clear jar right beside you. No anesthesia … enjoy the show.
While the initial thought was that I was having liver problems, without any medication the liver repaired itself. The only thing that had changed since the start of the Ascities until it disappeared … chemo treatments had been stopped.
So my oncologist made a bold decision … no more chemo … we will just monitor your cancer via quarterly CT scans and if starts to grow and spread then we will revisit a chemo plan.
My most recent review of a CT scan was today … by the time I go back in April I will have gone 22 months without chemo and the Stage IV Metastatic Colon Cancer … has not grown or spread a bit … in fact some months have even shown shrinkage. I am at my lowest weight and in the best physical condition of the last 20-25 years … even came off my blood pressure medicine.
The only hiccup in those 22 months, scar tissue pressed in and blocked my left ureter between my bladder and kidney and every six months I have to undergo a cystoscopy and ureteral stent replacement. If you wonder how this works, I have a good visual … think a micro or nano colonoscopy … and yes, they do put you to sleep for that. This happens every six months … and after three times it has become rather routine.
I’m not going to tell you about something the oncologist has done … he has done nothing.
I’m not going to tell you about something I have done … I’ve just enjoyed the chemo free life the Lord has given me.
And I certainly have not deserved or merited what God has chosen to do … in fact, if it was based on what I deserve or merit I have no doubt I would have died long ago.
And while I am eternally thankful for the love, prayers and support of my wife, my family and friends …
There is no explanation for this miracle this side of heaven.
IT IS ALL ABOUT GOD!
HIS GREAT LOVE, MERCY, GRACE IS ON DISPLAY!
EVERY IOTA OF PRAISE, HONOR, GLORY AND BOASTING BELONGS TO THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!
I am overcome with thanksgiving … I am humbled … I feel incredibly loved!
Thank you Lord … Thank you!