Thank you Karen for discovering my condition, supporting me and for introducing me to Dr. Remen. Rachel Naomi Remen, MD., author of "Kitchen Table Widsom" and "My Grandfathers Blessings" blessed me with a way of thinking about the treatment of my cancer as "pruning" in one of her recorded lectures. I had two dwarf peach trees in my yard. Pruning was an essential part of their care. It is the removal of the dead wood and shaping the fruit tree for the purpose of letting light reach the fruit.
I don't know yet all the places where the "light" was not reaching me. What I do know is that the outflowing of prayers, love, support, offers of care, inspirational messages and encouraging stories have been the the most surprising aspect of this experience to me. A Tsunami of compassion has flooded over me. It is still not possible for me to dwell on it with dry eyes.
Are there coincidences? Personally, it has become almost impossible for me to believe in the random. Far easier it is for me to believe that which appears random will actually resolve to a pattern and a purpose when viewed from 10 miles high. After my 40 years in the "wilderness", I had felt a pull to return to my Faith.
I had been drawn to a little Lutheran church in Boulder. I was not a Lutheran, but did consider myself a Christian. I attend Christmas service in 2005 and just started showing up every Sunday after that. I joined the Trinity Lutheran Church the following year. I have prospered there under the encouragement and spiritual guideance of Pastor Mark and the other members of my church community. He has helped my understand much of what had been hidden from my view. My times at Trinity are the high points of that week. I am a blessed man.
Karen and I met in cyberspace in November 07. I was encouraged and surprised to learn that she attended church just across the street from me, though she lived about 30 miles away in Lakewood. Her faith is important to me. We share this faith and the comfort that it brings to us. Since she was in Boulder at least two days a week, it was easy to meet and start getting to know each other, my concern about our "geographic" challenges notwithstanding.
Sometime in January, she discovered my cancer and suggested that I see my Doctor. I did and he told me just to watch it and that it was probably not something that I needed to worry about. You won't be surprised to learn that I was very happy with that diagnosis.
Karen, however was not. She insisted, in her most gentle way, that I return and insist on further diagnosis. I did this. A CT Scan was done in March, then a biopsy in early April, more diagnostics in April and surgery on May 2nd. Surgery was on Friday and they sent me home on Saturday. Karen stayed with me and cared for me through the weekend. By Tuesday I felt well enough to be on my own.
Last Friday, the Dr. removed a drainage tube and I began to feel more human and less a medical experiment. What a relief that procedure delivered. By Saturday my energy had returned and I made the happy discovery that I could eat meatloaf if I put enough gravy on it. Thank you Lord for gravy! By this time I had lost 14 lbs. I really would prefer not to find them and, in all likelyhood will lose more weight. Be prepared for a somewhat sleeker me.
I have found great comfort in Scripture and the writings and lectures of Dr. Ramen. It is very moving for me to read the stories of far larger challenges faced by others and the revelations they were given. I can only glimpse mine.
I invite you to share your stories, readings, scripture and poems with me and with all who visit this blog. If you wish, you are most welcome to invite your friends and family to visit and contribute. I will review all comments before they are posted as a moderator.
As for me, they say "life's a dance". Well if that's true, it must have been a Sadie Hawkins Day dance because I don't remember choosing cancer as a dance partner....but you know, it's beginning to teach me.