Six Weeks with Cancer
On July 5, 2016, the doctor said, “It could be cancer.” My heart stopped, and my mind began to race. As a result of a snow skiing accident in January, I got a DVT blood clot in my leg. While getting an ultrasound a month later, they also found multiple enlarged lymph nodes in my groin. The doctor said that I would need to get a biopsy to find out what is happening.
The weeks following would turn out to be very clarifying for me.
What I Learned During My Six Weeks with Cancer
- I hate cancer. My mom, good friend Tom, and many others I love have died from cancer. Jill, my wife, had breast cancer and thankfully is doing well. A few years ago, I had basal carcinoma on my nose. Being in the people business, I have heard too many tell me, “I just found out I have cancer.”
- Life is short. I wondered to myself, “I may have a few years or months left if I have cancer.” Instantly, my perspective about life became clear. I thought of the projects I am involved in which really make a difference. I thought how I want to use my limited time left on earth.
- Imagining Heaven. “I’ll be dying soon so I want to reflect on the place I will be going.” I read Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Saints Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, and Heaven is a Place on Earth by Michael E. Wittmer. Imagining what life will be like, when heaven comes down to a renewed earth, brings more joy that I am used to experiencing. I am daily captured by the thought of “What would life on a renewed earth be like without sin?"
- Increased intimacy with God. Spending time with God by reading the Bible and talking to Him is a joyful habit since I was in high school. With the possibility of dying of cancer, it makes my conversations with God so much more personal and intimate. As I think about being in the presence of my Father, my joy and anticipation explodes.
- People who I love and who love me are a treasure. I think of the people I love the most. I thank God for the people who love me well. Family and friends are a valuable gift. Cancer has a way of causing me to let go of hurts and bitterness. It makes me desire to spend time with people in such a way that it may be the last time.
- Healthy lifestyle choices matter. I drink more water and less of Milo’s tea. I’m eating more protein and less carbs. Now that the blood clot is gone, I have have started back with workouts and exercise. A positive mental attitude is doing wonders for my perspective.
- Time use is more focused. When I consider how I use my time, I have become more focused on things which matter the most. Time is a limited currency just like the days we have left on earth. Investing time wisely is much more on the fore front of my mind and calendar. The books which I read last year, Essentialism and The ONE Thing, focused my time, but cancer will make it truly essential.
"You Don't Have Cancer"
I am writing this blog on Wednesday August 17, 2016 and just got back from the doctor.
He walked into the room and handed me the lab results.
I read, “Comment: There is no morphologic or flow cytometric evidence of lymphoma.”
He said, “Good news, Charles, you don’t have cancer!"
I am thankful for my six weeks of “I could have cancer,” and what I have learned. It is my intention to live this way the rest of my life. As you know, we all are dying.
God has prepared a place for us. He will bring heaven down to a renewed earth. I’m thankful that I don’t have cancer. I am more thankful to be God’s beloved child deeply loved by Jesus!