On April 15th that was the text my husband sent me. Never before has such a simple sentence brought forth such varied emotion in me. I laughed. I cried. I rejoiced. And I gave thanks to my Heavenly Father.
Really? You might be asking yourself.
You see, he sent me that text two days post colon resection surgery. March 22nd, Steve had a routine colonoscopy. When the doctor came to get me in the waiting room, he very gently told me he found a tumor and believed it to be cancerous. Immediately, my heart broke and I began to cry. He placed his hands on my shoulders and told me not to cry, that Steve would be all right. I asked him the survival rate and he replied, “Ninety-nine percent plus the Lord Almighty!”
Instantly, peace filled me and I believed right there that he was telling me the truth. Steve didn’t know yet. He was in recovery. When he went into his room, I went in and as soon as his eyes locked with mine, the tears welled in my eyes. How could I tell him? How could I break this news to him? First I had to calm down.
I drew several deep breaths, stood at his bedside and told him they’d found a tumor, but that he was going to be all right. Steve’s dad came in and we three talked and tried to laugh. Finally, the doctor came in and explained in more detail what he found and then he recommended a surgeon, stressing that surgery needed to be sooner rather than later. And thus began our journey. This blog article is not about the cancer. It’s about the courage, the hope, the faith, the power of prayer, and the people placed on our path for this particular journey.
The Surgeon: A humble man who–upon hearing us thank him for his expertise–said, “Thank you, but I am not as good as [the man upstairs].” When his eyes lifted Heavenward, I smiled because it was proof that God had placed him on our path. I trusted him at first meeting. He set us at ease as he explained exactly what would occur as well as the healing process. He answered our many questions, and he took excellent care of my very best friend, my biggest blessing. Just before he took Steve into surgery, he squeezed my hand and told me it would be all right. When he came to get me in the waiting room, our eyes met, and he hit me with an enormous smile. “It went very well. Took a little longer than expected, but it went well. I got everything.” We are thankful that he is on our path.
The Oncologist: A very sweet, very intelligent, very knowledgeable, very patient man. He is perhaps the very first–and only doctor–to ever look at me and ask me what research I had done prior to arriving at his office. I told him what I had read and he took the time to explain what I’d read, how it applied or didn’t apply to Steve, and then went on to not only explain his course of treatment for Steve, but also the science behind it. He provided us with literature to back up his plan. When he explained that Steve would not require chemo or radiation, tears sprang to my eyes because I and so many others were praying for this. He never missed a beat. He smiled understandingly before handing me a box of tissues. Our journey with him has only begun, and yet I am thankful he is walking this path with us. We’re trusting him with Steve’s health.
The Church: Our church family has been standing in the gap from the beginning. When there is an entire body of believers praying, miracles happen. There is power in prayer. Every night, Steve and I would hold hands and pray. When two or more are gathered in His name, He is there in their midst. There’s power between those two. Imagine the power of hundreds of people joined in the same prayer! Steve’s cousin’s church was praying. Our church was praying. Family and friends were praying. I am so very thankful for each individual. I am in awe of the love shown to us through prayers, cards, lawn mowing, offers of meals, hugs of support, encouraging texts, phone calls. I cannot begin to show my appreciation.
Our Pastor: Our pastor was with me at the hospital during the long hours of waiting while Steve was in surgery. He was there to visit with Steve, to pray with him, to encourage him, and to bolster his faith. He was in our driveway at the first sign of an emergency that put Steve back in the hospital for an 8-day stay. He was only a text away. He and his wife provided me with comfort, hugs, care, love, and encouragement. They were the source of a smile when I needed it, too. And their care has not ended. I do not have words enough to express everything I’m feeling.
Our Family: The glue that holds us together when we are facing the tough, the difficult, the heartbreaking things that life throws our way. It’s easy to take family for granted, but truly life is too short to not tell those precious to you that you love them, value them, and appreciate what they bring to your life.
Steve’s journey will be long, but the hardest is behind us. We are thankful. We are grateful. We are fully aware that we are not walking this path alone. We are rejoicing for blessings small and great.
Like millions of people, I never wanted to hear the “C” word, but now that it’s out there, I’m genuinely thankful for the very special people who are on this journey with us.
I am thankful for proclamations like: “I ate bacon and eggs at 8 AM!”
Life got extreme, and we fell to our knees.
Until next time, may your journey be peaceful and may there be exceptional people walking it with you.