Diagnosis day, it’s here again. Some days reach the level you don’t even have to say what it is. Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. But not all of those anniversaries are good things. Some of them are reminders of the world turning upside down. Realizing that nothing would ever be the same. A total change in your perspective, in your life.
With apologies to the American Cancer Society, I’m not a survivor. Sure, I’ll wear the shirt and I’ll walk the laps at Relay, but survivor to me cheapens what I do. First, I’m already going to live forever. That has been guaranteed since I gave my life to Christ. So it is not a question of surviving since I know that the “corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” Second, My goal is to be the best husband, “Uncle Zoom,” and eventual father I can be. Surviving is not enough.
So what am I then? A cancer fighter? That still sounds too weak. A fight can just be a disagreement. Heated words. Maybe a few thrown punches. Cancer isn’t a fight. It is gladiatorial combat. I’m supported by a loving and beautiful wife, an army of caregivers, nurses, doctors, lab techs, and even researchers that I never see. But every morning, when I wake up, I am the only one who can decide that today will not be the day it beats me.
Some days are great campaigns and victories of making it out the house, visiting with friends and family, being able to go to church, or just taking pictures. But, unless you have been there, you can’t understand how sweet the victory is of simply getting out of bed and getting dressed. Some days are almost normal. Many days are anything but. Every day is a battle. Some are won; some are a draw. Losing is not an option.
I’ve been through the diagnosis process. I’ve been through Sweets Syndrome. I’ve been through thirteen months of chemotherapy. There’s been days, weeks, of depression. There have been days I couldn’t get out of bed and days I felt invincible. But today starts a renewed campaign.
I am approaching a new line of treatment. I hate nothing more than the unknown. But whatever the unknown future may hold, I know who holds the future. The same God who flung the stars across the sky has promised, “I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee.” And, my God has told me that, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” In these promises, I am at peace.