Someone pass me a pillow – STAT, because I just want to scream! We just got back from my appointment to find out the results of my PET scan. The news wasn’t what we were hoping for. We knew that the cancer was in my colon and my liver, but now they are confirming that it has moved into my lungs. There are approximately 15 spots on my lungs and the doctor tells us at least 3 of the spots ‘light up’ for cancer. It feels like someone just kicked me right in the stomach. My head is spinning and all I want to do is find a pillow and scream as loud as I can into it. It obviously won’t change the situation, but I am sure I would feel a lot better after getting a few things off my chest. They have moved up the dates for my ‘port’ to be installed and when my chemo will begin. A port is inserted in your chest during a short outpatient surgery. It is a small disc made of plastic or metal about the size of a quarter that sits just under the skin. A soft thin tube called a catheter connects the port to a large vein. Your chemotherapy medicines are given through a special needle that fits right into the port. You also can have blood drawn through the port. When all your cycles of chemotherapy are done, the port is removed during another short outpatient procedure. This procedure takes place next Tuesday afternoon and then my chemo will begin a day or two later. As we were leaving the hospital, my mind was racing with all the interruptions that are about to come our way. For the next few months, I will be spending 4 out of 7 days in a clinic getting treatments. I am not looking forward to this, but I remain optimistic about the bigger picture at work behind the scenes. I don’t know why certain things happen to certain people, but the reality is, it’s none of my business. This is my story and I am sticking with it. I hope that through this season in our lives we can be an encouragement and support to those who are walking through difficult times right now. My hope and prayer through this all is that I will be healed and that God would be glorified. At the end of the day, God is still God and God is still good.
A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to get some family pictures taken. In the 10 years Jamie & I have been married, never had we had our picture taken professionally. Even when we began to have kids, we weren’t motivated to have family pictures taken. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have pictures in our house of our kids and of one another, but we have never had pictures professionally done. I was pretty excited about the opportunity and a little apprehensive at the same time because you never know how your kids will respond to having their picture taken. We packed our little family into our red Ford Flex and headed out to Jamie’s parents new property. We choose this location for a few reasons, but the biggest reason was the enormous maple tree they have in the middle of their property. Bree Mader was our photographer. She was amazing! We had never met her before, but as soon as we met her, we hit it off. She did a great job keeping us organized and our kids interested in having their pictures taken. As I look through the photos now, I would say by the looks on my kids faces that they enjoyed themselves. It was a great experience. We just received the finished photos yesterday. We were all excited to see the finished product. As I began going through the pictures, I was reminded how powerful a picture can be. I looked at each picture intently as I didn’t want to miss a thing. Pictures serve as a reminder of a special moment in time. No one, not even cancer can steal from us the joy that we experienced that day on the family farm. We will always have these pictures to point us back to a moment in time where nothing else mattered except for us being together as the Sabourin family. To check out more of the photos, click here.
Do you take family photos on a yearly basis? Do you have any funny stories of when you were having family photos taken?
There has been a statement rolling around in my head the past day or so that won’t leave. “Be still and know that I am God.” This is a verse in the Bible which can be found in Psalm 46:10. I have read this passage before and even heard a few messages about this text, but out of the blue yesterday it popped into my mind. Lately I have been wrestling with my thought life as we await the results of the PET scan. It’s hard waiting, especially when you are waiting for results that are pretty important. I have an appointment this Thursday with my oncologist, so we should know more by then. Even though we are only a few days away, I found myself struggling to remain positive. I haven’t had a lot of great news with my cancer diagnosis, so it is easy for me to think negatively rather than the way I know I should be thinking – positively. I keep obsessing over the future that I have absolutely no control over. I find myself daily wrestling with my thought life. As I sat on the couch yesterday and relaxed, I found myself becoming full of fear. I couldn’t turn it off. I laid my head down to get some rest, when all of a sudden the words, “be still and know I am God’ flooded my mind. It’s hard being still. I don’t usually do well when it comes to being still. I am always checking my phone, on my computer, or keeping busying by watching sports on the TV. How can you be still when your mind is consumed by all these negative thoughts? What do you do when you can’t seem to turn off the noise in your head? That’s the battle. Waging war against your thought life. I need to on a daily basis take my thoughts captive. Any time negative thoughts begin to bombard me, rather than mediating on them or allowing them to take up space in my mind, I need to start filling my mind with positive thoughts. One of the exercises I do is, remind myself about all the amazing things God has done on my behalf. I begin to make a mental note of all God has blessed me with, what He has done in my life so far and as I do this, the black clouds that fill my mind begin to lift. Being still before God doesn’t mean you stand at attention and don’t move a muscle. For me, being still is to focus my attention upon Him rather upon myself and my circumstances. The word ‘know’ in this verse in the original language means more than acquiring intellectual information about God. We are not to just know things about Him, we are invited to experience Him in tangible ways. As I lay on the couch, I began to change the way I was thinking because I was asking for God’s guidance in this situation. It didn’t happen immediately, but as I began to ask for help and I made a conscience decision not to focus my thoughts on things that were negative, my outlook began to change. I made an effort to be still before Him, so I could grow in my understanding of who He is and what His character is like. So my encouragement for anyone who may be reading this is, ‘be still and know that He is God.’
Yesterday was a great day! Being on the open ocean,surrounded by such stunning scenery does wonders for an individual. We caught a bunch of fish and unfortunately had to release nearly 20 as they are closed for the season. Overall, it was a very successful trip. Later on in the evening, Adam and I headed over to April’s Point to check things out. As we were taking the water taxi over to the other side, I saw a father and his daughter sitting next to each other, talking about their upcoming fishing trip. As I watched and somewhat overheard the conversation unfold, I got a little emotional thinking about my daughter and sons and all the things I want to do with each of them individually. I started to think about how young they are and fear began to creep in because I so badly want to be there for them. It amazes me at times because I think I am in control of my life. I realize on a daily basis how much I am not. None of us are. You may think you are, but you are not. It’s only an illusion. I cannot control and dictate my future, but I want to live each day to the fullest. I want to enjoy every moment, but this is where the battle is for me. I get caught up in petty little things that only rob me of potential joy. I need to learn how to embrace them. As I sat on the boat and watched this father and his daughter enjoying a special moment, I couldn’t help but to think about my own kids and all the things I want to do with them. I don’t want to die at an early age. I want to grow old with my wife and kids. I want to make memories with them that nobody can steal from us. I want to be there for them, but I realize I have no control over that. As much as I want to, I don’t. I can only do what I can and trust that everything else will work itself out. I’m not in control. He is!
I am currently on Vancouver Island on a fishing trip with my father in law and a close friend. It has become a yearly tradition for my father in law and I to go on a fishing trip. This will be our eighth year together. We have gone to some incredible places throughout the years and this year we returned to a place we haven’t been to since our very first trip together. We are at Painters Lodge in Campbell River. This trip has been enjoyable for many reasons. The first being that my good friend Adam could join us. It has been fun with him because he has been such a huge help, source of strength and support through this difficult time. Another reason why this trip has been so enjoyable is the scenery. I believe BC is the most beautiful Province in all of Canada. I know that may be a pretty bold statement, but I believe it. Being here on this trip, at this time has been very special to me. Being out on the open ocean, watching wildlife in their natural habitat and breathtaking scenery has been a huge boost to my morale. Sometimes when we are facing something difficult, painful, or scary in our lives, I believe it is important we get a change of scenery from time to time to gain a fresh perspective. It has been helpful to me being in this type of environment and away from all the medical appointments and paperwork. Now I know these type of trips won’t always happen, but I am hoping that from time to time they do so I can experience a change of scenery. We all need them from time to time.