When we first received the news about the diagnosis, thousands of thoughts flooded my mind. One of the thoughts that wouldn’t leave me alone was, “what about my kids.” I love my kids! Each of them are amazing in their own unique way. I often wonder how well I am doing at raising them. I dream about their future and ponder what type of men and woman they will become as they grow older. Today i was looking through some old journals and came across a letter I wrote six months before Nola was born. Nola is our oldest, then Memphis and finally River. River is our miracle baby, but that is a story for another time. Below is the letter I wrote to Nola before she was born. We didn’t know what we were going to have at the time of this writing.
Letter to my child,
I often wonder about you! I have waited a long time for your arrival
and will continue to as you are only 14 weeks old as of today. I
couldn’t sleep tonight, so I thought I would write you a letter.
Your mother is sleeping right now. She needs her rest. It is 12:10AM
on Monday, August 26, 2006. It is quiet, yet the traffic on the highway
is steady. I wonder what you will look like? I often joke that I
want you to have your mother’s looks but my personality. Your mother
is so beautiful! I love her so much. Though we have not yet face to
face, I already love you with all my heart. You are so very special. I have
to be honest with you, I’m a little afraid. I don’t want to mess up raising
you. I want the best for you and your mother and I want you to have a
good life. This is our first time being parents and we don’t really know
what to expect. We are hopeful because of our faith. We pray for you on
a regular basis. The Lord is going to have tremendous plans for your life.
My first piece of advice for you is to love God with all your heart,
mind, and soul. The second piece of advice is to follow Jesus
wherever He leads you. Continually give yourself to the power
of the Holy Spirit because you my child are destined for greatness!
I love you and can’t wait to hold you in my arms for the first time.
Humans are incredible! Have you ever stopped and thought for a minute or two just how awesome we really are? Stay with me for a second. I am well aware that in this world there have been inconceivable and horrible atrocities carried out by humans over the years, but let us not focus on them. Rather, let us fix our attention on all the incredible humans who have made this world a better place.
As I sit in treatments 16 hours a week, I have had the pleasure of meeting some incredible people. People who are fighting for their lives on a daily basis. These individuals are not alone. Behind each one of them are families, friends, and support groups who are willing to do whatever it takes to see their loved ones become well. Recently, I have had the pleasure to meet two extraordinary men who are up against some pretty big odds.
Stan (not his real name) has been diagnosed with brain cancer and just had a tumour the size of a medium orange removed from his brain. He is a fascinating man. He is optimistic that he will beat his diagnosis. He has made some drastic changes in his life to give himself the best chance to live. He has a very loving and supportive wife who is with him every treatment. Remember, we are here 16 hours a week, working at getting healthy. It is so encouraging to see and hear the love and the support they have for one another. Stan is one incredible human!
Pete (not his real name) has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His story is very raw, and powerful. He is an older gentleman who was recently married. While away on his honeymoon, he became ill. When they arrived back, he made a doctors appointment to see what was the problem. After some testing, it was confirmed he had cancer of the pancreas. He had been given only months to live. What makes this story heart breaking, is that this is his wife’s second marriage and her first husband passed away because of cancer. Obviously, she is devastated about the news of her husband, and I think Pete is hurting deeply for his wife as they walk through this difficult season. You can see the pain on his face and the hopelessness in his voice when he speaks. Although they face this difficult time, they remain vigilant, and are doing all that they can to give him the best chance at life. Pete and his family are incredible humans!
What about you? Do you know any incredible humans? I would love to hear about them.
We decided we would walk to the hospital this morning. It was a short, brisk walk from our house to the clinic. It’s kind of nice living so close to the hospital in light of our situation. We arrived on the second floor of the cancer wing and proceeded to the front desk. I checked in wand was given a bunch of paperwork to fill out. Jamie and I took our seat in the waiting room and filled out the all the necessary forms. It didn’t take too long to fill everything out, so I returned the forms to the nurse at the desk and took my seat. I was nervous at all. I actually was quite excited to finally get the ball rolling. We waited about 20 minutes and then it was time to meet with the doctor. We were ushered into a small, sterile room. We waited a few more minutes before the door opened and a young lady walked through the door. She introduced herself as Denise and that she would be collecting a little more background information on me before i was to meet with Dr. Ahmed. After about 15 minutes of answering her questions and taking some time to ask her some questions, it was finally time to meet with the doctor. Dr. Ahmed introduced himself and sat down next to me and spent a few seconds looking over my file. He asked me a bunch of questions and then it was time for him to do a physical. I was too excited about this, but hey, whatever. I got up on the table and followed the doctors instructions. Let’s just say he was thorough. After the physical examination I got dressed again and took my seat. He told me everything looked and sounded good. That was positive! As we sat in there in the examining room, Dr. Ahmed began to inform us about what our next steps would be. The tumor in my colon will be left alone right now because they are concerned about the spots on my liver. We knew that there were spots on my liver and on my lungs but what he told us next was a punch right in the face. He informed us that the spots on my liver are cancer. It is stage 4 liver cancer. Are you kidding me? I just sat there stunned. Jamie too. Dr. Ahmed informed us that the best course of action will be chemotherapy. We listened to what he had to say and left the room speechless. Our heads were spinning. What were we going to do? Before we left the office we asked about the success rates of chemo and the mortality rates. He could give us a definitive answer as he is not a specialist in this area but he did say that the mortality rate in the past with this type of cancer is 5 years. Now we respect what the doctors have to say and we will do what they suggest to do, but we continue to hold onto our anchor.
The elevator was taking too long so I rushed up the three flights of stairs. My heart beating fast not because of the trek up the three flights, but because I am nervous. I take my seat in the waiting room. I’m shaking inside. Stop it! Everything is going to be fine! I keep looking up at the clock. It’s moving too slow. I try and settle my thoughts by reciting Scripture. You can’t make this stuff up… I just received a timely Facebook message as I am writing this from a dear friend. She writes, “Yea, though you Walk thru the Valley of the SHADOW of death…YOU WILL FEAR NO, NO, NO, NO, EVIL OR HAVE DREAD….FOR HE SAYS, I AM WITH YOU, I AM FOR YOU, I WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU..MY ROD AND MY STAFF WILL COMFORT YOU AND GUIDE YOU…WE WERE PRAYING FOR YOU THIS MORNING, AND I PRAYED THIS LITTLE SENTENCE…THAT YOU’VE NOT BEEN HANDED A DEATH SENTENCE..YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN GIVEN A LIFE SENTENCE IN HIM…..CAN’T KILL A DEAD MAN WHO’S ALIVE IN CHRIST….PSALM 23 IS SO BEAUTIFULLY SPOKEN AGAIN IN THE MESSAGE AND THE VOICE TRANSLATIONS….IT GRABS YOUR HEART AND INFUSES IT WITH STRENGTH AND COURAGE….LOVE FROM US. Thanks Margit! So encouraging. My heart returns to its normal pattern. I feel at peace now. My thoughts aren’t racing any longer as I am focused on the One who walks with me. He calms the storms, He heals the sick. He gives sight to the blind. He knows me by name. He close to the broken hearted and He does so much more!
After an hour of waiting to see the doctor, my name was finally called. Mr. Sabourin, Dr. Jangra will see you now. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that my results were in but I had no idea what they were going to be. Dr. Jangra opened the office door and sat down next to me. We exchanged some small talk and then we got down to business. He shared the results of my MRI and CT Scan. They weren’t the results I was hoping for. The tumour in my colon is quite large and there is nothing they can do right now because they discovered spots on my lungs and liver. I couldn’t believe it. Really? This isn’t happening I thought. He continued to share more findings and I started asking all the questions that came to my mind. I spent about 30 minutes in his office and left in shock. There are a lot of unanswered questions until I see the doctors at the cancer clinic in 10 days but I am determining to remain hopeful and positive through this. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but as I have stated numerous times, I choose trust Him through this.