After learning of his diagnosis, Don and I decided right away that we were going to share the news with family, friends, and co-workers. Another friend who was diagnosed at approximately the same time with prostate cancer decided not to share the news with anyone. (We ended up bumping into him at the clinic so we learned of his diagnosis and decision to keep things quiet at that time.) I understand why our friend would want to maintain his privacy, but we decided that we needed the love and support of our friends. And we decided for us support was more important than privacy. Admittedly though, it is a little like living our lives out loud. It's as if everyone knows what is going on, which is fine most of the time but can get a bit draining or annoying. Weighing our decision to share the cancer diagnosis and treatment options against privacy I still think that we made the right choice. Why? Because comfort comes in many forms.
Comforting words and actions have been directed toward us from so many quarters. Words of encouragement, notes sent mail or e-mail, telephone calls, offers of food, prayers, and time off work to go to appointments, pats on the back, hugs, and listening ears have all given us solace and comfort. Our best friend put us in touch with his cousin, a urologist in Seattle, who provided a recommendation that we see his partner a well-known prostate surgeon. This man will be doing the surgery tomorrow and it feels like a miracle that we found him.
Sue, a gal at church, purchased and gave us a daily devotional guide, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I typically don't care for these types of guides but this one really speaks to my heart, as if God is actually talking to me. Now, when I find worry creeping in to my thoughts I read a passage from it and it calms me. Here are portions of a few devotions from this little gem:
I AM WITH YOU, watching over you constantly. I am Emmanuel (God with you); my Presence enfolds you in radiant Love. Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials, can separate you from Me.--from May 29th devotion
The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day's problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me. --from June 4th devotion
I AM ALL AROUND YOU, like a cocoon of Light. My Presence with you is a promise independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry...Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry. But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive... In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me. --from June 7th devotionWill this cancer destroy my sense of peace and my faith? No way! I believe in a God way bigger than any disease or any diagnosis. And that faith is providing comfort right now.
Don's surgery is tomorrow around 1:15 PM (PDT). Your prayers and positive thoughts during that time will bring great comfort. Thank you."For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." --Isaiah 41:13
6/24/11- ***Update. Don went through the surgery very well and he is home already after only one night in the hospital. Now we wait for the pathology reports.
7/5/11- ***Update. Pathology report was great! Cancer contained within the prostate. All other tissue taken found no cancer cells. No additional cancer treatment needed.