Cancer Survivor Story

 



Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
 
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering 
Though there's pain in the offering 
Blessed be Your name
 
Every blessing You pour out 
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say
 
Blessed be the name of the Lord
__________________________
Blessed Be Your Name   -   by Matt Redman
As every grandparent knows, there is nothing more exciting than the birth of a grandchild.  In March 2005 Gracious, our 2nd granddaughter was born with all the hoopla that surrounds the birth of a new baby. 

One week later I was again at a
hospital, but without the hoopla.  That morning I went to see my doctor complaining of severe stomach pain.  She sent me to the hospital for a CT scan, after which I was sent to admitting while my doctor called a surgeon.  I had a tumor in my colon that looked "worrisome" according to the doctor.  It proved to be more than just "worrisome," It was cancer.  I had colon-resection surgery with one-third of my large intestine removed.  Gracious and her mom visited me every day in the hospital (picture above) along with LOTS of family and friends.

While I was in the hospital, both before and after surgery I had a lot of time to reflect:  Life has wild swings, from the ecstasy of a new granddaughter, to the agony of cancer!  Yet God is always faithful.  The song to the left became my theme song.  I will praise God because He is God regardless of my circumstances.

A month after surgery I began 6 months of chemotherapy.  For me it was more difficult both physically and emotionally than learning I had cancer or enduring the surgery.  But even in the midst of discouragement and nausea, God brought moments of joy.  I had lots of time to sit with my daughter and new granddaughter, to visit, watch movies, or even nap together on the couch.  The treatment room at my oncologist's office was cheerful and encouraging.  We had crazy, silly times trying on wigs, sharing our stories with each other, and celebrating final treatments with parties that included flowers, balloons, and funny little stuffed animals (right).
Now ten years after my surgery, things are back to normal: my hair, my skin, my appetite. Some things are even better: my relationship with Jeff, my appreciation for little things, my compassion for others, my perspective on time and life. As I look back it isn't hard to see how God has used my cancer experience for good (though it didn't feel like it at the time).  Having never been terribly athletic, Jeff and I now enjoy riding our bike, mainly for enjoyment, but also for health.  We are both growing increasingly stronger and healthier.  A normal ride for us is in the 50 - 60 mile range.  In May 2009 we rode our first "century" (100 mile ride)!  In August 2010 we took our first vacation by bike (touring).  Surviving cancer and riding bikes, me and Lance Armstrong.    :)

(See our "rides with Lance" on the LIVESTRONG 2007 & 2008 pages, our "century" ride on the Reach the Beach page, and our bike touring pictures here.)
 

A few cancer related links...

 

My clinic in Portland, Oregon

Lance Armstrong's organization

Good resource

   

If you, or someone close to you are battling cancer, and you need someone to talk to,
 feel free to email me:
 Michelle@TandemRide.com

 

 
 
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