Seek peace and pursue it.
So at 3:00, I stopped working and I was able to get out of my swamp clothes and into my cowboy boots to hear my results(Cooper chewed my other ones :( I got a different pair to hold me over til I find the ‘perfect pair’). And as I drove there, I thought about a song that hasn’t surfaced since 2005, In Christ Alone (check it out on youtube!). I first heard this song when I was about to have my brain surgery in Columbus. Sometimes I think that maybe cancer wasn’t so scary to me because that surgery had already shaken me to the core. At that point in my life, I was afraid to die. When I was at The OSU Medical Center in the pre-op room, I had to sign papers so that I could not sue them if I died or was paralyzed from the procedure. Needless to say, my surgery was a bit complicated. :) And at 21, I was young and scared because I did not want to die. And the only thing I could think of to calm me down when I was being wheeled to the operating room that day was to sing the only words I knew of this new song. 'No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me. From life’s first cry, ‘til final breath, Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of man, could ever pluck me from his hand. ‘til he returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand'. Driving the familiar drive to Cancer Care this afternoon, I thought about how these words were just words back then used to calm down a very scared 21 year old, but now these words are my guide through Life...it's my Pursuit. Because now, I’m not afraid of dying anymore. No matter if it’s tomorrow or 60 years from now. God will never leave my side because He is the only constant thing in the world.
So what have I been pursuing since June? It didn’t become clear to me until a couple months ago actually. Beating cancer was the obvious Pursuit, but I found what I was pursuing even more…I was pursuing my God and everything He had to offer me in Life before I take my last breath. Talk about ask and you shall receive, I have experienced God's presence throughout this Pursuit with cancer more than I ever have before. I allowed myself to meet Him half way in one of my darkest days, and He has changed me by allowing me to open up and use a hidden talent by writing out my thoughts and insights each week on a blog. I've learned through this that you have to have a higher power guiding you and challenging you to be more than you can be in Life, even in the hardest times of life, because that’s when your potential is vividly evident. This blogging Pursuit was more than I thought I could be...but I rose to the occasion, took it on, and shared my story...and beat cancer in the mean time :) Ezra 7:28 Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage...and I wrote my story :) Wow.
So it’s time to end this Pursuit after 125 blogs. The good news of today's appointment assured that I am disease free. I still have a 3cm and 2cm tumor in my chest, but they are more like scar tissue now (there is no sign of cancerous activity in them). My blood levels are as normal as normal is for me :) The great news is that I get my port out next week and I don’t see my doctor again until June 1st when I get another scan and hear Remission for the first time. But it's time to bring this time of my life to a close. That way I can move on. I want to keep pursuing more meaning and purpose for my Life. But I don't want to leave you hanging, so I will update you guys the first of every month on here until I hear the 'R' word :) But I won’t ever forget this time in my life, I have my scars to remind me of my Pursuit. And some things will be different now too. My Thanksgiving Day prayer will never be the same...I have a life to be thankful for now. Neither will my birthday...I turn 27 in May, but it'll mean more when I'm considered a cancer survivor. I know I will always have some form of survivor’s guilt, because I have compassion for those who lost the battle. But I want to always feel good about this victory. And when I have those days when it’s too hard, then I will do it for my family who was telling me to NEVER GIVE IN from the beginning. I did this all for you, my friends, my family, all the people that I love. I wrote this blog, I fought through cancer, I found my strength in God, and right now… I feel like we both came out winners. So let’s raise our glasses, because here is not to the end of life….
I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.
-Red, Shawshank Redemption
I feel the exact same way right now :)