The roller coaster of a life that I was living 20 years ago this month continues. Just yesterday, July 4th 1990 I got engaged to my lovely wife. Today we hit a big dip downward.
Today is the day we find out the results of the test that was performed on Tuesday, July 3rd. I was told on the 2nd that I ether had a very bad infection or a previously unknown tumor had been bruised while riding a literal rollercoaster earlier that day.
Have a seat on my couch
Lisy and I headed to the doctor to get the results in the middle of the afternoon.
When you go to a doctor’s appointment and the doctor asks you to come in and have a seat on the couch, you know it is not going to be good news. He then asked who was with me and I said my brand new fiancé. He asked her to join me on the couch.
Well, you guessed it – I had a tumor. A tumor that needed to be removed immediately. As a mater of fact a whole treatment plan was immediately laid out for me. First – surgery for radical removal at 7 AM the next morning. Then I would have weeks of chemotherapy. This particular type of cancer could only be removed and then biopsied. The risk of a biopsy without removal was too great for spreading the cancerous cells.
At that time I happened to work in an office building that also housed the American Cancer Society. I was able to get loads of information from them and had been preparing for this diagnoses. Everything the doctor had said was according to the literature. 95 % of the time the tumor were cancerous, thus the quick decision and action for the radical surgery. Chances of survival were high with over 90% making it to 5 years.
How about next week?
There was one small problem – I had plans for Friday and the weekend. The doctor was flabbergasted when I said that we could do the surgery on Tuesday next week. I was busy. On Friday I was going to drive my Lisy and I to visit my dear friends Rick and Kay in Peoria. On Monday I was going to teach a class at the Youth For Christ Intern Training program in Rockford, Illinois. I had no time for silly things like surgery.
As we walked out to my car I sensed that Lisy was not grasping what had just happened. Admittedly, once we got to the parking lot my emotions got the better of me and I began to weep. Lisy struggled to understand why the intense emotion. She had not understood the gravity of the situation.
Why so calm?
When I asked Lisy to recall this day in order to write today’s post she doesn’t remember the tears in the parking lot. She does remember thinking about only being a Christian for four days and not wanting to believe that God was not taking care of this situation. She asked herself why would God call me to this place and time with this man to have him die from cancer? It does not make sense, so I won’t dwell on the worst case scenario. The God I just came to love would not do this to us.
Later, I was handling the situation rather calmly. I would like to think that I was a mature faith-full Christian who trusted God’s ability to work through whatever situation I found myself in. That is what I told myself back then. In reality, what I believe that carried me along those days were the faithful prayers of others.
I had (and have) a belief that God can do all things. That belief is built upon His Word. Verses I had learned over the years came to my mind during those days:
Proverbs 3:5 –6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight
Philippians 4:6 – 7 (NIV)
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 John 5:14- 15 (NIV)
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
From what I understood, I simply needed to pray to God, turn it over to Him and trust that He would work it out.
As Lisy and I went and met with friends from church, friends from Peoria, friends from Waukegan and friends from Youth For Christ we all prayed that God’s will would be done. We trusted in His ability to manage all things. I was glad God had given me a helpmate to get through this time. Isn’t God good?