On October 27th of this year, we got some difficult news. I hinted at it in the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ blog post – https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2020/11/05/stinkin-thinkin/. Then talked more openly about it in last week’s post: Gather in Your Hearts: https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2020/11/26/gather-in-your-hearts/.
I was headed to work for a retirement luncheon in my honor. Mike was on the phone and I guessed it was with the doctor’s office so I waited to see what that was all about. Ten minutes before I had planned to leave home, he got off the phone, looked at me, and said, “it’s chordoma”. Tears started rolling down my face while I admitted that I couldn’t possibly go to the lunch after such a report. He hugged me said it was going to be alright and that seems he is ‘one in a million’ after all.
To be honest, I quickly thought, “why do we have something else difficult to deal with? Isn’t parenting Jacob enough?”
Later, we were talking about our different reactions. I asked my man if he might sum up his thoughts about his cancer diagnosis and this is what followed a day or two before surgery. In his words:
Getting a diagnosis of cancer is never a good feeling but when you are an old senior like me, it can’t be the same as when a young person gets the diagnosis.
I will say that for me, the news was not even a close second in sadness to the news we got from Dr. C. Tardo in 1980 that Jacob was autistic. That he would probably never walk or talk. I would think any parent would feel the same way when they receive really bad news about their child. Whether it be death, illness, etc.
A lot of things go through your mind when you get the word. One good thing is you start trying to live in the moment since that’s all any of us have. The cancer will hang on to you for the rest of your life with you potentially worrying if it has come back or not. But in reality, we all have death waiting in the corner to have his chance to get you. I always tell people this life is short and is preparation for the next life. Our real life.
Anyway, below is a conversation I may or may not have had with the Lord when I got my diagnosis of chordoma cancer:
Me: Why me, Lord?!
Lord: Why not you, Mike?
Me: Was it so all my friends, family, and people I don’t know could pray for my healing and we could rejoice and give glory to you when you healed me?
Lord: No Mike, that’s not why.
Me: Was it so I can deal with having cancer and show people how to give glory to you while in the midst of the trial?
Lord: No Mike, that’s not why.
Me: Then why Lord?
Lord: Mike, this cancer is personal between you and me. I want to know if you will love me, even if.
Me: Even if?
Lord: I want to know if you will love me even if I don’t cure you of cancer.
Me: I’m 66 years old, have enjoyed living all these years Lord. No problem, yes, I will still love you if you don’t heal me.
Lord: Careful Mike. If I take you by this cancer, it will mean your long time prayer to take care of Jacob ALL of his life will be answered with a No. Will you still love me, even if?
We all have an “even if”. What is yours?
I hope that I prove faithful to the Lord.