Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Relay For Life

Niki has a great blog for quilters to list their blogspot. Try it - I did!

Tonight is the Relay For Life, a fund raiser for The Cancer Society. My husband will be walking the Survivors Lap at the kickoff. When he was diagnosed with melanoma in late 2004 we were taken aback. Not only was it unexpected, but it was also an automatic membership in a club he didn't want to belong to and hadn't applied for. For heaven's sake, we don't even like selective organizations! Even though his hair is gray now, in his youth he was both a natural redhead and a natural athlete - a deadly combination. He fished, he hunted, he played football and ran track. That time in the sun led to millions of freckles and, over the years, moles and what I call "skin tags." These skin tags are little pieces of skin that are small, flesh colored and annoying, but not lethal. One of them grew and grew and grew until it looked like a skin tag on steroids! It was still flesh colored and, seemingly, innocent. I'd seen all the pictures of moles to watch for, moles that are dangerous. They were black, mostly flat, and irregular in size. This one was nothing like those! This one was in disguise! It was an "atypical" melanoma, which simply means it doesn't look like all the rest. Wouldn't you know it!

It was on the front of his shoulder right where the seat belt would hit and pull on it, causing it to bleed a little. I fussed and fumed for a year because it bled on the pillow cases, which annoyed the devil out of me, but couldn't convince him to have it taken care of by the doctor. Finally, when he was in for his annual blood pressure check, he remembered to ask about it. An immediate visit to the dermatologist led to an even faster visit to the oncologist. Before we could blink twice he was sitting in one those recliners with an IV dripping into his arm supplying poison to the poison that had invaded his body. He did that for two weeks. Then for a year and a half he gave himself shots 3 times a week, shots which gave him "flu-like symptoms." That's the doc's description. Fever, chills, muscle aches, too tired to move - that's my description. He gave himself the shot at bedtime so that the worst of the symptoms would be at night and for the first 6 months he continued to work, every day and every hour he was supposed to be there. His sense of responsibility is a bit overwhelming sometimes. At that point we agreed that retirement might be in order.

I fully expect that watching him walk that Survivor's Lap tonight will be extremely emotional for me. I'd like to skip it, just like I wanted to skip the whole journey with the big C. But I won't. I'll watch him walk, I'll cry, and I'll thank God for the blessing of the additional time we've been given. For each of you out there who've battled this disease, or who has watched someone you love battle this disease, I'll be praying for you as well. You'll be on my heart and in my mind. Jerry and I are blessed and we know it. His cancer is gone, but it is not forgotten. We know that cancer likes to sneak back and we are ever vigilant.


Journeying said...

Bless you both.

Adrienne said...

Once cancer touches your life you never forget it. Congratulations to him for surviving and for walking. It's a privilege to join the many who will be part of that 'club'. A friend of mine walks every year - for herself and for my dear mother and another lady who cannot walk for themselves. It's always so special to see her walk. You are blessed to have each day with your hubby. I know you understand that more than ever! ~Adrienne~

Idaho Quilter said...

I send my blessings too!

sister sheri said...

Wow! How diligent we must be about our health! Thank you for sharing your experience. What a great idea to remember where we have been and how grateful we are.

Molly said...

So glad you got some extra time. We're about the same age I figure, and mortality has always been other peoples' problem. But when you hit the b'day that has a six at the front and an oh at the back it has the sobering effect of making you realise that, if you live that long, the next decade b'day will have a seven at the front and you wonder how on earth did THAT happen?? God bless, and I hope you both survive to take part in many more of those walks!

woolywoman said...

Well, it was a bit emotional for me just reading about it! Glad you both came through.