This year is almost over. I don’t know about you, but this year has gone by pretty quickly. I have noticed that as I get older, the years seem to go by faster. I began this past year with the news that I would need to be treated for stage 4 kidney cancer that had metastasized to my lungs. Originally I was diagnosed with this at Palo Alto Medial Foundation in California. My wife and I were planning on getting treatment there. After some delays in obtaining the medication they were going to use to fight the cancer my wife looked into getting treatment for me at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Phoenix. I thought we couldn’t afford it, but after finding out they would pay for our flight, we decided to go there for a second opinion. I am sure glad she called them, because after meeting with the team from CTCA we decided to go for treatment in Phoenix.
So in this past year of getting cancer treatment at CTCA, I have had a total of 7 bronchoscopy procedures, 2 stints placed in my right bronchi, and 3 different treatment options. I have been on Interleukin-2, Torisel, and now Votrient. I have also recently received a large dose of radiation directed at the main tumor site in my right lung. I have also had a procedure to put in a Power Port to have all my blood tests and therapies taken from. One of my bronchoscopy procedures did not go very well. In July, I ended up in ICU on a ventilator after my right lung collapsed after the stint in my lung was crushed by the tumor mass. I almost didn’t make it. But the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ got me through that whole ordeal and I am still living to fight another day. As of today I am a 2 year kidney cancer survivor, and a 1 year survivor of having stage 4 kidney cancer.
This year has also been a year of many changes. Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary. Yet, this cancer diagnosis, among other things, has probably cost me my marriage. My wife and I separated just a few months ago. I have since then relocated to Goodyear, AZ where I can be closer to CTCA for treatment. Probably the greatest change has been recently for me. All of these things have caused me to grow closer in my relationship to Jesus Christ. I have finally accepted the fact the He loves me and has called me to Himself before the foundation of the world. “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1: 4-5 NLT. It does not matter what I do, His love and acceptance for me is unchanging. He has been so faithful to me, in spite of my often unfaithfulness to Him. He has opened doors for me to smoothly transition in my move to Arizona. He has brought new friends in my life who are fellow cancer patients. He has also continued to provide for me and bring healing in my life from this cancer.
There is so much more I could write in review of this year, but I wanted to keep in brief. The Lord has allowed this cancer to exist in my body. I don’t thank Him for my diagnosis with cancer or being separated from my wife, but I thank Him for seeing me through all of the trials of this past year. I know that He will be glorified in all of this in some way. My prayer is that He will continue to live His life through me and in me. If the Christian life is going to be lived in me, He is going to have to do it. This past year I have learned that it is impossible for me to live the Christian life. I will mess up more than I will succeed in living a godly life. But, when I surrender to Christ, He lives His life through me because He is my indwelling Lord. I agree with the Apostle Paul who said, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NLT
I pray all of you will have a joyous new year in 2015.