If you are reading this column on Friday, you still have time to come out to the Neosho Relay For Life and help raise funds to fight cancer. I remember when the concept of having an all night event was first discussed many, many years ago and I thought that it would never work. Boy, was I wrong.  This event has really grown and has helped raise a lot of money for cancer research.

Personally, I have been involved for several years as the chief cook for the Christopher Foundation team.  Now, to say I’m a cook may be stretching things a little because basically I throw a few burgers on the grill and try not to burn them.  Then I toss a few hot dogs on and try to burn some of them (a lot of people like blackened dogs right off the grill). In any event, we have great fellowship and most importantly raise money for the fight against cancer.

Even though I have been involved and have supported this effort for a long time, this year is a little different.  You see, now I’m one of those folks that need your help with more research to fight cancer.  Remember a few columns back when I said that the Wilson household was facing a lot of challenges?  

Well, one of those challenges was me being diagnosed with cancer.  Of course, leave it to me to have one of those unique brands. I actually was diagnosed with carcinoid tumors or to use the new term — neuroendocrine tumors. These are not your typical cancer as they are caused by an over production of growth hormones.

In the last three months, I have seen enough doctors and had enough tests to last me for a long time.  But, I definitely haven’t seen all that I’m going to, or had all the tests.  The good news is that these are very slow growing and I probably have had them growing inside for an extended period of time. But, they are in some tricky locations so at this point in time we are still kind of up in the air with regards to treatment options.

I don’t feel bad and quite frankly, if these had not been discovered by accident, I wouldn’t even know that anything was wrong. I say, by accident, but God’s hand was evident in the way I found out about this.  I have told many people that corn nuts, a persistent wife and Dr. Larry Barnes led to me even finding out that I had this condition.

OK, I will explain what I mean. I had corn nuts on a road trip that Melody and I took and that is not what you eat when you have diverticulitis. When it didn’t go away, Melody pestered me until I went to see Dr. Barnes.  Thankfully, he didn’t accept my personal diagnosis of diverticulitis and ordered tests which revealed this unrelated problem. Now, to my defense, the specialist in St. Louis did confirm my diagnosis but I will forever be grateful that Larry didn’t.

So, here I am, one of those affected by the dreaded “C” word.  And, folks, when it happens to you, it gets real in a hurry. As you might imagine, the last three months have been an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. But, through the process, my personal walk with God has equally grown in epic proportions.

Melody and I have jokingly said that if God is trying to teach us something through this then He can stop because we have learned our lesson in faith. But, in reality, I haven’t. I still want to be in control and I still worry about tomorrow — even though I know that I shouldn’t and I know that God is in control of every situation. But, dang it, it’s hard to keep that perspective when you are used to being in control.

I tell you my story not because I want your sympathy – my situation is nowhere near as dire as many of the stories I hear from friends and family. A wise friend of mine said that he wasn’t going to pray for healing for me because God already knows the outcome of this situation but rather he would pray that there would be people to walk with me along the journey — no matter where it leads.  

That’s why I am telling you what’s going on in my life — so you can pray for me and my family.  Now, if you want to pray for healing then I’m not going to discourage that but my friend was right — what is most important are the ones that walk with you along the way.  
So, since we are talking about walking, get off the couch tonight and come down to the Neosho High School football field and support the relay for life.  Walk alongside those that need your support and prayers.

Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.