A few weeks back I wrote about a health challenge that I am currently dealing with. To be honest with you, I debated with myself at some length before I wrote that column. On the one hand I did not want anyone to feel sorry for me as my situation is not near as dire as others in our community face. But, by the same token it is a serious issue and I wanted and coveted your prayers.
In the end I chose to share with you my personal situation and since that time I have been approached by a host of friends offering those prayers. You really don’t know how much that can mean to someone until you have to deal with it yourself. For someone struggling with whatever challenge it might be, it truly does touch them just to know that someone cares enough to ask how they are doing.
Let me quickly give you an update and then I want to share with you some things I have learned along this journey. The folks at M.D. Anderson decided that to treat these little “buggers” that are inside me they would give me sandostatin shots for three months and then re-test and re-evaluate my situation. I take these shots once a month and they are not chemo or radiation but rather inhibit the growth hormones that cause this condition.
Thanks to all my “friends” who so freely share that at least I don’t have to worry about losing my hair. What I really find ironic is that these tumors are caused by the overproduction of growth hormones. So why the heck am I only 5-foot-8 – it could at least cause me to grow taller. Laughter and humor help all of us deal with serious issues in life so I truly don’t mind the joking and ribbing that I get from my friends.
Next month we return for the follow-up visit and a plan of attack so I will update you when I know more about where this is headed. But, for right now I am going to share some things that I have learned over the last five months since I heard that word “cancer.”
First and foremost, I have come to the realization that I am not in control of my life and never have been. God has always been in control but I was just too arrogant to understand that. All of us want to control our own destiny but that is a false sense of security. As a Christian I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and that all is right if we trust in Him fully. But my human nature wants to help Him make decisions according to my will and not His.
I wrote in a previous column that I have said for many years that God is in control but then when things get serious I seem to want to wrest that control from Him. You either have to live that philosophy or quit saying it. I have chose to try to live it but it is a daily struggle.
I heard a quote the other day that really hit home — “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Think about that one. I know that I used to be so focused on the future that I neglected the present. Now, I realize that the past is just a memory and the future is a mist but all we truly have is today. That’s another quote that I have heard that I probably botched but you get the picture.
When I first got my diagnosis, a good friend of mine told me that he wasn’t going to pray for my healing but rather would pray that I would have people willing to walk with me along my journey. He said that I didn’t know the final outcome but that God did. What I really needed was the support as I walked the path. I asked him how he got so smart and I think he said something along the lines that he had always been that smart. Yeah right.
But, that is the real point of everything we do in life. It’s not the final destination but rather the journey that gets us there. And the most important thing on that journey is the people that share it with us. When everything is said and done that’s really all that’s important in life.
Every day that we get up we make decisions on what we do with our time. Yes, we have to make a living and provide for our families. But, within our daily activities how do we live? I have come to realize that the day does not belong to me but rather to God and my prayer is that I live my life for Him and not for me.
It took me a little while but I finally came to the decision that I am not going to let something like this define and control my life. Yes, it’s something you have to deal with, but life is what happens while you are busy living and I am sometimes way too busy living to truly enjoy life. I will end the column with the saying “Carpe diem” which is Latin for “seize the day.” That’s what I want to do for as long as my journey in life continues — seize the day and make the most out of it in service God.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.