Let me start today’s post by saying Happy Canada Day! It is so hard to believe that tomorrow will be the 1st of July. Time is going so very fast, another year is half over. Since time is going so very fast I have decided to try and bring The Blog up to date. As of the last post the story ends in August of 2021. So let me do my best to bring us current.
But before I start sharing the story I just want to remind everyone about the power of encouragement. For the last 18 months I have helped a small 3 store retail business with Sales Targets etc. It sure was fun coaching again, I did not know I missed it so much. I recently decided to step away from the business to change my focus a little bit. During the last week with the company a number of people reached out to thank me for the encouragement that I gave. It was a revelation to me as I realized that encouragement is a rare commodity in this day and age. The further revelation was that for some the only encouragement they get is at work, and if they are not getting encouragement at work it is likely they are not getting encouragement at all. So I would remind all the people leaders and business owners to take the time to encourage your staff. Encouragement is not hard to give but pays such great dividends. Let’s all try to live our lives ensuring that we are encouraging others.
It is time to carry on with the story of my journey. It is now the end of June and so hard to believe I just finished my 19th month of treatment. I am feeling great, we know that the treatments are working and between medicine and The Power of God we are going to win this battle. Every day I thank the Lord for bringing me this far, and for his goodness in my life. I so enjoy listening to “Goodness of God” by Jenn Johnson and “Evidence” by Josh Baldwin. Both songs are so powerful and remind me of the goodness of God. He is Faithful Each and Every Day.
I am also so very grateful that the only side effect I have had from the Immunotherapy is the vision loss. There are numerous possible side effects and many people have multiple side effects. It would have been great to have had no side effects, but I am grateful to only have one.
I left off my last post by saying I had the first eye surgery. The Tuesday after Labor Day I had the surgery in my right eye. All went well and continued improvement was evident in the eyes. But because of the inflammation of the retinas caused by the immunotherapy, the improvement was not what I would have liked. Even today I am still not driving , but they are trying to get me a eye prescription that would correct my vision well enough to allow me to drive. I now watch TV with out the 3 pairs of reading glasses, so that is good. I am now also able to read with a pair of 3.25 reading glasses. Overall things are really looking up on the vision, I have come so far. In saying that I continue to have regular appointments with the ophthalmologist and he continues to give me injections. More people for me to visit with, and now I am on a first name basis with many of my doctors. I also know that my vision is still impacted so I don’t get too concerned about any spelling mistakes in the Blog, and have also realized I don’t get concerned if I miss a strip of grass when cutting the lawn. I will admit that Roxanne and I have a good laugh when she shows me the pieces that I do miss. But I have missed far less this summer than last!
Appointments continue at The Cross Cancer like clockwork; blood work, oncologist visits, treatments, CT and MRIs. I will never stop saying how amazing all the people are. Outstanding and so kind. That leads me to a real epiphany I had while having a treatment between Christmas and New Years. The nurse’s name was Lori and it was the first time that I had her as a nurse. We talked like we had known each other for years rather than just meeting for the first time. A fantastic appointment. It was while there that day that I realized I was not a “Patient of The Cross” but I was a “Guest of The Cross”. What a revelation that was for me!!
I left the appointment and told Roxanne! I told her I was going to write a letter to the Director of The Cross. Roxanne is in health care, and she knows how busy everyone is, and told me not to expect a reply. I was a banker, I always expect replies! I wrote my 2 page letter, and even talked about the epiphany in the letter. I wanted them to know exactly how I felt. I emailed it off! Well much to Roxanne’s surprise I received a reply within 2 hours. The next paragraph is a portion of what was said.
“I was really touched by your letter describing your feeling of being a “guest of the Cross”. I’ve never heard someone put it this way before, but I think it really sums up the experience we are trying to provide people who come through our door.”
After that day with each appointment I am reminded that I am “A Guest Of The Cross” They have difficult jobs and I want to shine the love of Jesus at each and every appointment. I want all the people to see that there is something different about me, Roxanne also feels the same way when she can attend with me. I may have Stage 4 cancer, but I Praise God that He continues to fill me full of lasting joy. Lasting joy that nothing can take away.
In May, Roxanne and I were able to go to Jasper for 4 days to relax and celebrate her birthday. What a wonderful time it was and we made many wonderful memories. As you can see from the picture we even had a visitor one night while we were walking on the grounds of the hotel, If you are ever in Jasper National Park we recommend Becker’s Chalet. What an amazing property right on the Athabasca River.
Also in May I participated in the Melanoma Network of Canada’s Fund Raising Walk. It was great to be able to raise funds for this important cause and I thank all my friends for their support. The last time I checked I was the number 3 fund raiser in Canada. I look forward to the walk next May.
I said I would get the story up to date, and here we are, June 30, 2022. I want to thank everyone for their continued prayers. Prayer is powerful and a difference maker. If you have been reading this Blog since I started the cancer journey or reading for the first time, I am sharing the cancer journey to try and make a difference. If I impact only one person by writing, then I will Praise God, that I was able to impact that one person.
As I said earlier tomorrow is July 1st Canada Day. We are having a great pancake breakfast at Church. I also want to wish our American friends a wonderful 4th of July. Both countries are having long weekends. Stay safe everyone, and make wonderful memories.
Thanks again for reading everyone, I want to close with Psalms 86:12 from the NLT version. With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.
I will give glory to your name forever,