July 25, 2017
Friends, Family and Parishioners,
In May I went to my dentist for my 6 month checkup. All went well and after the dental hygienist was finished I was given a final check by the dentist. He saw something on the roof of my mouth that looked a little unusual. He suggested I see an oral surgeon and perhaps have a biopsy taken. I did as I was instructed. I got the results of the biopsy on July 13th and was told what I did not want to hear. I have Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the roof of my mouth. It appears to be isolated and the doctors are recommending it be removed as soon as possible. So, Monday morning (7-24-17) I had surgery to remove this cancer. The doctors are confident that this is the right thing to do and to get it done quickly. Needless to say I am disappointed. Not only because I am diseased but because I was to start my vacation on 7-24-17. Now I will spend at least some of that time recovering. They are predicting the hospital stay will be less than one day, but the recovery will take some time.
In the big picture this is another hurdle that the journey of life places before me and others as well.
I’d rather not take this part of the journey but not addressing it and tending to it could lead to other problems later on. It is the best option for now and it is a part of life that I must face. I know so many of you have prayed and are praying for me and I am humbled and grateful by that. I ask your continued prayers that I may have healing and most of all, Patience.
A week or so ago I was speaking to Tracy Nelson, who runs our Parish Office, about how “humbling” life can be. That conversation reminded me of another conversation I had with Fr. Valker 5 years ago. He and I talked for quite a while about how humbling life can be. Weeks prior to that conversation he had been told he was dying and was struggling (a bit) with the acceptance of that. At that time I was beginning to feel my age with no knowledge of how humbled I would be in a couple more years, due to disease. Years ago I think I viewed my life as one would view a cross-continental trip or drive. A big trip going coast to coast, how magnificent! Now my vision for a journey is not so grandiose, it is day to day. That is because I have been humbled. That is what faith, life and illness have taught me. Today is what I have and with God’s and others help I am going to try to do “today” as best as I can.
Honestly, I would rather not have to go through this surgery and the recovery that will follow. But for my well-being, I will be going through it. As I do, I will try to pay attention to all the little things that go on that I may have never taken the time to notice before.
The surgery on 7-24 went well and the doctors are very happy with the outcome. There were no surprises. This cancer is not connected to my original cancer diagnosis. I am now hoping to rest, recover and focus on healing.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!