I found this in my journal and thought I'd share it today...
Every day I am challenged with the thoughts, feelings, and physical reminders of the last
5 1/2 months. It’s something that I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around... I have AML, or I had AML, or however that works. I still can’t believe, even though I know it’s true, that I’ve been fighting cancer... How can this be? This wasn’t (isn’t) supposed to happen to me. Never in a hundred years would I had imagined that this would be my story. I’m supposed to be the guy who would walk others through tragedy. I’m the one who promotes faith and courage in others. I’m not the one who needed or needs it!?! It’s been a strange 5 months indeed.
Let’s begin with the night I found myself laying in a hospital bed being diagnosed with the deadly disease, cancer. I remember being in such pain that Friday night that I could not bear it anymore (back pain - from a car accident seven years ago). I finally gave in to Esther’s request to go to the emergency room. I really thought there was something wrong with my back... after registering at the counter I went to sit in the waiting room. It only took a few agonizing minutes before I was called to go to the back to see what could be done... that’s all I consciously remember for the next few days. Those in the room with me remember me being awake at times but I, gratefully, do not recall anything that took place as the doctors raced to deal with my condition. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for Esther to receive the news that her husband was now in a battle for his life. He (I) had cancer... Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I wasn’t conscious, I didn’t know what was going on. How do you comfort a wife when you don’t know what’s happening... and the thing that has caused her every emotion you could think of was because of you. Oh how I wish I could’ve held her hand, or whispered in her ear that I’d be okay. I wish I could have held her tight or could have given her a reassuring glance...something, anything! No, she was left to deal with this on her own (or so it seemed). My heart was and is so heartbroken that I could not help... but she was never alone. My Friend, my Savior, my Lord, was with her the entire time. My Lord was with her every step of the way. How comforting to know that you are never alone. My Lord made a promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you!” Just like my wife, I faced a time when I thought I was alone but God never left me alone, not even for a moment. In truth, there were many times it seemed that I was facing a losing battle fighting cancer; but there is nothing like feeling you’re facing it alone... without God. You see, I remember when it felt like God turned His back on me (I know He didn’t even though it sure felt like it). I was so afraid I was sweating bullets. I began screaming out to Him, pleading for His presence. Just one glimpse of Him and I would be good. I was lost in the dark with no relief or hope. All I had was a firm faith that God was faithful to His Word. I begged Him to show me just a glimpse of His profile and to let me enjoy His presence once more. All of a sudden I began to thank Him profusely and instantly I fell back into my bed and fell asleep. Maybe you can say I was just delusional, but I’d say God answered my prayer. You could say it was merely a dream but God filled me with a peace that could only be explained by His presence. On that night, no matter how alone I ‘felt’, I was not alone... He was with me. NOW, let me let you in on a little secret... this literally happened to me while I was in the hospital - BUT I didn’t remember it at all. It was months later when Esther and I were reminiscing about our journey that she shared with me this event. Of course, I laughingly denied it, that is, until she pulled out her phone and showed the video she took of me crying out. I was shocked, surprised, humbled, etc., but mostly I was grateful. I began to weep. My God was with me the whole time. He let me know, “Jesse, you are never alone!”