12 months.. just 12 months….

  • Disappointing diagnosis’
  • Stressful prognosis’
  • 3 major surgeries (one for hubby, 2 for me -my third in 24 months. We’re a mess. Not to mention several major surgeries for loved ones….including hips, spines, amputations…)
  • 40 radiation treatments
  • 6.2 billion awkward conversations (Prostate cancer re-defines awkward conversations… just saying.)
  • Hormonal disruptions on all fronts.
  • Ovarian cysts and subsequent minor cancer scares. (we now know some cancer scares are minor… weird. That used to be enough to be a crisis. Let’s just say: the past year has redefined “crisis.”)
  • A moody thyroid (I may be the only human to go on Thyroid meds and GAIN weight. Grand.)
  • Financial setbacks (Cancer is expensive- even with insurance….and it’s a double hit when it’s treatment affects work. Which: it does.)
  • Spiritual struggles (Anything that makes us ask “Why?” Is a spiritual struggle…Cancer= why?”)
  • A totaled vehicle

If this were fiction- I’d say- “You’re over doing the drama, back off  a bit to make it more believable.”

Except, it’s all true.

But, there’s flip side-

It’s also been 12 months of:

  • Loving support from friends and family- near and far.
  • Constant reminders of God’s presence- Even Here. 
  • God’s provision, guidance and intervention- Early detection of Prostate Cancer is key…. in our unique circumstance-(high Gleason score and very aggressive cancer.) God provided a Primary care physician who cares enough to check PSA earlier than the Government’s guidelines. Guidance to a great urologist and provision of insurance that covers- University Of Michigan Cancer Center- care.
  • Hope, in a journey of fear. 
  • Reminders that we do not walk this (or any other) journey alone. Provided by the Movember Team, our church, framily- (Framily-Those friends who become family, through love.) my MOPS Sisters  who’ve texted, emailed, and tweeted encouragement and love….our whole extended support system and the Tom’s Movember Shoes we’ve walked these miles in.
  • Humor- like floating candles lighting up the darkest places. 
  • Opportunities tell the truth and help others…. learn what not to say when someone has a Craptastic Cancer diagnosis.

12 months.

It was Movember when this journey began.. and it’s Movember once again.

A Movember to remember. We spent a week at the beach…..

It was NOT, a Make a Wish trip. (As we feared it would be, when we started planning it…)

It was a celebratory trip.  Celebratory of a recent PSA test that showed: “undetectable”

We are hopeful that our journey through cancer is drawing to a close….(they’ll be monitoring his PSA every 3 months- indefinitely…) but we ‘re now intimately aware that other’s journeys’ are just beginning….. maybe right now- in The middle of Movember.

If that’s you- I encourage you- you’re not alone….. reach out. People care. We want to help. We want to pray.

If that’s not you— I encourage you to support the Movember cause…. Buy a pair (or several) Tom’s….Donate to The Movember team….. get yourself or your men- checked….hug the next hairy man you meet…. and thank them for bringing awareness to men’s health issues…. (Double bonus points if you hug a random dude who’s clueless and you tell him about No-Shave November…(AKA: Movember.)

Triple bonus points if you grow your own ‘stache….quadruple of you grow one for someone who can’t…. (Let’s just say Hormone treatment has an upside… less shaving….I totally with there was a hormone treatment to stop my leg hair from growing.… Justsayin. For Movember- in honor of my amazing husband…. I’m growing a moustache on my kneecaps….maybe. Okay-maybe, not.)

Dear Lord- I can’t believe the year we’ve had… the good- the hard, the messy, the fearful….the hopeful. I thank you for getting us through- and for walking with us. I thank you for those who’ve walked beside us- and I pray for those who’ll walk behind us…. may we never walk alone. In Jesus- name- amen.