I know with the Logan County Fair upon me, it is highly unlikely I will blog again until after it is over. After I finished writing last night I realized that there were so many significant events that happened over the last two weeks that I should share with you.
It is harvest time in northeast Colorado. We see massive combine crews mobilizing northward and they themselves are really impressive. I would love to be on a combine crew, but Roy tells me that they would probably just want me to cook. I wouldn’t mind doing that as I also got to also drive a combine. What is it about wanting to drive one of those mammoth machines? I feel like a 5 year-old boy. With that, I want to thank Ron and Rick Gillham for letting my boys ride in their combine. As they harvested our wheat fields, we drove up the lane, and they kindly stopped their productive movement and let my boys climb on board. Those moments and memories are so special for both me and my children. You find these type of people regularly in the agriculture community. It is one of my favorite things about living the western way of life.
On July 7th, 2013 Danny (Roy’s brother) and Sarah Gillham welcomed their first child into this world. Samuel Paul Gillham was born via c-section in the middle of the night (about 11:19… I think). He is a precious child of God who is quietly and peacefully torturing his parents with lack of sleep. Do you remember that? Being so exhausted that you don’t remember if it is dawn or dusk? Did I eat breakfast? Where is the coffee? It is such a journey being a new parent and we continue to lift them up in prayer. We got to meet the little guy last week and that was such a privilege. Here are some pictures I had the opportunity to take 🙂
Nothing like a new baby’s feet.
Another significant event was celebrating Dr. Lininger’s retirement. Let’s be honest, I was NOT celebrating, I was throwing an internal fit. I did NOT want him to retire yet. I wanted him to continue with me through to the end of my treatments and beyond. I wanted him to do my follow-up work for the next few years, but… The Lord has such amazing plans for him. Plans that are greater than continuing with me directly. At Dr. Lininger’s retirement party he printed and distributed “Musing of an Oncologist Over Three Decades ” and found within those pages he described and explained cancer and how he helped his patients understand their disease and how he established a treatment. His final words held such an eternal value.
I would like to introduce you to one of my heroes. In Dr. Lininger’s words, “Although sometimes you lack the ability to be physically as healthy as you wish, spiritually you have the control to be as healthy as you wish to be. For me, we have a partner in Jesus Christ who asks to take the burden of cancer and bear it for us. He provides strength, allowing you to reassert control over your cancer and ultimately to overcome your cancer no matter what the circumstances of treatment outcome. When it seems you are futilely assaulting this cancer barricade to regaining your health and struggling to try to free yourself from the control the cancer exerts, you can do a spiritual “end run.” Instead of beating against this barrier of cancer time and again with various physical and medicinal agents, the spiritual end run gives you a way to overcome or rise above the cancer and even, if you will, make it irrelevant to the results of the physical treatments you undergo.
Jesus physically healed, and He may cause you to be physically healed with cancer, but His main concern as we read the stories was spiritual healing. All of the individuals He healed in scriptures eventually died. Thus, I have come to understand that spiritual control of cancer is to feel confident of God’s promises through Jesus Christ of which a few are peace, joy, comfort, and the confident expectation of hope that allows you to overcome any assault that cancer can throw up against you. Jesus asks you to test these claims. If you find these claims to be true, you can overcome cancer, even if not physically cured. If cured, the experience of cancer can grow us spiritually and prepare us for future challenges and be a testimony to others. If not cured, you can be a testimony of what faith can do to overcome cancer and death itself. In that way, you can make cancer work for you and for God’s kingdom and not be controlled by the cancer or overcome by the fears and desperation should the local and systemic therapies offered fail to achieve your hopes.
So how does faith work? Faith gives us the eternal perspective that this life is part of a continuum of eternity that has begun in this present life of ours. Faith allows us to rise above the present circumstances and to see that our hope is beyond the conquest of the immediate circumstance. Cancer creates an opportunity for testimony to others as to the strength that faith can give. Faith can overcome desperation, anxiety, and hopelessness.” I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂
Well, dear friends and family, what are we going to do after two weeks? I started this blog to communicate with everyone the updates of my journey of cancer, but I am near the end. As I was questioning the continuation of my blog, I received confirmation from a friend, that they would really appreciate it if I would continue. It will be up to you. I promise to continue to talk about the way Jesus works in my life. I will continue to share with the joy and heartache of running a family ranch. I promise to share pictures as I develop my photography work and hopefully business. I will need to cry with someone once Jake starts Kindergarten August 26th. Well good night – the Benadryl and Ativan just kicked in a here at the Cancer Center and I am off for my daily dose of chemo. As I rest, I wll rest in the arms of my Father. My eternal Father cares for me, knows where I have been, sees the current state of affairs and has given me abundant hope for the future. In Jesus I will put my trust.
My Garden. After my final round of chemo, I will be blessed with the opportunity to harvest my garden. It is getting along good so far 😉