Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hope.


Hope.

As of today, I have five treatments left of radiation to take care of the cancer that returned to my tongue.

The crazy thing is, this has been a large part of my 2011 and 2011 is almost half over.
This morning I began to think about this…
Friday, February 11th was my biopsy for a sore on my tongue (118 days or 3 months 29 days).  That started this journey.

Friday, March 11th was my surgery to remove the cancer (90 days or 2 months 29 days)

Monday, April 18th, radiation began.  (52 days – more than 7 weeks) That is a lot of time gone.  I feel like I have accomplished little during this period.  By the time I am done next Wednesday, two months will have elapsed since starting radiation.  Two months of my life and over 50 pounds of my body weight gone… with little to show for it.

In the beginning, I really didn’t think I would make it through all of this.  I have wanted to quit so many times.  When you look at the goal being two months away, you never think it is going to get here.  Now that it is 7 days away, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a hope that “normal” will return soon after that.  And that is what has brought me through… a hope that normal will come, just a hope that it would all soon be done.

Everyone has help keep my eyes focused on that hope since the beginning.  My wonderful wife, my family, my church, my friends… they all continued to encourage me that the end was in sight and a hope of being me again would soon be here.

And that got me thinking… without that hope, would life really even exist?  We all hope in something don’t we… that keeps our lives going, doesn’t it?  For some, they find hope in our jobs, others, their family, and others still, they find hope in their kids success.  Some find it in the government and some find it in their future success, and some just hope to make it to tomorrow.

It seems everyone hopes in something… it is what gets us through today, tomorrow and the next week – it is the hope that something better is coming.

I will tell you, there are little things that I hope for… my taste buds to come back quickly, the sores in my mouth to heal even quicker, to be able to get back to doing what I love to do without any fatigue and the list goes on.  But what happens when either (A) those things finally happen or even (B) they never do?  That is a question that people face every day.

Here is the answer.  Put your hope in something more than the temporary.  I love what the Psalmist, David has to write in the Book of Psalms, 25.

1 In you, LORD my God,
   I put my trust.
 2 I trust in you;
   do not let me be put to shame,
   nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you
   will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
   who are treacherous without cause.
 4 Show me your ways, LORD,
   teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long.

From the beginning of this whole thing, I kept saying that I know God has a plan and He knows what He is doing.  There were days that it was easier to say than to actually believe, but deep down, my trust is in Him.

I honestly do not know where I would be without that faith, trust, and hope in Him.  As I look out at those who do not know Him, I wonder, how do they make it through.  Where is their hope?