One Day at a Time
Let me share with you how this simple saying works so well in helping us navigate life.
Last Thursday evening I spent time putting together a post speaking about my cancerversary.
After preparing it for posting I chose to let it “sit” overnight so I could review it one last time with fresh eyes before making it public.
My Original Post
This time of year holds some significant anniversary highlights for me.
On Sunday, May 4, 2014, I accepted the call to serve as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Kennett Square.
Early May is also my cancerversary.
Sunday, May 1, 2016, was one of only a handful of Sundays I have missed due to cancer.
I was in the hospital as the doctors tried to figure out why I was having a hard time breathing.
- Tuesday, May 3, Dr. Sarhoa told me I had stage IV colon cancer.
- Thursday, May 5, I was in surgery getting my port put in.
- Monday, May 9, was my first chemotherapy treatment.
A lot has happened over the last five years.
Anniversaries are moments to be still and remember the journey. To give thanks for each piece of the road you have traveled.
I have found myself in a very reflective mood as I think about the fears and concerns of those early days.
One of my early disappointments was not being able to do all the outdoor projects Nancy and I had in mind. Over the past five years, we have taken care of our initial list and even added more. The way we work together is different. I serve as supervisor and consultant. Nancy does most of the manual labor. I step in and work for as long as my body will allow me and then mutter something about not being the person I once was while I resume my role as supervisor.
Five Years of Treatment
It took me a moment to capture all the treatment I have been through over the past five years.
- Four rounds of systemic chemotherapy
- Microwave ablation
- My hepatic artery pump
Putting it all down on paper was a bit exhausting. Maybe this is why I feel like I need a nap most afternoons?
An Exciting Season
In the midst of all of it, I am excited to see how the Spirit of God is alive, well, and working in my life and world.
For some reason, this is one of the most exciting seasons of ministry I have had. My focus is on those places where I sense the Spirit moving and working within our community and world.
I am at peace (most days) with letting some things go undone. I find more joy in following the Spirit’s invitation to step into relationships and conversations that in the past I may have been “too busy for.”
Reflecting on the past five years, I am thankful for those who have walked close to me. Nancy has been nothing short of amazing. I am amazed at how she balances everything she is responsible for.
I am grateful for the community at First Baptist church. We have walked well together. God has used my illness to help us grow as a church. I am excited to see what God has in store for us in the years ahead.
Dr. Saroha and the team at Abramson Cancer Center have been nothing short of amazing. My nurses have become friends.
I do not know what the future holds. None of us do. What I do know is that I have experienced God’s presence over the past five years of this journey. I am convinced that if the Spirit was present during that season, the Spirit will be present no matter what tomorrow holds.
One day at a time.
God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good
This is what happened the next morning…when I was supposed to simply review and post my reflection.
When I awoke Friday morning it was clear something was very wrong. I had a temperature, chills, it was hard to move, I was nauseated way more than normal.
After a quick call to my oncologist, I was headed to their office. They took one look at me and sent me off to the hospital.
The First Weekend of May
So, I got to spend the first weekend in May 2021 in the hospital. There is something powerful about the first weekend in May.
Bloodwork confirmed that my bilirubin numbers were climbing.
Turns out the stents in my liver were clogged and the bilirubin was backing up. I was headed toward liver failure.
After a strong course of IV antibiotics, and an ERCP procedure I was feeling much better. Turns out these stents do get clogged from time to time and I will most likely need to return to the hospital for a “tune-up” every so often.
Over the next few days, I am going to share a few thoughts that came to me during my most recent stay in the hospital.
For now, it is important to realize none of us are promised tomorrow.
I went to bed a week ago Thursday planning to review a post about my cancerversary and then share some reflections about the past five years.
Instead, I woke up headed for liver failure.
Life truly is a One day at a time, one moment at a time experience.
Make the most out of this very moment!
Remember God is Good All the Time – no matter what your bilirubin number reads!
I am going to go ahead and post this…before something else happens.