As Thanksgiving Day is upon us, I suppose that I should post my blog stating everything for which I am thankful. The first is for being alive and being a cancer survivor. For this I am tremendously grateful. To those still fightinc cancer, something like this may seem trite. It is easy to be thankful when the fight is not so bad now and you're not fighting for your life. Believe it or not, when I look back at battling the beast for my life, it was a time of deep thought, experiences, and something for which I am thankful.
As bizzare as it seems, I am thankful for what I learned during this time, and what the experience did for me. I learned a great deal during my first round of cancer. I looked at my life and what I had done with it. I looked very deeply and thoughtfuly at it. I found out that I had been the person that I always had hoped to be. The greatest thing I learned was what I meant to a good many people. I discovered that a teenage son showed his mother that there was a tender side of him when he cried telling her that I had cancer. I found a great deal of love and support from the people at church who lied to me eack week when the told me that I "looked good." I found love from my wife's neice who came from Canada to see me and help any way she could. I later found out how much friends were in their actual support and not just words. I also found out what the healing power of God is. It is not in miracles, but in the miracle of the gifts and talents He gave the doctors, nurses, and those who did cancer research. The miracle is in the everyday or ordinary. God's part is also in helping me to get through everything.
I learned a great deal in my battle with the beast. The two greatest thing I learned was first how much my wife loves me. I always knew she did, but what she went through taking care of me, I can't put into words what she has been and meant to me. I would be dead right now if it weren't for her. The second thing I discovered is how much God loves all of us. I don't know how someone can get through all of that without belief in God. He gives us hope and if we put oursekves in His hands, peace.
I though about my possible death many times. When I realized that I had made a difference in the lives of kids I taught, I was rteady to accept what was to come. I wanted to affect the lives of kids like the men who taught me in high school had done. I realized I had, I knew I had. I knew because of my faith what did await me, I was ready. That's not to say I wanted to die, just that I was not afraid. I had made a difference.
Surviving had now given me other things to do, the most important was to write poetry. I hope that my poetry on my own fight with cance can be of some hope and comfort to those who are noe struggling. I know that all of us are battling a beast of some kind, be it cancer, other sickness, addiction, loneliness, or whatever. My own story shows that you can get through it. I found that putting your trust and hope in God helps a great deat. I only hope that my poetry can bring some consoluation.
So on this Thanksgiving, I give thanks to all of you who are reading this and giving me some validation of my gift of poetry and cancer. Whatever happens, put your trust in God and He will help you get through it no matter what. He will give you peace and what you truly need. God bless all of you and Happy Thanksgiving.
The Gift of Suffering
For many years of my life
I've run away, have rejected
The reality of suffering
To keep safe, to stay protected.
I saw no value to it,
Just a part of everyday life.
Something to be endured,
Be it cancer or merely strife.
Of late I have seen a new purpose,
Though to many it may be odd,
But I have seen my fight with cancer
To be a gift from God.
If I never battled the beast,
My life would be different, it's true.
I never would have come to this point,
To have this point of view.
I would not be a poet
Who shares his battle, in short
How to survive that bloody beast,
And give others support.
I experienced that special love of God,
Of prayer that lifted me high.
The miracle of medicine;
To see it with a different eye.
The miracle that got me through,
God's mighty gift of strength.
The gift of healing given doctors,
And nurses who went to an extraordinary length.
If I had not suffered
From the beast and its side effects too,
Never would I have been able
To pen comfort poems for you.