Feb 8′ 2013

As with any life threatening trial that enters our life it always comes with a commitment or a recommitment to that which we know in our hearts to be true. As my good friend, Robert, says it’s during these difficult times and trials in our life that we find out if our FAITH is truly genuine. I already knew the answer and I was not happy with it or having to have it proved to me by God in such a profound way. How glorious it would have been if I had God’s love and truth in my heart of my own free will and had been living like it prior. Instead I was ashamed and felt like the biggest underserving hippocrite that ever walked God’s green earth. It became quickly clear to me that I was in lane A in my life and God clearly wanted me in lane B. My life was not ordered right and I knew it must change. Change has never been easy for me and talk was always cheap but now it was time for action. I’ve been praying earnestly and reading the Bible daily and there is a calm that has come over me. My most urgent prayer now is for God’s help in never falling away from him again.

I didn’t make a bunch of promises to God of all the things I would change. I simply put those thoughts of what had to change in my heart daily where God could work with them on his own schedule and I trust him to show me the way to come into his presence that will not be fleeting but permanent. I ask God daily to take this cancer from me and allow me to make the right choices concerning treatment going forward to rid me of it. There will be no more decisions made solely by me in my life … only through prayer will I consider my path clear to proceed and only proceed where he puts in my heart that he wants me to go. I know it won’t be easy but I pray his Will be done and that I can be strong in my faith.

Yong and I have decided to head up to see our daughter, Jessica and our grandson Travis in South Dakota tomorrow. My son-in-law David is gone to training for a couple of months and we wanted to spend time there while we wait to have our first visit with my surgeon on March 8th.

Feb 7′ 2013

Up at 6 am with coffee, news and some exercise. We left at 8:15 for the long ride to Clarksville to get the results. My head was a mess and I’ve never been more negative. I felt like I had already received the death penalty and was on my way to the gallows. My mind was working over time on the craziest thoughts. 

We arrived … As we waited in the exam room a knock comes at the door and as he enters the room he immediately says your x-rays are clear. I about melted from anxiety. I said “all” of them. Yes he replied. I said you’re kidding? He said I don’t kid about things like this. A wave of relief washed over me and Yong and I choked back some tears. We discussed the options and surgery to remove entire prostate was our conclusion. March 8 for consult with the surgeon at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Wish it was sooner but Doctor said it would be fine. Dr Miles did a great job identifying my cancer and he said as much that it was a good catch. 

As we left the building the fresh air never felt so good. Not out of the woods on this thing yet but today was the best possible news. I feel like this amazing burden has been lifted from me and placed on God’s shoulders. So thankful for God’s mercy, love and grace. Praying I’ll never be the same and God’s light will shine in me. 

The ride home was sweet … praise to my Father in Heaven. 

Feb 6′ 2013

Sitting here this morning and waiting for the phone call from the Doctor I’m so nervous I can hardly sit still. Finally around noon the nurse calls and says the Doctor is requesting another procedure … this time an X-ray of my Femoral Neck bone on the left side of my pelvis. We trudge to his office in Clarksville, grab the paperwork, head to the hospital, have the x-ray done and return home. They made me an appointment to come into the office for tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. so hopefully then I’ll know the details of the results of all these tests, scans and x-rays. 

Today’s request just confirms, for my uncontrollable mind, that the cancer has probably spread perhaps into my bones at that location. I really don’t know for sure I’m just listening to my stupid mind telling me it’s more bad news. I won’t know for sure until I go into his office tomorrow morning and he tells me. He’s also going to have to transfer my case to another Urologist since he will be retiring the next day, Friday Feb 8th. 

I did some more reading tonight on Prostate Cancer but it really caused me to break down some so I stopped. This is so tough to comprehend and accept. It just doesn’t seem real. It’s getting tougher and tougher to keep a dry eye and not fret about the future. Tomorrow, tomorrow why do I worry so much about you when there is today, today. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” … Matthew Chapter 6 Verse 34

Feb 5′ 2013

Off to the hospital arriving by 7:15 a.m. I needed a full bone scan and CT scans of my pelvic, abdomen and chest areas as well. Not much fun being strapped into those gigantic machines that whir and whistle all around you as they slowly scan your entire body. My mind raced again but I kept a good attitude and the hospital staff was exceptional and made me feel very cared for. I have to admit … as much as I have always hated hospitals this hospital sure seems to be the exception. It’s new and the doctors and staff all seemed to be so efficiency and caring. Everything was done by early afternoon and Yong and I had lunch and headed home. Results were going to be read by the Radiologist there and the results sent to my Doctor tomorrow. My Doctor said he would call me Wednesday as soon as he had the results. I feel another long drive into his office tomorrow is coming up.

Feb 4′ 2013

Time for the drive back home and I arrived there safely about 3:00 p.m. The evening passed slowly and my thoughts moved to tomorrow which would be the day to get all the tests and scans done at the hospital. Closer it gets the more scared I get but I’ve got to push forward and get these results so I know truly where I stand although with God in m

Feb 3′ 2013

I got up early this Sunday and made it over to my old Church in Lee’s Summit to attend the early service. Something I never would have considered doing on other visits when there were no trials in my life. I feel like such a hypocrite even showing up in Church. As I have always done in my life I’ve struggled with my faith and have not put God first continually in my life and was not always a regular attendee on Sunday let alone a faithful servant. Maybe this is why God puts trials in our lives to shake us up to pay attention to what is truly important in life and to get us on the right track for good. Even though I knew I was being a hypocrite I knew in my heart that God loves me anyway and that he was expecting this hypocrite in Church. I prayed and cried and had a very long talk with God in the Chapel afterwards. Just him and me and of course the tears. Such a tragedy in our lives that for most of us this is what it takes to bring us on our knees to our Father in heaven. I felt his embrace and knew in my heart I would never be the same going forward no matter what happens. I hope God was smiling at this stubborn stubborn man and was thinking …. it’s about time.

I grabbed some breakfast and tried calling a few other friends in the area I wanted to see but as it turned out I wasn’t able to see everyone. I did get to see my previous neighbors and spent a couple of hours sharing and visiting with them. Marty and Ron were our neighbors in Lee’s Summit for many years and they have known tragedy in their lives, having lost a loving son recently, and were a great comfort to me.

Superbowl kickoff was approaching and Robert had a feas

Feb 2′ 2013

I quickly packed in the morning and was on the road to Kansas City, Missouri by 7:00 a.m. With the cold winter weather I decided not to tough it out on the motorcycle but instead drive the cage. Anyone who knows me would probably be shocked by that. In fact, many of my friends in KC would later make the comment that they didn’t even know I owned a car since they have only seen me on my motorcycles … lol. 

About half way there around mid day Jason called me and I had to go through another difficult conversations with my son sharing the bad news. We talked and we cried and again I asked him to be strong for me and for all of us to just take it one step at a time. He agreed and promised me he would.

I arrived at Robert’s house late afternoon and quickly threw my stuff in his house and then drove out to Buffalo Wild Wings in Independence to meet him, Ken, John and Joe to have dinner and a few beers as we always do. It was a good time and later we took in a local hockey game together. I could see their concern for me on there faces and it comforted me to know that I have such wonderful and supportive friends. 

Feb 1st – Diagnosis

“The Call” came around 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. The nurse on the other end of the phone asked if I could come into the office to discuss my biopsy results with the Doctor. I said yes that I could be there in about an hour. Nothing more was discussed. As I hung up the phone I knew right then it was prostate cancer. They don’t give bad news over the phone. My mind raced and my heart sank. It was a long long drive to the Doctor’s office in Clarksville from Dover Tennessee where I live. I drove, almost zombie like, as my mind tortured me all the way there with terrible thoughts. Upon arriving and entering the exam room and waiting for the Doctor to appear it seemed like an eternity had passed since I had gotten the call earlier. The Doctor enter and calmly explained the results were positive for prostate cancer. He had already made me an appointment at the hospital to have several test done for Tuesday of next week. The next step, he explained matter of factly, was to determine if the cancer had spread to other parts of my body. I could tell he had deliver this type of bad news to countless other patients over the years. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him but his demeanor was what I would expect from a professional. There were no hysterics on either his part or mine … only a determination to proceed one step at a time.

I left the office with my paperwork for the appointment and sat in my car and called my wife and gave her the news. As I drove home to her embrace my mind continued to torture me. I cried, I prayed and then I cried some more. Finally, after the tears receded I resolved to be strong but it was very difficult. As I enter the house Yong embraced me and we sat quietly and talked as we held hands, fighting back the tears, but in deep resolve to beat this. 

Now it was time to tell the kids. I was not looking forward to this but I couldn’t wait any longer as they needed to know. Jessica was first and my voice cracked and tears flowed as I explained to her the past week and the results. She cried … I cried and that was that. I asked her to be strong for me and she said she would. Jason is stationed in England now and it was night time there so I would have to call him tomorrow with the news.

Tuesday was a long way off and I was determined to not mope around. I discussed with Yong that I wanted to drive up to Kansas City over the weekend to be with some friends and watch the Superbowl that was on. We both agreed that was probably a good idea and would help me maintain a little normalcy and may help to take my mind off of things at least a little. I also decided that I would share this news with my friends. Everyone’s response was so encouraging to me and I’m glad I decided to do so. The encouragement I felt and the prayers that everyone was praying for me I honestly feel I could feel there love and thoughts coming across the miles. I know God is listening to all our prayers and I know in my heart many flowed in on my behalf this day. God bless them all.