Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hope Floats

You don't typically think of 'Hope' as a dynamic entity. Lately however, 'Hope' to me has been a fluid, ebbing persona of its own that changes faces as seamlessly as a fleeting breeze wisps away certainty leaving behind only doubt. Our own concept of hope relies on where you perceive your best chances for getting out of a certain situation lies. Ideally, my hope would lay in a cure for cancer, but there is none. Does that mean i've lost hope? Certainly not. I know there's no surefire cure and that many people i've met and have read about have had successful outcomes with their own battle with cancer. Their stories are all different because their situations are all different. Many cases are successful due to the ease with which their disease can be eliminated by removing affected areas or organs. My case is different in that my affected areas and organs are inoperable due to location and intrusion of the masses into or around sensitive nerves, blood vessels and bones. My current path of completing radiation therapy after 2 more weeks may allow for surgery for the resection of the rectal tumor if an MRI of the area shows that there is no such intrusion. My current symptoms and pain lead both myself and the doctors to believe that this surgery has a high chance of being contraindicated by a potential complication of this nature. Does this mean i've lost hope? A little. Even if the scan shows that surgery is a viable option and the resection is performed, it stills leaves the inoperable masses on my lungs and the phantom mass on my liver that they can't "definitively identify".

My sense of hope has definitely wavered as my levels of pain and overall discomfort has continued to increase and spread. All I can and have done, is to attempt to target and lessen the levels of pain emanating from several sources. Each one requires being targeted differently and each has it's own set of other side effects from the nature of the why there is pain to begin with and from the medicine used to treat it. It's been an ongoing struggle, but yes, I still have hope. Some days it's still hard to identify what that hope is in however. With the pain under control, I can think more clearly now that the ominous feelings of helplessness and futility aren't overwhelming me and drawing me deeper towards despair. I can say I have hope in trying every option we possibly can; finish radiation, do the surgery if it is an option once evaluated after radiation, try the last type of chemo that is offered. So far none of these paths have really shown to provide any improvement. The surgery will eliminate many of my problems, but still leaves many others. It's like how they describe when a terrorist or tyrannical leader is eliminated; it's a great victory, but others are right there to fill in the void left behind. All these thoughts weigh down my will to remain positive, but as Alysha has said several times lately; hope should not be destroyed by putting faith in those who cannot and will not give you a positive outlook, that being the medical community. They can't offer a cure, so they offer comfort. They can't guarantee anything about the future so they treat the present. That doesn't give you much hope. And I have struggled with what Alysha has stated so fervently as of late; that our hope is with trusting that God will deliver me from this.

I am faithful and am grateful for the ability to have restored the faith in others who have read our posts and are inspired through grace by our words to seek out the Lord and His love in their lives as well. We do know however, that me making it through this may not be part of His plan for me. That makes the concept of 'Hope' through 'Faith' a very flexible and even surreal presence as you have hope that God will heal me but through faith, though you accept whatever is in store for you which may not include being healed. How does hope work in this case. Should I have hope or faith? Is it ok that I am still angry that having faith may hold no hope for me? I do not doubt that my fate will take me from this earth much earlier than I should be, but I hope that I will have the time to spend with my family before that happens that will be meaningful and allow time for me to nurture my children to instill in them the virtues and morals I want them to carry with them through their lives. So I have faith, and I accept my fate. Though my hope now lies with the 'here & now', that I make every moment count, if my back is hurting and I have no energy, you will still find me smiling and pushing Lucas around the patio in his toy car or holding him even though it kills me to kneel down to pick him up. I am determined not to give in to the anger and frustration this brings daily, to not succumb to the pain and allow it to make me short of temper and in a foul mood, that's not how I want my children to remember me, it's not the husband I want Alysha to have to deal with, I want to and will be the father that smiles through the pain to play one more game of knights and dragons and be the husband who helps with the chores even though i'm exhausted and takes the time to give my wife a break, watch the kids, rub her back and still be present to encourage and support her through her frustrations and stress, to reassure her when she is in doubt. Our plans and worries about what the right treatment to do or what diet to follow, what supplements to take honestly in the big picture, doesn't matter. Trusting each moment we have to God, submitting to His will and putting Him in each second of our day, that's what will get me through. Even if it's not to a miraculous recovery, seeking Him when the kids are pushing me to the end of my patience but smiling and calmly dealing with them instead of loosing my temper and getting angry and yelling, pausing to take time to listen to Alysha when she is wanting to share something with me instead of half listening over my shoulder while sitting at the computer or reading a book, these are the things that by investing quality and intentional time to be the person I should be, this is honoring God and honestly just living better. We should all strive to live that way anyways, but having a trial such as mine truly teaches you the importance of doing that and instead of giving in under the enormous weigh of what it brings, shrugging it off by simply putting your worries and trust in God, it gets you through the obstacles much more easily than struggling through them needlessly.

Once again, I hope this insight inspires and encourages. Thank you so much for everyones continued love and support. With all my love,


1 comment:

  1. Your words are so encouraging, each time I read them I am reminded of the amazing work GOD has put you on this earth to do. While I have always had a strong faith and love the lord with all my heart, soul, and mind it is your words that are so true and that cut down to the core of how important it is to really have that relationship with GOD that has pushed me to seek a better relationship with him and to live it not only for myself but for Chase and Emma and for Ben. Remember even when your down to nothing GOD is always up to something. We love you Peter and are always praying.