treatment complete

Today I made my last walk from the apartment to the hospital. A few moments later, it was a bit surreal to emerge from the treatment room for the last time. As I stepped out of the hospital onto Sunset Blvd., I snapped a quick photo of the building, and then it hit me. For the first time in 9 months, I can schedule my life without having to work around treatments for cancer. This is a brain reset that is still in process.

I crossed the street to Burger King, had breakfast, fought back some emotion, and just thanked the Lord for bringing us to this moment. Seven months of chemo and one month of radiation are now complete. Other than follow up appointments and regular tests every six months, the cancer battle is complete for now. And to the best that medical experts can tell, the cancer is dead.
The past few weeks have been blessedly redundant. Radiation was rather unremarkable. I only had a few days of nausea. I’m a bit burned on my upper body. And my throat has been pretty sore for a couple of weeks. It’s bearable, but swallowing food is painful—so it really has to be worth it… like something with icing or glaze!
Kaiser gave me an apartment in Hollywood to use as needed—a blessing but not the kind of place I was wanting to stay longer. I will not miss the smoke smell, the slum area, or the drive to and from Lancaster. I was thankful to have a family member to keep me company on most of my nights away from home.
In the middle of it all, God gave us some special memories. We celebrated Larry’s birthday yesterday. Dana and I had a few good dates in the Los Angeles area. And having the apartment did give me a place to get some work done and to rest to further recover from chemo. In all, I am beyond thankful! God has been exceedingly good to us and we are grateful for His grace and provision through this trial.
Where do we go from here? I will write more about that in the days ahead, but in short… we pray that it won’t come back. I have to keep my port in for at least six months, in case it does. In January I will have more scans. If the cancer is still gone, I can have the port removed. That too will be a wonderful day.
In closing, I want to say again—Thank you for praying and encouraging me and my family. The prayers and encouragement of friends has been an amazing part of this journey. As we turn the page today and see treatment finally in the rear-view mirror—we realize we would not be here without the love, support, encouragement, and prayer of so many who love us! Thank you, thank you, thank you… a million times.

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9 Responses to treatment complete

  1. Kelli Royal says:

    I was hoping we’d hear from you today! My heart is overjoyed! We will continue to pray for you and for complete healing and strength. We love your family so much. I pray that next week you don’t overdo yourself at the conference.
    Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24

  2. Lillian says:

    I am so thankful to hear this wonderful news. I heard you speak several years ago at a youth retreat on the east coast and ever since then I have sensed your heart for God and people. Recently I sat down and began to read through all your health updates from beginning to end and have hurt and laughed and rejoiced with you through your various experience. It makes me feel that I almost know you and I am rejoicing that Lord willing we will be able to meet in person.
    In the fall of 2012 I will (Lord willing) be coming to West Coast to further my education and I pray that I will find you in good health and that I will be able to meet you and your wife who I greatly admire through what I have heard here in your posts.
    God bless you and keep you. I will pray for continued healing and strengthening and that I can meet you and your family in the near future.
    Thank you so much for your encouraging posts!
    In Christ,

  3. Brian Taylor says:

    I have been keeping up with you for some time. You are so encouraging and God has used this to help others. To God we give glory to use a faithful godly man to show the world cancer is not a ending battle. I will keep praying for you and your family. I will pray that this is all that you endure.
    In his service

  4. Sarahlittle says:

    Glad to hear that your treatments are over and you’re moving forward in the next phase of life that God has for you. Our family will continue to pray for God’s complete healing and regaining of strength for you. You have been an encouragement to me through your trial. Thanks for sharing your heart thru your blog. God bless!

  5. Traci says:

    Dear Dana and Cary,
    I have prayed for you and your family, and am excited for you to renew your strength. I remember you coming to the church shortly after you got married. I watched Dana carry your children, and I watched how you nurtured my very own children. I also watched you grow into a wonderful Pastor, assistant? Whatever, you will always be a Pastor to me and my children. My happiest days in my life were with you and the choir. I miss those days. I feel ashamed at times for complaining about life when you have gone through so much. I thank God for bringing you into our lives. As a registered nurse, I know what you have been through, and family members have gone through, you kept a great spirit and carried on with your usual dignity and courage. Happy new beginnings to you and yours.
    We love you very much.
    John and Traci

  6. Rachel Prescott says:

    Dear Bro. Schmidt,
    I have truly enjoyed reading your blog these past several months. Your attitude throughout your trial has been such an encouragement to me. My church has been praying for you, and we are all thrilled to hear that you are currently cancer free. I was blessed to be able to meet you briefly this past March, and, Lord willing, I will be attending West Coast Baptist College this fall. I have read several of your books and I cannot wait to read Off Script. Thank you so much for staying faithful and allowing God to use you as a blessing in so many lives.
    In Christ,

  7. Pam Hastings says:

    I have looked forward to reading each and every post of yours throughout this entire journey with cancer. Brother Schmidt…your testimony points to Christ so much because your strength of spirit, your humor, your insight and your whole perspective can only be Holy Spirit led. Reading your blog increased my faith and encouraged me to look to the Lord in ways in my own life. I pray that every Christian who knows someone struggling with any trial but particularly a trial of cancer will point that person to your writing as God will surely use your blog in a great way to help and minister to others. Even though I do not know you personally, I am so thankful for you and your example ! God Bless you, your wife, and your children – Pam Hastings

  8. Erik Pfeifer says:

    Great News…Love reading the blog and hearing the updates.

  9. Donnie McCullough says:

    Praise the Lord, Bro. Schmidt! I am so happy for you and your family. The Lord has done a great work through this trial. Man, you have encouraged me and strengthened my faith post after post and I thank you for being used by God. I’ll still be praying for you and the family.
    Love you,
    Bro. Donnie

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