Recovery Update

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks, so I wanted to give a quick update. Every week, lots of friends and family ask “How are you feeling?” And the second most common greeting is, “Hey, you look good!” Dana looked at me once and said, “Don’t let it go to your head…” I laughed and replied, “Dana, all that really means is, ‘you don’t look as horrific as you did a few months ago!'” We both laughed!
Last week, the Lord allowed me to visit my parents, grandparents, and brother’s family in Florida. It was a nice break and a good chance for my extended family to see me in a healthy condition. We made some good memories and celebrated by parents’ birthdays. The photo above is taken from my parents’ backyard at sunset. It was nice to sit along the water and spend time with the Lord during the week.
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it's been a year…

One year ago yesterday, I found out I had cancer. This week has been surreal. I have played the life-changing events of this week (one year ago) in my mind over and over this week. It would be impossible to describe in words what this year has meant to our family.
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I’m sitting at McDonald’s again this morning. Not sure why cancer left me with an appetite for pancakes, but I literally dreamed last night that I was eating pancakes. So… here I am, prep’ing for the day and enjoying pancakes.
The past few weeks have been good—very good. With the exception of my lungs and some energy management, I truly feel like my system is getting back to normal. Here are some blessings of recent days…
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lung damage and recovery

We had a very good, one-hour appointment with my radiologist in Hollywood this past Monday. He answered a lot of questions and helped me understand where I am and why I’m feeling the way I do. Here’s the short version:
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how we keep our marriage fresh

When Dana and I were engaged, there was one thing we dreaded—someday becoming one of those married couples that appear to barely tolerate each other. You know—those couples who never even hold hands or exude joy in being together. We vowed to each other that we would do everything within our power to resist the trends and habits that take a couple gradually down the path to boredom, mediocrity, and relational monotony. Not even knowing what it would require, we vowed to each other to “keep the romance.”
Twenty-two years later, we’re winning the battle so far. I realize we have a long ways to go, but I sat down last night and made a list of things I think God has used between us to help us resist the normal drift apart that many couples experience. Here goes:
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one day at a time…

I’m due for an update. As of this writing I’m four and a half weeks post treatment. Let me start with the good stuff. First, we had a great 25th anniversary week for our church followed by a wonderful family vacation followed. Then God allowed me and Dana to take Haylee on our Alaska cruise this past week. It was not exactly “restful” but it was an awesome time of fellowship and memory making. We were grateful to be a part.
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hair happiness…

This update comes to you exactly nine weeks out from chemo, and two weeks out from radiation. Honestly, I was pretty optimistic on how I would be feeling by now. It’s taking longer than I wish. I’m still having daily bouts with a mid-afternoon “wall” of energy loss and heavy chest. And for the past few days, nausea has still been a problem—surprisingly.
But, honestly, I have no complaints. Cancer is gone, treatments are done, we enjoyed a fabulous 25th anniversary week with our church family and friends, and now God is allowing our family to enjoy some vacation time.
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thank you, thank you, thank you…

There is much I wish to write and say about where I am presently with this battle, but in this post I just want to pause to say thank you! At this moment, I have completed treatment (7 months of chemo, 1 month of radiation), and have enjoyed a fantastic 25th anniversary week with our church family and friends from around the world (through the Spiritual Leadership Conference.) My heart is full, and the cancer battle, at least for now, is in the rear view mirror. I can’t believe it. It’s surreal. What a long year!
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off script is now available

It’s amazing how the Lord allows the timing of events to unfold. Yesterday I left the hospital in Hollywood after my last radiation treatment! It was a moment I will never forget. Only minutes later I received a message from my secretary that the first copy of Off Script was sitting on my desk. You can read more about the book in this post from a few weeks ago.
I simply wanted to take a moment to let you know that the book is now available. You can order it directly from Striving Together Publications, or you can order from Amazon.
And the Kindle edition is also available beginning today, also through Amazon. I’m thankful that Pastor Chappell felt that it could be useful, and I’m thankful to a wonderful team of co-workers who helped make it happen. I really do pray that God will use it to encourage you or someone you know who is facing an “off script” time of life.

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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.
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