"How are you doing?" (said with head cocked slightly sideways and a big sigh)
This is apparently the universal way to greet a person with cancer. To be completely honest with you, it was starting to get frustrating for me to be greeted this way. I would be cruising along in my day and not dwelling on this reality until somebody came around, threw their head to the side, and asked me how I'm doing. Like that. That brings me right back to cancer land.
How am I doing? The answer is I'm doing incredibly well. I have felt great the last week and a half, I'm engaged with work, feeling like I'm fulfilling a purpose. Even though I have this appointment on Wednesday looming over our heads for the last two weeks, I have not been dwelling on what ifs and hypotheticals.
I'm not doing well because of anything I've done. If you asked us four months ago, "how would you respond if you were diagnosed stage four cancer?" We'd have said, "we'll be a million pieces lying on the ground." It is only the grace of God that is holding all the pieces together right now.
But that is the cool part. The joy of the Lord is my strength right now. In the face of extreme difficulty I feel an overwhelming peace and confidence in my Lord.
So every time somebody asks me, "how are you doing?" I have an awesome opportunity to tell them what God is doing in my life right now. Instead of being annoyed by this question, I'm actually looking forward to it now. Every time I get a chance to share what God's doing in my life, it is a blessing because it fills my cup.
Please lift up myself and my friends and family in your prayers the next couple days. This trip to Chicago is weighing heavily on many people around me. We're praying that the tests will show the cancer is shrinking or completely gone (you have not because you ask not). However good news does not mean I'm cured, and bad news does not mean I'm not able to be cured. This is all a journey that requires one step and a time. Each day brings new information and new decisions. Please pray that I could gain some weight. I'm on a pretty strict very healthy diet, and it is very difficult to gain weight back that I lost during the first week of each cycle.