A tribute to all who are grateful for being allowed to live. A story of cancer, but more one of gratefulness.
Too often we see the gorge and fail to see the skyline
Look for the path, not the end of the Journey
There is a story that needs telling and I am the central character. But I hope it is not so much about me as about all of us. I had a pretty full life with a good deal of regrets. A great relationship with my ex wife and loving relationships with my children and family of origin. I was owning/running a new restaurant with a shady partner. I was ok because I was not at all shady. Things were picking up and looking up.
One night I had a gut ache so bad it brought me to my knees literally and hence to the ER. Strange occurrence that was gone as soon as it came. The attacks occurred twice more with no explanation. My brother and I made a trip to Oregon to see the finest diagnostician Doctor that ever lived, my dad. He immediately diagnosed the disease and sent me home for immediate such and such tests. He did not tell me the diagnosis as tests would be needed first. I had what is called Stage Four Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma with Pancreatic involvement. This is a plus or minus 3 % death sentence. Keep in mind most doctors treat the disease while nursing is taking care of the patient. That is important because this is not about me but about the disease and how to cope.
Sometimes Death is Just not in the Cards
The notion of my early demise lasted for a day or so. To family and friends it never left their minds. I was not a good man in a general sense. I kind of was a rabble rouser. But all agreed I was a great dad and my children helped to prove it. Nicely said: I had a passion for life, intolerable energy and a real smart mind, coupled with a great education.
I entered chemo therapy about two weeks later – they had to give me drugs so my body could handle the chemo and side effects and horrendous discharge of toxins. The first treatment was the worst. I had it into my arm. The Methyltrexate burned through my veins like a stick somehow kept on fire. You could actually see the darkening in the vein. The drugs were not administered in the perfect order. The ambulance came and took me away, back to an ICU. I kissed my children good bye as I lay on the gurney. It appeared as though the worst had happened. But for some reason I just saw it as further procedure. In the ambulance I started a prayer that stays with me to this day: Thank you Lord Jesus.
Water must pass over
Gratitude is the most amazing healer
I am amazed at the ability of medicine to heal our broken bodies. Yet no doctor can explain my rapid full recovery. My Dad laughed and said it was my Dierker genes (I am adopted). I try to look back and take a look at what stirred in me so that I never contemplated dying. I can look back and see that what stirred in me, was eternal gratitude and thanksgiving. Life is awesome. Being given a chance to live it is amazing. I am really thankful to have been here. Tomorrow I shall do better to show that gratitude. It would be my hope that you would also.
Peaks and valleys.
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