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A tribute to all who are grateful for being allowed to live. A story of cancer, but more one of gratefulness.

Updated on July 14, 2014

Too often we see the gorge and fail to see the skyline

Father Junipero Sierra Trail
Father Junipero Sierra Trail | Source

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

Some things are inevitable
Some things are inevitable | Source

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.

No mountain too high to climb.
No mountain too high to climb. | Source

Do not take this article with consent

This article was written by Eric Dierker. I reserve all rights to this article and desire no duplication without attribution. On the other hand feel free to share the content just let folks know where it came from. Copying it and claiming it as your own would be stupid and subject you to my legal harassment of you. Besides if someone asked you what it meant you would not know so yes it is copyright protected as original work by me. Just leave a comment to ask to use it elsewhere and please share it.

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Go Elvis!


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We have to stay grateful and full of life.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What I used to resist, I now scratch my head at and wonder - just wonder what He has in store for me next. lrc7815 thanks for visiting and commenting, I do not get much of that around here.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      Some of life's lessons are hard but the one on gratitude is the most precious. I wrote about gratitude recently because it has become almost second nature to me, due to some painful events in my life that - I am grateful for now. This was a beautiful hub. Congratulations on your survival. God wasn't through with you yet, it seems. :-) Voted up.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      It has been 15 years ago. Only now is the mystery of why I am here beginning to reveal itself. And I was hoping all along that it was so I could be rich, famous and goodlooking, oh well.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ChitrangadaSharan, I am sorry for not responding to your gracious comment earlier.

      If we gather and meditate and pray for others we join people who have done that for 5 thousand years. That is a lot of Love that can work miracles.

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Thanks for sharing your dark time with us. Please God your life will be full of light from now on.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank God, you are fine now. Life is like that----I think it is your dear ones, whose prayers have been answered. All the best for you and your family. Nice hub.