What I Am Still Learning From My Cancer Part 2

Today, I got the results my 6th CT scan. I started down this road over 3 years ago. On November 17th 2006, I found out I had a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my colon. Well, it didn’t stay contained in the colon. It had attached itself to the abdominal wall, small intestine, another section of the large intestine, and the bladder. December 4th, 2006 I had surgery to attempt to remove this beast. The surgeon was successful in removing the tumor along with a bladder resection and colon and small intestine resections. On December 7th, 2006 the pathology report showed that there was no cancer to be found in my system. Nothing in the margins, and 22 out of 22 lymph nodes completely clean. Since then, I had six months of intensive chemo. My oncologist termed that preventative. I have been since visiting my oncologist every three months. I was scheduled to do that for 5 years. I have been informed if my results keep coming back like all previous results that I can be declared “cancer free” by the oncologist.

The current results still showed a spot on my liver . However I have been informed by my oncologist that it is nothing and I should not be concerned. While yes, they found a spot, ALL other labs, blood work and markers are “perfect”. AMAZING! This journey has never been about me. It has always been about God and His glory.

So what’s the next step? We keep moving. We keep living a healthy lifestyle for both my physical being as well as my spiritual. I will see my oncologist in 6 months for my “normal” routine of blood work. Then we should be on to the maintenance visits of every year.

Stay tuned…because I know God is not finished, with me or this journey. Exciting things are coming out of this journey. More on that later.

For now thanks for the prayers and support. See you next time.

What I Am Learning From My Cancer

Today I got the results my 4th CT scan . When I started down this road almost 3 years ago. November 17th 2006, I found out I had a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my colon. Well it didn’t stay contained in the colon. It had attached itself to the abdominal wall, small intestine, another section of the large intestine and the bladder. December 4th, 2006 I had surgery to attempt to remove this beast. The surgeon was successful in removing the tumor along with a bladder resection and colon and small intestine resections. On December 7th, 2006 the pathology report showed that there was no cancer to be found in my system. Nothing in the margins, and 22 out of 22 lymph nodes completely clean. Since then, I had six months of intensive chemo. My oncologist termed that preventative. I have been since visiting my oncologist every three months. I was scheduled to do that for 5 years. I have been informed if my results come back like all previous results that I can be declared “cancer free” by the oncologist. That would be two years earlier than the best case scenario I was given in January 2007.

The results today showed a spot on my liver that has never been there before. They are not sure what it is. It could very well be nothing, or just a cyst. It could be a metastasis. So right now the course of action is to wait for a few months and retake a CT Scan. We will find that A) the spot is gone, B) the spot has not grown, or C) the spot is growing. If the spot is there, or if it’s growing, surgery is in play. Then we may have to look at treatment options again.

While yes, they found a spot ALL other labs, blood work and markers are “exceptional”. So what are we to make of this. Well, this journey has never been about me. This is not “Why me, why now.” Honestly why not me. It has always been about God and His glory.

Here are some lessons I am learning from having cancer. (The catalyst for this was something that John Piper wrote. I would encourage you to read it.)

  • I am learning that cancer is the best thing that has happened to me.
  • I am learning — and continue to learn — to rely on God for everything. Only God can continue to get me through this. We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™
  • I have begun the process of getting my affairs in order. No matter how long I live, it makes sense to know that my affairs are in — and remain — in order.
  • I am learning that dying is not a loss and that staying alive is not the ultimate goal.
  • I am learning that having cancer is a great way to develop deeper relationships with other people.
  • I am learning that this is a process and not a destination. Cancer will always be a part of me.
  • I am learning that sin is worse than cancer. Some of the things I have excused away as “just who I am” are sin.
  • I am an unkind jerk to many people including my wife and my boys. That needs to change. I am quite arrogant.
  • Having cancer has greatly humbled me, but I seek more humility.
  • I am learning that I don’t need to sweat the “small stuff”.
  • I am learning that it is better to influence others rather than simply inspiring them.
  • I am learning that I can be just like the Israelites of the Old Testament. I was given a miracle 3 years ago and the further away I get from that, I find I can forget the miracle.
  • I am learning that every day I wake and my feet touch the floor, it is a great day!
  • I am learning that God has a purpose for me, my wife and my boys with this journey that He’s placed us on. May we be faithful.
  • I have been given a platform to share what I believe and I am learning to use that.

“What’s the next step?”

It’s been a while…

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on where we are in our journey. June 26th was my last chemo treatment. Everything went well with the last couple of treatments. Now we are on to the finishing touches. I’ve had in the last 2 weeks a colonoscopy and a CT scan. Everything looks good according to the doctors. August 6 I will have surgery to reverse my ileostomy. I’ll be spending a couple of days in the hospital. Then in September I begin my 3 month appointments with my oncologist for maintenance. My blood work has been good and my markers look great (according to my oncologist). Now we’re on to the next chapter in our journey.

I just want to thank all of you for your continued prayers and encouragement. Please don’t stop. This has been an incredible journey. I’m looking forward to what God has in store for us next.

If you have the opportunity don’t forget about my friend Cliff Phillips. He’s training hard to the NYC marathon. We’re still raising support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. If you can donate it would be greatly appreciated. You can do that here. https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=158934&supid=162486079 If you have already done so…THANKS. If you can’t donate that OK as well. Pass it along to someone who might be able to.

Thanks again

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

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What a ride…

This is an off week for chemo. Our last visit was a little bit rough but it was worth it in the end. The oncologist told us we would be done by mid-June. So we only have 2 more treatments. Thanks for your continued prayer and support.

Over Mother’s Day weekend we had a graduation and a wedding shower. Our parents were in town to make the weekend great. What a blessing to have our family around to share it with us.

More to follow…for now

Blessings

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™

4 more to go…

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Sorry for the delay in my communications. After yesterdays treatment we are left with 4 more to go. The doctors are very encouraged with my progress. My blood counts are staying stable and they are thankful for the weight gain I’ve been experiencing. Not really sure I am. I didn’t think I was the vain type but after losing 100 pounds gaining 20 back has been a shock. Once the treatments are complete I will be able to get consistent with a diet and exercise program.

Yesterday was a hard treatment for me. Not so much physically but mentally. I went into it just wanting everything to be done. I was tired of the routine. Shortly after my treatment started Lori & I had the entire nursing staff talking with us. It was just what I needed to get me focus back on the task at hand. God uses so many things and people to get our attention.

Things have been crazy around here since I last talked to all of you. Austin spent his spring break in Gulfport, MS with the youth choir and band. The choir spent the day painting and constructing homes that were damaged by Katrina. The band (Austin played drums) spent the day setting up the stage and rigging which took about 5 hours and then after the performance it was about 3 hours to tear down. It was long and hard but when he got home all he could talk about was going on the road. Wanting to share with anyone who would listen, the message of Christ. This was the groups second trip down there. They capped the trip off by singing the National Anthem at the Atlanta Braves game. We are so proud of him and of all the kids and leaders who went.

Lori & I decided to go to Atlanta and make a weekend of it. We had a blast. We were able to get together with Cliff Phillips and his family. It was great to see them. Cliff is busy in training for the NYC marathon in November. Lori’s parents came up to see Austin at the game. We had a great time with them as well.

Then there’s Josh. As of yesterday he is finished with his college career. He is graduating May 12th with his BS in Music Technology. He is also graduating Magna Cum Laude (3.87 GPA), and with distinction as a University Scholar for completing the Honors College. We are so proud of him. So if anyone is looking for a great new audio engineer / studio musician let me know. On top of all that there are still wedding plans to be made for the October 20th event. This is going to be a fun weekend.

As you can tell these last few weeks have been really focused on being with the family. We’ve all been trying to move forward and get to a “normal” living. You know I’m not really sure what “normal” is. Through this event we will never be the same as we once were. We can’t…. Life means so much more.

There is so much left for me to do. For us to do. God has been stirring all of us to make use of every moment, every conversation, every talent, every laugh, every tear, every “good night”, every “good morning”, every “Thank You”, every “I love you”. They mean so much more.

I’m not guaranteed tomorrow, all I have is now. That’s all any of us have. So I’m using whatever time I have left to try and make this disease matter. To use the incredible gift of life that I’ve been given to glorify my creator. To try and make this new life count for the Kingdom.

I hope this update finds you all well. I can’t thank you enough for all your prayers and support during this time. If you have any prayer requests please let us know as we will be sure to stand with you in prayer. Until next time.

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™

Half Way

Yesterday I came to the halfway point in my treatment. My oncologist tells me I have 6 more treatments. That will bring me to the last week of June. My blood counts held steady and I will have a complete blood work up next week. I have gained weight over the last 5 weeks. So he’s very excited about that. All in all a good day. Generally most chemo days are spent reading or listening to some of my favorite podcasts (see below). It helps eat up the 6 hours that my treatments take. Once again I had an opportunity to share the story today with a student nurse who is graduating next month. She wanted to know how I could be so upbeat while I’m there for chemo. So I told her. I’m not sure that nursing school prepared her for what she heard.

Thank you all for your constant prayers and support. Words cannot express our gratitude. If you have not heard yet, my buddy Cliff Phillips ran the ING Atlanta Half-Marathon. He did absolutely great and I am so proud of him and the work that he is doing with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. He’s starting to train for the NYC Marathon in November. If you’d like to know how you can help us in this cause check out Cliff’s site: http://www.livestrong.org/grassroots/cliffphillips?faf=1=1003329846 Those of you that have already helped, THANK YOU!!!! If you can pass the info on to someone else. If you can’t help at this time we completely understand.

Everything around here is absolutely crazy. Our youngest son Austin, is getting ready to leave on a mission trip to the Gulf Coast with his church youth choir. He will be rehabbing house by day and performing in the evenings. Our oldest son Josh is frantically finishing up his last semester of college. He’s taking his comps for his major and finishing out honors college. If that isn’t enough he’s planning a wedding. He will be married on October 20. Lori & I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this June. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for.

I hope this update finds you all well. If you have any prayer requests please let us know as we will be sure to stand with you in prayer. Until next time.

Favorite Podcasts

Light Without Limits — Dr. James Walker (my pastor) –http://archive.biltmorebaptist.org/bbcsermons.xml

Grace Brethren Church Calvert County, MD — Robert Wagner (my uncle) http://www.calvertgrace.org/audio/calvertgrace.rss

Walk in the Word — James MacDonald — http://www.walkintheword.com/podcast.xml

Rolling Hills Community Church — Dale Ebel (my former pastor in Oregon)– http://www.sermonfeed.com/rhcc

A New Beginning — Greg Laurie-

https://www.harvest.org/podcast/feed.php/anb.xml

First Baptist Church Naples — Dr. Hayes Wicker (my church in FL) — http://www.fbcn2.org/sermons/sermons.xml

Active Word — Bob Coy — http://www.activeword.org/podcast.xml

Strength for the Journey — Dr. Joe Stowell — http://www.rbc.org/strengthforthejourneypodcast.rss

— Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™.

If you can help with our fundraising for the NYC Marathon on behalf on the Lance Armstrong Foundation please click below.

Cliff Phillips’ site: http://www.livestrong.org/grassroots/cliffphillips?faf=1=1003329846

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