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?”

Good News

I went to see my oncologist yesterday. Everything looked great. My levels are doing well. It was actually good to see him smile as he was giving me the results. I go back the week before Christmas for another visit.

We also helped Josh move into his new apartment yesterday. He is very excited abut this new chapter is his life. Yes, it’s only 4 weeks until his wedding. I think the reality is setting for all of us.

I cannot thank you enough for all your support and prayers.

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’s OK as well. Pass this link along to someone who might be able to.

Scott

We can only LIVESTRONG™ if we’re GODSTRONG™

At last an update

Well summer is about gone. My doctors are very pleased with my continued improvement. All the tests that I have had throughout the summer, as well as the reversal of my illeostomy, have come back very positive. Starting September 18th I will begin my maintenance visits with my oncologist. They will be every 3 months for 3 years. I just want to say thank you all for your continued prayers for these past 9 months. We have seen God just do the miraculous. It is so good to be feeling good again.

Things around our household are totally crazy right now. Everyone’s doing great. Josh’s wedding is about a month away. He moves in to their new place in about 10 days. Austin is in the midst of applying to colleges and marching season. Lori is back at school dealing with all her other kids. I’m still doing what I love to do. How could I not….everyday what we do has the chance to change life for all eternity. That is what got me into the music business and what has sustained me to almost 20 years.

Thanks again for all your support and your prayers.

— Scott

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

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™