Because May is brain tumor/brain cancer awareness month…and because I look back at the last 6 years since diagnosis and say “Look what the Lord has done.”
We aren’t any more worthy than anyone else and I don’t understand why I’ve seen so many amazing people lose their lives here in earth to Glioblastoma and why Mike is alive – I do know many lives have been touched and I knew in 2012 to start my blog so people could follow because I felt that God was going to use our situation for something big. I just felt like there was a bigger picture all along. I accepted the prognosis. I prepared, I planned a funeral, we made sure all affairs were in order. We found peace. I have gone through some lows and have been exhausted too, but 90% of the time in the past 6 years I’ve held strong.
Mike’s surgeon specifically told me not to even bother with a second opinion. That’s a huge part of my memories and a huge part of knowing God was in this from the beginning. I’m a people pleaser and I had to learn to stand up and fight back. To be an advocate for Mike and not accept just whatever I was told. His surgeon was amazing and I know every person we dealt with had a purpose for our lives. But I remember by discharge I already knew I was taking him to Duke and I had kinda asked the surgeon his thoughts on a second opinion at Duke or MD Anderson before starting treatment – he said no, not to even consider it. To contact a local doctor – which by the way, there is no a treatment that will cure GBM – chemo and radiation is just a way to buy some more months of survival. God put us on someone’s heart before Mikes surgery even happened!! She gave me a heads up on GBM and told me about how amazing Duke was before we had a diagnosis, I ALREADY knew that if I heard “GBM” that we were going to Duke for more options. She told me she knew Duke gave her extra precious months with her husband before he passed away. The Brain Tumor Center at Duke gives hope and options sometimes when other doctors don’t. Sometimes they just can’t, but I was told to get there fast (before starting any other treatment) for the best chances of having options.
GBM is a horrible diagnosis. But it wasn’t a death sentence for Mike. Even if he would have died within that first year, GBM brought Mike into a place of eternal life. And not only Mike! So many lives have been led to God through this.
I’m amazed. I’ve said over and over again that if brain cancer is what gets Mike to heaven, then it is worth it even if it cuts Mike’s life short on earth. The pastor tonight expressed the same thoughts about his uncle who died of brain cancer and I for a second thought “Whoa! I said that. Did he read my blog?!” (Ha!) Seriously, it felt like he repeated word for word what I’ve said to many close to us. Then I realized that the pastor and I both simply had the same revelation and I felt such confirmation over something that has stirred in my heart since the beginning. The big picture is eternity. That is huge! I’ve said that maybe God needs to take Mike young for him to spend eternity in heaven, that maybe if he were to live 40 more years that he wouldn’t know God and wouldn’t see heaven. Knowing God and getting to heaven is so much more important than the number of days on earth. Brain cancer has saved Mikes life. His eternal life.
To see the video of the service, skip to this post.
It makes me think of times that I have offered to take my kids somewhere. There have been times I’ve said “Come on, we are going now or we aren’t going at all.” Even if Mike were to die tomorrow, I would proclaim without a doubt that we saw miracles. I would be heartbroken but my heart would rejoice at the miracles we have been blessed with. The blessings that God has had the opportunity to give us because of brain cancer has outweighed all the heartache and all the struggle. We feel deeper and see beauty that we never could have seen. I know that if Mike were standing in 2012 and God showed him how the three years would play out and handed him a brain cancer card and gave him a choice, he would play the card. Even typing that seems crazy because I don’t think I could live some of those moments over again. It blows my mind, but it’s the truth! When Mike understood that he had brain cancer he often said that it was a blessing and that it was a “life reset button.” He now doesn’t understand that he has brain cancer. He can’t relate one moment to the next. He asked 15-20 times during church where his wallet was. Before we left the house he was brushing his hair with a toothbrush. He looks out the window at least 5 times a day and asks if we got a new vehicle. He gets lost in our house. But when he understood that he had brain cancer, he was thankful for the changes brain cancer brought in a way that’s hard to explain without feeling like I’m insane and typing gibberish. There’s a peace that brings me to remember that. He often called his brain cancer “a means to an end.” We all want to see miracles in real life. They sound awesome right? We are all “yay, miracles!” You know what that means though? It means you have to be in a desperate, empty, painful and hopeless place. A place where you are out of options. A place where you have absolutely no control. That’s the place miracles happen. Miracles happen in heartache and brokenness. It’s not a pretty place to be. But you know what else? It’s worth it.
You are looking at a family that has been miraculously healed.