There have been many challenges in life, but 1986 was probably the most difficult. Surgery and months of chemotherapy resulted in numerous complications, infections, and obstacles I never anticipated. There were many days and nights (52) in the hospital where I thought twenty five years would be the sum of my days.
I went fifteen years with relatively good health. I was then diagnosed with cancer a second time. October 16, 2001 was the date of a complex and delicate surgery for removing a tumor wrapped around my duodenum. Now, nineteen years later, I am still kicking. A tip of the hat today to Dr. E. David Crawford at University Hospital in Denver for his skillful work nineteen years ago.
Competitive sports were finished for me upon the completion of college. The diagnosis of cancer and the after-affects of chemotherapy curtailed many casual sporting activities as well. As a young man, I frequently felt quite bitter about losing some physical abilities in the prime of my life. However, in a spirit of gratitude, I have tried to remind myself that not everyone gets to play sports at the collegiate level. I had the privilege of playing both basketball and baseball at a Division II school in the NCAA. Cancer did not take away the memories.
I never want to take the gift of life for granted. I worked with a support group called "Make Today Count" for more than ten years back in the late 80's and early 90's. It was a fantastic group. Someone handed out pins at one of the meetings that simply said, "Expect a Miracle!" Not everyone received a miraculous cure, but I believe we all received the miracle of grace. I saw healing even when someone was not cured.
I want to encourage you to take a few moments to express gratitude to God for the blessings in your life. Give thanks for a minimum of three particular blessings.
I know that more than a few of my readers are going through some tough times right now. Please know that I am praying for you. Stay strong! Expect a Miracle!