Monday, February 6, 2017

Goliath and Cancer: My Brother's Battle - February 6, 2017

I have not blogged in a really long time. The busyness of life, aging parents, business, and family keep me too busy or too tired to spend the time compiling my thoughts. I'm sure most people have heard the story of David and Goliath from the Bible. David was a kid. Goliath was a giant warrior instilling fear in an entire army. But God... Goliath was defeated by a scruffy kid and his slingshot. I've found myself reflecting on David, Esther and many overcomers from the bible as we embark on my brother's battle with Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma. I often need to remind myself that my strength comes from the Lord.

When my brother, Michael, was diagnosed with cancer, we were all shocked. Not that he had it as much as the type and severity of his diagnosis. We've learned a lot along the way but I still feel like it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Michael November 2016

When Michael made the decision to come live with us as he embarked on his treatment, my family made the decision to do whatever it took to walk this road with him. Our entire family is often dysfunctional, at times, a little crazy even. But when the proverbial poop hits the fan, we stand together. We don't bail. We don't quit. 

Through it all, I keep coming back to Goliath. This started as a joke. On our trip back to Florida, we encountered the biggest buck deer I've ever seen (outside of TV)... He stepped right out in front of me on Hwy 287 as I was running 75 mph pulling a trailer. Both vehicles were loaded to the rim with us, a dog, his belongings and ours. Bless God, we walked away with aches and pains but nothing fatal. The airbags didn't deploy, he didn't come through the windshield and I was able to keep truck and trailer on the road. The aftermath was bad... so bad it took 3 months to repair my truck. I remember being thankful as I realized my kids and brother were okay. I knew the condition he was in, any trauma could prove fatal. My first prayer of thankfulness for our protection was immediately followed with a plea for safety until help arrived. Being out in the middle of dark-nowhere on a busy highway was terrifying. Somehow, we rolled on. Friends came to our rescue with food and reassurance, and early the next morning, our other friends brought us another truck. We were hooked to the trailer, items transferred and were on the road again headed to Florida by 10 a.m. 

2016 Traditional Family Christmas Ornament "Goliath" 

Goliath is my reminder. He is my name for the enormous battle we are engaged in. It is the cancer that wants to take my brother's life. It is for all the obstacles that we will face along the way. I was recently asked if my "why" was big enough to help me overcome obstacles in life, in business, in this battle. I can quickly and confidently answer, "Yes!" Only because my strength is firmly rooted in my faith. Because I know that there is a plan and purpose for my life, for my brother's life, for every single thing that happens. If you could only see the previous 12 years of my life, how circumstances and choices have prepared me for such a time as this. Because of that, I know that no matter what happens, I can trust the outcome. I can trust God no matter what comes our way, no matter what is said. It isn't and never has been an easy journey but we will choose to believe and press on. 

We will continue to blog and update both this and #MyBrothersBattle. Currently, our treatment is self-funded with very little of the expenses covered by insurance. We will be fundraising for support over the next 1-2 years. We are blessed and appreciate any support, prayers, and assistance.