Saturday, February 27, 2016

Things I Would Change

I need to amend the last sentence of my journal entry from yesterday, where I said that when I look back on 2015, I wouldn't change a thing. Of course there are things I would change. I'd change the fact that my weight was down to 125 this morning.  I'd change the fact that I couldn't go to a friend's New Year's Eve party last night because it was just too cold outside. Heck, I'd change the fact that the Broncos have such a lousy offensive line! But we don't get to change those things.

The #1 thing I'd change right now is the fact that I lost my iPhone yesterday afternoon. I'm pretty sure it's in the house somewhere, and its battery is dead. So I can't find it by calling it or using Find My iPhone. If you've tried to call my cell or text me in the last 24 hours, that's why I haven't responded. Guess what I'm doing today? The parable of the lost coin, anyone?

And of course, if there was any way I could, I would go back and change the fact that our church, Hope Fellowship, closed last May. I wouldn't have been able to continue as their worship leader once I was diagnosed, but I do wish that church was still going strong.

I'm sure there were more than a few who were taken aback by the statement that I wouldn't change a thing. You probably thought of one very obvious thing you would change about my 2015. But I wouldn't make that change. If I could go back and change my diagnosis, I don't think I would. But please don't think that means I'm giving up. Just the opposite. The plan is for me to beat this over the next 2-3 years and then slide right into retirement. Or maybe a door to a new career will open up. Who knows?

When I said I wouldn't change a thing, I meant that January 2016 Mark would not trade places with January 2015 Mark. I should have put it that way, but then I wouldn't have had the idea for this post!

When I said I wouldn't change a thing, I meant that I'm in a much better place now than I was at the beginning of 2015.

And while I said that I wouldn't change a thing, in fact, I'm trying to change that very thing. Again, have I whined about the Lupron lately? I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday the 7th to discuss finding a new cancer doctor and talk about treatment strategies. We're actively looking into alternative treatments, since Western medicine says that metastatic cancer is not curable.

So while I'm doing everything I can to fight the cancer and come out on the other side cancer free, I still wouldn't go back and change the diagnosis if I could. Remember my post on thankfulness? If we thank God for the mountains, we also have to thank him for the valleys. Without the valleys, the mountains don't exist. Without mountains and valleys, all you have is Kansas. If not for the cancer, I'd still be that version of myself that I frankly don't like very much right now. How did you people put up with me?

I'm trying to be hopeful and optimistic, but also realistic. If it seems to you like I talk about my impending demise a lot, please understand that I'm not being morbid or pessimistic. I want to know what the science says and what the statistics are, but like everyone who buys a lottery ticket, I think I'll be one of the lucky ones. Maybe I will be. All I'm saying is, if I'm not, that's OK with me. I know it isn't OK with you, and that's why I feel so loved. Does that make sense?

We have many stresses and challenges in our life these days, but how does the Serenity Prayer go? "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." That's what I'm after.

Most of us know that part of the prayer, but not the rest of it. Here's how the rest goes:

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

That about sums it up. So to summarize, other than all the things I just listed, I wouldn't change a thing! Happy New Year!

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