BY DAVE TAYLOR
I hate to say it, but I get the feeling that people are ready for me to die.
I don’t mean that people are actually looking forward to it or anxious to see how it goes, I just mean people lately seem more mentally prepared for the fact that I’m probably going to be gone somewhat soon.
When people were first finding out about my cancer and how bad it was the nearly universal reaction was denial. “No, you’re too young to die like that,” “There’s too much left that you need to do,” things like that.
I will admit that I liked that people were in denial because it freed me up to be a little more pragmatic about it, which I was trying to be. Plus, it would’ve been pretty crappy if everyone just shrugged and said “OK” when they heard about it.
But things have changed.
I’m not implying that people are shrugging now, but the reactions to it lately are more realistic, with most people skipping the denial and going straight toward something in between. It’s as if they’ve begun to realize that pretending it’s not looming isn’t a good use of their time, so they come up with responses about how I could be healed, or maybe I’ll go to Heaven (which I myself have said many times) or they’ll comment on how they’ll see me in Heaven one day, etc.
Plus, I’m pretty much out of sight, out of mind for most people now. I wasn’t exactly the man about town before, but now I never go to any events other than church and chemo. People have heard I’m dying and now they’ve seen that I’m gone, so why wouldn’t they have mentally moved on?
Tuesday of this week I got a stark reminder of how tenuous my sickness is, when my most recent CT scan showed that my cancer had grown a pretty good amount. I believe it was the biggest change in sizes of cancer spots between any two scans, and it definitely went in what I would call the wrong direction.
When my doctor came into the room to talk to me he was talking more quietly than normal, and when he asked if i’d had more pain this month I had a bad feeling about what else was coming.
But here’s the thing: I immediately prayed for my doctor and for me and for the scan results, and despite it being hard to hear that one more chemo hasn’t worked, God gave me a peace beyond what makes any sense. I was actually feeling pretty positive as we left the office, thinking that maybe this next one will be the one that works, or maybe none will work but God will bring about some good through the process.
I’m ashamed to admit that there were a couple of weeks recently that I failed to pray every day, but the past few days I’m back on track.
The Bible says our lives are like the morning fog – it’s here a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). I’m feeling that verse now more than ever.