Cancer, A Wedding, and Questions.
On Friday, Teresa and I were able to witness the wedding of Bill and Daphne. It was a joyful occasion. We have connected with them more and more since my diagnosis, as we now have something in common with them. They both have dealt with cancer in their lives, both losing their first spouses to cancer. But through that grief they found each other and now have again found the joy that comes from being united in marriage. I admit it was difficult to remain dry eyed through the ceremony.
While at the reception, we reconnected with family and friends from out of town, many of whom we have not seen in a long time. I also realized I have not blogged in a long time, as many people are wondering how I am doing (and almost as many have asked why have not updated the blog in so long).
The number one question I was asked was, “How are you doing?” or “How are you feeling?”
I am doing good and I feel well. I am pretty much recovered from chemo, except for the fact my strength is not what it used to be. Energy wise, I feel about 90% when I wake up (ok 90% after coffee…). I still tend to tire quickly, but overall I am much better. I still have neuropathy in my hands, but it doesn’t hurt anymore, unless they get cold. However, because my fingers don’t often hurt anymore, the tingling in my toes really bothers me, which is something I hardly noticed before. But it doesn’t hurt, so it is all good.
The second question I was asked, was, “Do you still have cancer?” Or some variation of that.
The fact is I still have a residual growth in my abdomen. When I was diagnosed it was 9cm, after chemo it was 4cm. It is likely just scar tissue and dead cells, but there is a possibility that it is still cancerous. So life goes on as if I am in remission. On March 30 I have a CT Scan, and on April 7th, we hear the results of that scan. If the growth has not changed or it has shrunk, I will be considered in remission. But if it grows, then I’ll need radiation treatment.
The third most common question was, “Are you getting back to work?” or “Are you back at work”…etc.
When I gave my answer, most people looked in disbelief at me, as if they misheard. “I started a roof cleaning business.” Yep. I got into it unintentionally. Initially I started it as a home cleaning and janitorial business. Something light-ish that I could do part time, while I recovered from chemo. But one of my clients asked if I could clean his roof. Of course I can. I have done it before, and when I was with the maintenance department at UFV I was on the roof all the time! Since that time a couple months ago, I have joined the Roof Cleaning Institute of America, received training, am in talks with being recognized by an international cedar cleaning network, and am getting quite busy, receiving calls from as far as Chilliwack to the east, and Vancouver Island to the west. I even hired an employee. (If you need your roof cleaned, please call me.)
After telling people that I am cleaning roofs, their response was, “What about seminary?” or “What about school?” Etc.
Well, when one does not work for 6 months, one’s savings account dries up. The reality is, and in the words of Dave Ramsey, we can’t afford it. While talking with Trinity Western and UFV about delaying my education, the thought struck me that only in this day and age, and in the western world, does a man need to earn and spend tens of thousands of dollars on a secular education in order to then start training to become a minister.
There has to be a better way.
But that is another blog post.
The point is there is no money for it right now. I still desire to serve the Lord in ministry. I still desire to attend seminary. I still desire to earn my undergrad degree. But my primary calling is as a husband and a father, so to work I go. If the business takes off, and I can hire people to run it, so I can attend school, that would be ideal. (So hire my company to clean your roof if you want to see me in seminary) 🙂
Anyway. There you have it. The answers to the 4 most asked questions of the night.