It was in August of 2013 that I was having a followup CT scan to check my jaw for any returning oral cancer. I had major surgery in November of 2010 to remove a tumor that was located between my tongue and my jawbone. It ended up being a twenty hour surgery, but I will tell you about it later.
The CT scan was targeted to go from the top of my head to about my heart. I believe it was at the Lord’s direction that it went a little lower to include the bottom of my lungs. I received a cell phone call from my otolaryngology surgeon. He was born in Peru and became one of the top head and neck cancer surgeons in the world. The Lord brought him to OU Medical Center to work on me and a few thousand other people. But he called and said the CT scan showed two suspicious spots at the bottom lobes of my lungs.
The spots turned out to be colon cancer in the lungs. I began chemo treatments in September of 2013. The infusions lasted for about four and a half months.
It was a hard time because of the diarrhea, the loss of energy, the neuropathy in my fingers and feet, but worse of all was that I had loss my sense of taste. Since my tongue has been reconstructed twice, I only have taste buds on the right side of my tongue. Everything tasted like rubber or metal.
People would tell me to “just force yourself!” You can’t do it. It would be like trying to have two banana splits after going through a buffet line three times. My precious wife tried so hard to feed me. I would think I wanted something, she would make it or bring it home…and I could only have one bite and it was over. We did discover after taking to a nutritionist, that I could drink homemade smoothies. After losing fifty pounds, I finally found something that tasted good to me. Terrie nursed me back to health. She was so faithful to create special smoothies for me and care for me.
I would watch every food program on tv trying to tell my body that I wanted some of that. My brain said yes, my mouth said no. And then one day after church, we had stopped at Popeye’s chicken to get Terrie something. She handed me a small serving of beans and rice and I tasted it and it was good. I ate the small bowl and even had a little more of hers.
I lost a lot of work during that time. But God provided for me and Terrie. I had support from my work and my family, but especially from my church. It is quite humbling to know that hundreds of people are praying for you every day, wanting you to get better.
So this evening I was just remembering how blessed I am to be loved by the people who surround me and by the God who has us in His hands.