For the past 17.5 years, I have spent countless hours at doctors appointments, treatment centers & the hospital. During those times, I have had the privilege to talk with hurting people experiencing life changing moments. I have had the honor to pray for people who wouldn’t see another year. I have rejoiced with those who experienced a miracle in their medical journey. I have never taken one of those moments for granted. None of those precious moments have been about me. God placed me in those moments to hopefully encourage someone. The truth is, most of the time I have been the one walking away feeling encouraged. Never miss the opportunity to encourage someone. It could be life changing. ~OC
Along this journey called life, we all deal with fear. Fear can hit us during what we thought would be a routine doctors appointment. Fear can hit us when test result comes back with more questions than answers. Fear can hit us when we watch the news or scroll through social media. We have all experienced fear in our lives.
Back in 2003, one of my doctors called me early one morning and shared he needed to see me right away. Oh, make sure you bring your wife. A little fear hit me at that moment. Later when the doctor shared I had a tumor, the fear grew a little deeper. Fear, Worry and Anxiety. My wife and I experienced all those feelings sitting in that doctors office.
A few weeks later a biopsy revealed the tumor was the size of golfball. A few weeks after that, surgery revealed the tumor was cancerous. Once again, Fear, Worry and Anxiety smacked me in the face. Things seemed overwhelming at that point.
Then something amazing happened. As I laid in ICU hooked up to several machines, God took away the fear, worry and anxiety. Those feelings were replaced by peace, calmness and even joy. Yes, joy. What changed?
God reminded me of the week long fast I had done a year earlier during a missions trip. He shared the reason I had fasted was to prepare me for this very moment. Peace flooded my room and heart at that moment. At that moment, I completely turned my heart toward Jesus and trusted Him to walk me through this journey.
Even though I had been filled with fear, anxiety and worry, Jesus was right there with me. He welcomed me into His presence, even as I was filled with fear. He never abandoned me in my time of need.
During that moment, I still had to deal with life as a cancer patient. But that unknown did not overwhelm me anymore. Jesus reminded me that He was bigger than any health issue I would ever face. I am thankful, I did not know my future would be full of more health issues, test, multiple doctors appointments and hospital stays. No, at that moment I was just filled with peace.
Here I am in 2019, still fighting multiple health issues. Still fighting for my life every day. Still living in the unknown regarding my health. But I am still experiencing that same peace and joy, I experienced in that ICU room so many years ago. Knowing that Jesus is still bigger than anything life throws at me. Still living life with a thankful heart. ~OC
I have been blessed to hang out with Superheros for almost 18 years. I am not talking about Batman, Superman, The Black Panther or Wonder Woman. No, my Superheroes do not wear capes or have really cool toys. Well some of them might disagree with that statement. My Superheroes are some of the strongest and giving people I know. Let me share some of their stories.
Good Sam/Florida Cancer Specialist Heroes: These group of heroes from Good Samaritan Medical Center have helped keep me alive for the past 17 years. They are Nurses (Shoutout to 4 South), CNA’s, Housekeepers, Maintenance Workers, Patient Transport, Dietitians, Techs (from various departments), Therapist (from various departments), Food Services (they still check to see if I want anything), Admitting and the parade of Doctors. They each work long hours with little fanfare. If they were to read this post, they would be embarrassed. Because they didn’t choose to be super heroes for the applause. They definitely would not call themselves Superheroes. But I do. These unassuming heroes show up for work each day and save lives. Thank you.
My Medical Team: This list could go on for days. One person I have to mention by name is Dr. James Harris. He is definitely a Superhero. Dr. Harris was my oncologist for almost 17 years before retiring earlier this year. He was the type of doctor who gave you his personal cell phone number and told you to call him if you needed. Over the years, Dr. Harris received many phone calls from my wife Laura. He always answered. Dr. Harris truly cared for each of his patients. I saw him walking the halls of 4 South on many early mornings. When you mention the name Dr. Harris be prepared to hear some amazing stories. Thank you.
Fellow Overcomers: I have been blessed to sit next to or walk the halls with many patients over the years. I have been inspired by their strength and love for life. They have taught me how to navigate through my own crazy beautiful health journey. We have laughed. We have cried. We have shared stories. We have remembered those that fought a tough battle. We have become family. Thank you.
The OC Drivers/Visitors: These are the family and friends who have taken time out of their schedules over the years, to give me rides to treatment/appointments and have sat with me many times. The pressure they have taken off of my bride is amazing. It has been wonderful to hear their stories over the years. Thank you.
My Rockstar: My number one Super Hero is my wife Laura. She has been by my side from day one of this crazy beautiful health journey. Over the past 17.5 years, Laura has worn many hats. She has had to make a lot of tough decisions. She has been and will continue to be my Rockstar. Thank you. Love you.
Those are the Superheroes in my life. They are greater than any Super Hero Hollywood could ever create. I pray you have these type of Superheroes in your life. ~OC