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Friday, July 24, 2009

A Note from Dad this week

I skipped last week, not on purpose, but just failed to post Dad's note. This week, I wanted to share this and thank each of you for your continued prayers, love and support. Walking this out with the Lord has taught be so much. I have had to dig deep and praise the Lord, the deeper I dig, the deeper the Lord takes me. I also couldn't have done this without all of you~ your daily encouragement, the assurance that I have in knowing you truly are praying because I get to see the manifestation before my eyes, is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given ! This week I have experienced God in some powerful ways and truly want to express my gratitude from the bottom of my heart and from my Dads as well. There is no way to deny the Lord in any of this. Here is Dad's note from Facebook for this week.


Doug Woods: Why I Am Grateful I Have This Disease

Doug's Notes|Notes about Doug|Doug's Profile
Why I Am Grateful I Have This DiseaseShare
Yesterday at 10:30pm
This week‘s medical treatments were very similar to last week’s. I finished 5 more radiation treatments (bringing the total to 8 of the planned 28) and another chemotherapy treatment (for a total of 2 of the planned 4). So far, I feel good and haven’t suffered any significant side-effects. I am still very grateful that everything has gone as well as it is.

It may be sometime before I know what effect the treatments are having on the tumor. I can’t really tell if there is any improvement or not. I am very hopeful, but, at this point, there aren’t any tell-tale signs - one way or the other. I met with my radiologist this week and she was pleased with my health but she doesn’t have any other information about the impact the treatments are having on my tumor. It is a wait-and-see situation.

Before I point out a few of the positive things that cancer has brought to me, I want to share a little story. When I first started attending AA meetings there was one man who caught my attention. His name was John S. He always wore tennis shoes, slacks, a plaid shirt, and a red baseball cap. Like me, he was bald and said he wore the baseball cap because people accused him of streaking if he took it off.

John was sober 34 years at the time I met him (1977). The thing I liked most about him was that he was the happiest person I have ever met in my life. It was his contagious happiness and smiles that caught my attention. He had what I wanted. Over the next two years he taught me more about dealing with life than anyone I’ve ever known.

John always introduced himself by saying he was grateful he was an alcoholic. After hearing him introduce himself this way, I pulled him aside one night and asked why he said he was grateful he was alcoholic. I told him I wasn’t a bit grateful to have the disease and that I didn’t think I would ever be grateful to be an alcoholic. John just smiled and told me that I would be grateful someday but it was going to take some work. He explained that his life was the best it had ever been and he gave the credit to the fact that he was a sober alcoholic. He suggested that I begin introducing myself in the same way and that I would find within a few weeks or a few months that I was becoming grateful to be an alcoholic. Another way I’ve heard this described is: “It’s the action you’re taking against your thinking that will make you different”.

At my next meeting, I introduced myself by saying that I was grateful that I was an alcoholic. I almost choked when I said it, but I continued to introduce myself that way and over a period of a few months I found that I was becoming aware of how grateful I was.

This may sound very weird, but there are times that I feel grateful to have this disease. Dealing with this disease is teaching me many things I would not have dealt with. It has improved relationships that might not have been amended and there is more.

One thing contracting lung cancer has shown me is how powerless I am. Being powerless is a hard pill to swallow, but I have done it before. The first time I had to admit powerlessness was when I tried to stop drinking. I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed spiritual help and I needed the help of others like me. I needed the help of my family and friends, and the help of many others. When I finally admitted that I couldn’t do it on my own, I was able to begin to deal with the problem. Cancer is even more compelling, because for some cancers (like lung cancer) there isn’t a cure – but there is always hope.

I’ve mentioned several times in the past few weeks that this cancer has taught me how to deal with my fears. I live “one day at a time” and I believe the outcome is in God’s hands. I’m doing everything I can – maintaining a positive attitude, eliminating sugar, eating a healthy diet, resting when I need to, etc. I believe all of these things are helping.

There are several other things that I find are beneficial from having this disease. For instance, as a result of contracting this disease, I have a new appreciation for what I have in my life. The relationships with my wife, my daughter, my son, and numerous friends are closer now than they have ever been. My children and I talk daily and our focus is on important things.

Another benefit of this cancer is that I don’t hang on grudges or resentments – they aren’t worth the time or the pain. My experience with grudges and resentments is that they eat away at me. The person for whom I hold the grudge or resentment goes unscathed. I’m the one who suffers. Letting go of grudges and resentments and things that bother me makes my way to recovery free of several obstacles.

In this same vain; little everyday annoyances bother me less, in part because I feel more justified in releasing myself from negative people. Since the future of my disease is unknown and unpredictable, my time is too precious to waste. I want to focus on living in and savoring the present moment and getting as much out of life as possible.

In many ways I have become stronger, more confident, more aware of my personal resources and less socially inhibited. In several instances, I found my voice and I was more likely to stand up for myself. I have emerged out of the awareness of how alone I am in living with this life-threatening illness and how I must be my own advocate in the arena of the medical world. I have learned to ask for help when I need it and I have seen how people have rallied around and supported me in my time of need. I feel more loved than ever before.

This cancer is not something I wanted, but now that I have it I can see that it has driven me to make some needed changes. In this respect, I am grateful I have it.
Doug

May you all have a blessed weekend


9 comments:

T. Anne

Gosh that was tough but so worth the read. Thank you for sharing. Still praying for your sweet dad. He's taught me so much just from reading that letter please tell him thank you for me!

The Real Me!

I don't know what to say but WOW! Inspiring!
Know that I'm still praying for your Dad my friend.
Hugging you!
Kim

Andrea

Doug,
I am storming the heavens on your behalf. I pray GOD will reign down HIS perfect, peace, into your heart giving you the ultimate healing.
You are on an amazing journey. You have a beautiful family inside out. It is visible through this blog. I am truly thankful to have met Loren and to be privileged to pray for you.
Blessings and prayers,
Doug

Beth.. One Blessed Nana

Loren and Doug,

Oh wow, what a fabulous post that was. The Lord is indeed working in Doug's life in a mighty way. I pray that His healing hand fall mightily upon you Doug and that He continue to give you strength, comfort, peace, and renewing daily faith!

"Sometimes in our deepest darkness, we tap in God's greatest Grace"

rcubes

As your dad battles this awful disease, his posts are revealing a more and more soft heart, aware of "spiritual needs" and leaning toward accepting more of Him. Sometimes, though painful, don't we all cry in distress and ask the Lord to be in total control of what we can't.

Since it's only the Lord who knows your dad's heart, I'm continuing to lift him up in prayers to have the Lord open his heart and mind and be willing to accept His offer of forgiveness in His perfect time. Oh how we try to encourage him with prayers and everything...but the truth is...."he is the one who is encouraging us all in return..."

So, tell him "thank you" because he reminds us not to take every day for granted. Have a great weekend sister. Love you in Christ.

Heart2Heart

Loren,

Again a great post to share and hoping that Doug gets healing from God as well as your dad. I have a surprise waiting for you if you'd stop by my blog today!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

christy rose

Oh Loren, Thanks so much for sharing this! It really touched me.
Still praying,
God Bless you and your dad,
Christy

Warren Baldwin

Powerful, powerful!! Your dad has the ability to rise to the occasion with tremendous strength and character building.

I linked here to congratulate you on the awared from Heart2Heart and was blessed with this great post. Thanks. wb

Girly Muse

What a man he is. I am grateful to be hearing his advice. He is a wise man and we will all benefit from hearing his wisdom. Makes me wake up and want to be more present and grateful for this life I have.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Loren.

Love you!

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