The Diagnosis

Wedding day
Wedding day

I am going to share something very personal in a way or ‘light’ that you probably have never heard nor would expect. This personal view point would even be considered controversial depending on where you are in your faith journey.

I have been blessed (diagnosed) with Leukemia. Specifically Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL for short). I have been unknowingly carrying this since 2008 and only recently (June 16) discovered its presence permeating my bone marrow and blood stream. To look at me you would not know anything was wrong. Besides struggling with fatigue and getting winded easily, I feel pretty normal physically. The biggest battle right now is the mental and emotional struggles that rear their ugly head at any given moment from seemingly out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. My beautiful, wonderful, amazing wife shares this battle very closely with me. It pains me to see the effects my disease has on her but I thank God that I am the one inflicted and not her!

Getting back to the first line of that paragraph, “Blessed” hardly seems like the appropriate term to describe such an awful, non- discriminant disease such as cancer, but after my initial shock at the Oncologists words “you have CLL”, I began to feel a sense of peace. Initially I mistook this feeling of peace as denial.  Just 3 months prior I lost my brother Steve who battled CLL for about 20 years! His last hope of shaking CLL was a bone marrow transplant which ultimately led to a secondary infection in his lungs that did irreversible damage. It was a slow decline rendering him a frail shadow of the once healthy vibrant man who loved the active outdoors life.  Of course I immediately freaked out hearing my diagnosis! I knew and saw firsthand how CLL slowly destroyed Steve’s life and took a heavy toll on his wife and all of us, his family. The doctor could not have hit me with a bigger hammer! Yet there I was; praying and feeling a sense of peace and ‘all will be well’. I was blessed to have a potentially deadly disease!

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