On the Road to Wellville (…well Pittsburgh)

October 15, 2007

before-the-shot-rockwell

In just a little while I will have to hit the road for a few days. I’m going back to Pittsburgh for a few doctor appointments and tests at Hillman Cancer Center.   This is now a regular part of my life. 

This time a year ago I was in the early stages of   chemo treatment.  Several weeks before that I had been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer.  I was fortunate – colon cancer is the easiest to treat.

I have been clear now for several months, but I go for regular scans to make certain I am still cancer free. 

Cancer treatments have come a long way in the past few years… and the breakthroughs that are being made are encouraging. I even read a few months ago that some scientists had found the Achilles Heal for some forms of cancer…

While I don’t think most people still speak in hushed tones about the “C-word”, it is still surreal and sobering to the families who are impacted. 

And there seem to be few people who are not affected in one way or another by cancer. I know our family had been.  Just six weeks before I was diagnosed, my wife’s father passed away due to complications with his treatment for a rare lymphoma. (He had been in remission for a few years before a recurrence.)  And my sisters daughter, Grace, was found to have a massive Wilms’ Tumor before she was one year old.  (She is now doing great! And she’s the poster child for Children’s Cancer Foundation in Delaware.) 

I found that perspective is vitally important, to both the one with cancer and to those around us.  A couple things I think I will always remember, that I want to pass on for anyone facing cancer – either as the patient, or as a friend or family member of someone with cancer: 

My father-in-law used to say “Be as nasty to your cancer as your cancer is to you.”  I found this to be good advice.   

Basketball coach, Jim Valvano, gave a powerful speech, reminding us that cancer can take life, but it cannot take your mind, and cannot touch your soul. (See the V Foundation)

But even more profound, perhaps, is an article by David Powlinson & John Piper titled Don’t Waste Your Cancer offers a wonderful eternal perspective.   

I’m gonna’ hit the road now.  Any prayers you offer that I remain cancer free are greatly appreciated…

Grace & Peace to you, in Christ Jesus…

3 Responses to “On the Road to Wellville (…well Pittsburgh)”

  1. wdennisgriffith Says:

    Thanks for all your prayers. My scans came back clear – meaning I am still cancer free. I go back in four months…

  2. Connie Yakley Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. You have given me great insight and perspective that I did not have before into the battle of cancer. Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us. May God watch over and bless you.

  3. Dennis Griffith Says:

    Connie,

    Thanks for your comment. I am glad if something I shared proved to offer a helpful perspective. I don’t know if you are the one fighting cancer, or if it someone else whom you care about, but either way I would highly recommend giving thought to the perspective offered by John Piper & David Powlinson in the paper linked in this post.

    Grace & Peace to you.


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