Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dealing with Death

Perhaps the title alone suggests, for many, an "untouchable area."

Yet here I am, and for the first time in my life I have come to the realization that I am not as immortal as I once felt. Yes, immortal is a strong word, yet it's how everybody seems to live. 
"Live like there's no tomorrow."

I entered this world of cancer only two months ago. It's a place of new feelings, realizations, and realities. Obviously, the chemo has worn my body down. On Monday I head in for round 6 - round 6 out of 36. That leaves a good 30 rounds to go, a bout of radiation, and multiple surgeries. Frankly, this doesn't depress/discourage me. If it takes these two terrible years to save my life, then I have no reason to complain. 

However, there is a much more luminous side to this disease than I have really allowed myself to realize. 

To be "straight up" with you all, where I am at in this fight is like this . . .

Ten people will enter this specific fight- and three will get to win. 


Too many people (including myself before all this) assume that beating cancer is all about the size of the "fight in the dog," the "will to live," the "fight in the fighter."

It's not.

In the course of my coming out of sedation (2/3 chemos include being drugged so this is a frequent habit), I have learned a lot about my own cancer, and also cancer in general. The realization of what I am dealing with hasn't been easy, which is why I have written this post.

I keep writing even when I don't want to write. I write when I would love to curl up and deny everything that is happening. I write when reality is too painful and I'm ready to be done with it all. I write when I know that where I stand could help others - even the many who haven't and probably will never be in my position. So what is to be learned at this point in my journey?

Death is now real.

At any moment, it could be my time to go. In fact, statistically - that's the most likely. I totally get that if God doesn't plan for this cancer to take me, then all of my treatment will be my lifesaver! Just understand that our prayers may not be His plan. For me, that is what I'm having to process.

For you? 

You never know what you have until it's gone.

Don't take life for granted. I find it amazing how much my perspective has changed- and even now life in the doldrums seems precious.

Yet most importantly - know you have hope.

Hope that lies beyond this world- beyond this suffering and pain. I couldn't imagine facing these realities without such hope. That is what keeps me smiling. That is what keeps me fighting.

Hope is the realization that cancer can be beat; and an early death is only the doorstep to an eternal beginning!

(Stem Cell Harvesting and also a double red cell transfusion on Saturday. When I tested my blood sugar that was 4 needles in me at once- new personal record!) 


  1. Your journey, and that of your family's, has become a little more real to us now since our latest crisis. Please know that we are praying for you all every day and are so thankful for your testimony and the way that even through this blog you are making today count for eternity. Thank your Mom and Dad again, please, for all their concern and help to us. They are such an encouragement from the Lord. You all are! We love you!!

  2. We continue to pray for you and your family. May the Lord give you abundant grace. The Wynn Family

  3. Dear Caleb, I continue to pray for you each and every day! I pray that the hope and grace of Christ truly strengthen and comfort you. Hannah

  4. Thank you for this incredibly forthright post and timely reminder of the gift that is life. Your testimony and that of your family is an inspiration to so many, because you are living Hebrews 11. Thank you for your willingness to fight through the pain and discomfort to write, knowing that so many are blessed, challenged, encouraged, edified, and strengthened by your words. Thank you for your smile in spite of the difficulties with which you are continually faced. You are loved, prayed for, and appreciated. May you continue to find God's amazing grace for your every need!

  5. You are such a strong young man. I wish that you didn't have to travel such a tough road, but know that everyone in the diabetes online community is supporting you.


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