Monday, December 29, 2008

These Are A Few!

In a previous post I discussed the phases of a marathon-excitement, drudgery (association & disassociation), and finishing. During the first drudgery part, you are taught to associate with the run by monitoring your pace, concentrating on your breathing, speaking to the crowd, etc. Past this comes a time of pain, a time when you realize you so far from the finish that you become mechanical, as you just will your feet to keep moving as pistons. During this part of the race, you are taught to disassociate with the experience. You might do this with music, a prayer wrist band, talking to yourself, or even counting your steps with a silly jingle. Anything to make the time pass and to focus on something different. Today I focused on something completely different between treatments.

My daughter, Kati, and my wife, Chris, love musicals. Some of their favorites are, "Oklahoma," "My Fair Lady," "The King and I," and "Mary Poppins." But as I was perusing the channels last night, as men do, I saw playing on television possibly their favorite musical, "The Sound of Music." I watched long enough to hear the song, "These Are a Few of My Favorite Things." I was inspired. I began to think of some of my favorite things and then the tune was stuck in my head. I grabbed a pencil and paper and began to write my own version. You CANNOT read my song! You must sing it! Also, to help this experience, you must envision me standing on our fireplace ledge in boxers, no shirt, and a shaved chest, singing this to my family. That, my friends, is to forget your pain in a new experience. Sing along with me and learn of some of my favorite things:

Steaming hot coffee and freshly mowed grass.
Fluffy bed pillows and storms as they pass.
Hummingbirds on our feeders with fast flapping wings.
These are a few of my favorite things.
Reading a novel and long morning runs.
Basketball games and crosswords just for fun.
Listening to Chris whenever she sings.
These are a few of my favorite things.
State Tournament tickets and friends with loud laughter.
Homeade oatmeal cookies and milk soon thereafter.
Christmas tree lights and the joy that they bring.
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the game's lost
When the pain stings
When I'm feeling sad.
I simply remember my favorite things,
and then I don't feel so bad.
(Repeat all verses)
I'm not certain, but I feel some of you were not singing. Try again, and sing loudly! Okay forget the part about me in my boxers and you will enjoy the song more. Life is good and God has blessed us all with little "favorite" things to enjoy. Why? Because He loves as His children and wants us to have favorite things, to live abundantly in His joy.
Jesus said, 9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:9-10 (NKJV)
10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11 (NKJV)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shenandoah Sunday! (Worship)

The last month and a half has been filled with worship. I have so much still to learn, but I do know that I was made to worship my God. Many of us just think of "worship" as what we do on Sunday morning, all together, as we sing, praise, and remember our God. If that is all we see of worship, we are missing so much of what God has made us for.
What is worship? I feel the most important thing we can recognize with worship is that we do not have to beg for God to appear. God is everywhere. David understood this:
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. Psalms 139:7-10 (NKJV)
Jesus taught this also:
21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 "You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:21-24 (NKJV)
Also Psalm 50:12 ,"The world is mine," declares the Lord, "and all that is in it." When we get a grasp on the ways we have made God small, decided to label things as good or bad, and even put limitations on where we feel we can acknowledge God's presence. Mark Buchanan in his book "Your God is Too Safe" calls this "practicing the presence of God." There is true joy in the Christian life as we learn to worship God in each moment.
I have had some special worship times in the last few weeks in some truly unbelievable places:
  1. Holding Chris' hand in a hospital bed and praising God as we asked for grace for 1 more day
  2. Watching my grandson climb over all obstacles to sit in Pops' lap to read cards.
  3. Sitting on our bed with Kathy Clark on a Sunday, questioning God and then praising Him.
  4. Listening to Chris Tomlin sing "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" and remembering He is.
Have you ever seen the movie "Shenandoah?" If not, you need to watch it. Throughout the movie you see the main character, played by James Stewart, struggle with his concept of God and a God's role in his life. In a scene at the end of the movie you see a reunion with a lost son in their local church during "worship service." You finally see this man worship God. This last Sunday, December 21st, Chris and I were able to attend worship with our church family. I have missed my brothers and sisters so much. Worship time together was incredible. I joined my weakened voice with the voices of those who have been praying for and ministering to me and my family to sing, "Here I Am To Worship." Worship does not have to happen at church from 11:00 to 11:59 (I am Baptist and worship stops before noon-HA), BUT IT DID!
Thank you, God, for my church family. Thank you for the strength to be with them for a short while. Thank you for the people (Steve & Lynn Arthur, Rex Jackson) who have stood in the gap for Chris and I during this time. Thank you for a body of believers who pray and love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Just Some "Facts!"

I wanted to spend a few moments just to share a few "facts" with everyone. One of the things I have wanted the "blog" to be is a place to keep my friends and loved ones informed of what is happening with treatment and how we are doing. I never realized what a job that is, so I will try to make sure that not all of my posts are about "lessons" I am learning or my thoughts, but occasional medical and physical updates.
This last Friday, December 19th, Chris and I went to my 7th radiation treatment in the morning, and then I had lab work and a doctor appointment in the afternoon. The radiation is progressing normally?! I have a few side effects but my radiation doctor is being aggressive, which is what we wanted, and using the maximum amount. They are even opening the clinic for us on the Sunday after Christmas, so I will not have as many gaps in treatment. The radiation plan is for five weeks or 25 days, which means radiation should end approximately Jan. 19th.
My blood work and tests still show no other signs of cancer, other than the tumor we are dealing with on my spine. They will continue to monitor as they treat and I am sure that I will be checked for the rest of my life. The cancer "team" did meet and decided to begin chemotherapy (drug therapy) along with the radiation. They had actually started me on this oral administration last week. This drug should help shrink the tumor and hopefully will help prevent any cancer cells from leaking to other parts of my body. On approximately Jan. 19th, when I finish radiation, I will begin a more aggressive chemotherapy. At this time it looks like this will be in the form of an IV that I will take for four sessions over a 4-week period. Of course, all of this is depending on how things progress and if they need to they will change this to a port for the chemotherapy and adjust the type of medicine needed, they will do so.
I am so thankful for the doctors being aggressive and proactive. I feel this will be an important part of finishing this race. There is still quite a bit of pain and it is really hard to be "comfortable." Each treatment has its' own special side effects, but the discomforts are worth the healing. (Such as being on the computer at 3:00 am) Ha!
I hope to begin to return to my "normal" life soon, in an adjusted way. I don't even know what that means yet, but I must patiently keep allowing myself to be treated by God-given doctors, loved by God-filled family and friends, and healed by a loving God, who has a plan for me.
Sgt. Friday-----out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Drudgery of the Race

(Me, before the start of 2006 Whiterock Marathon)

I have to believe that I was being prepared for this new race for a couple of years. There are questions people ask when they hear you have run marathons and I will try to answer those first:
1) Have you always loved running? No. Running is a tough discipline, but I do enjoy the quiet time and the feeling of accomplishment.
2) Do you get a "runner's high?" I have never felt a runner's high! Maybe I did something wrong. Running that far still hurts and I still have to will myself to run.
3) Why? I remember telling Chris that I wanted to run a marathon about 3 years ago. I made her promise not to tell anyone, because I had never run over 7 miles. I was scared to let others know because it sounded so bizarre.
The Phases of a Marathon
Excitement- The first part of the race is pure euphoria. Everyone is excited. You see and hear many things - some that are hard to describe - confetti, balloons, tv cameras, jet fly-overs, the National Anthem, more runners than you have ever imagined. And now for the strange. I have seen Mickey Mouse, the Blues Brothers (with briefcases), dragons, Uncle Sam, and even Sponge Bob. This excitement phase of the race, I think, is very similar to what I felt through the surgery and initial diagnosis of my illness. Everyone is there and it is hard to believe that you will finish and defeat the opponent. You know what is ahead, but all of the distractions push the coming pain and struggles far from you.

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith Heb 12:1-2 (NKJV)

So how do you get "endurance?"
The Drudgery - It is hard to describe when the next phase begins, but you are aware of the change. The crowds begin to thin and soon the sounds of the crowd and the start line are replaced by the breathing of the runners around you and your shoes on the pavement. For the first time your brain begins to tell you that you have many miles of this drudgery ahead.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
My training for this phase of the race has taught me to associate with the run. In the next phase, during the pain or the wall, you are taught to disassociate or to remove yourself from the pain with distractions. So how do you associate with the run? You concentrate on your breathing, your heart rate, your pace. You remind yourself of the long runs that you have accomplished and focus on the distance behind you, not ahead. You find the smiling faces, even if they are the policemen keeping traffic back. You smile and thank them.
I do know that I am in the drudgery phase of my race with cancer at this time. The drive for radiation is long and with my 6th day behind me, I now have 19 more days. The pain from the tumor is still there and I want the race to stop..............but I WILL NOT! God has allowed this race for a reason and I will not waste my suffering. I must associate with the drudgery.

I choose to focus on the smiling faces that are still cheering. I choose not to dwell on the pain that still exists but to remember the healing that God has already allowed. I will count my blessings as I wait for my treatment and open the door for those who are too weak to even open the door to the Cancer Center. I will praise my God for seeing me worthy of this test, this trial. I will allow Him to complete His promise in me.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Who Am I?

(I'm the one in the middle, just finished 3rd marathon, & not a good advertisement for running!
It has been a long day! I am realizing that much of my life I have based my worth on what I am doing or what I have done. In my chosen occupation I am even called by what I do, as my players and students call me, Coach Weaver, and it still thrills me when I hear "Coach" with my name. But is that who I am? I love to be with my family, even when shopping. I can always find a book & a quiet place even in the mall. The girls went shopping today, and I was in a lot of pain and slept most of the day. If I am not with my family, I love to have a productive day of yardwork, laundry, or even cleaning house. Today I did nothing to really help anyone! Who am I?
God is teaching me who I am and what honors him the most. I just sent a depressing e-mail to a friend, sorry Steve. I am not a good napper, much less a good patient. But God's strength is perfect, when?
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:8-10 (NKJV)
I will share later how I have allowed my "religion" to affect my relationship with Christ, but for now I must admit that I need to let this "race with cancer" teach me that:
  1. I am a child of God.
  2. God loves me.
  3. I am forgiven, when I confess.
  4. No pain, difficulty, sorrow, or suffering can affect this relationship.
  5. My value to Christ is not based on what I have done today, yesterday, or tomorrow.
  6. The miracle is in the "hope" not the "healing."
  7. I refuse to be depressed by my lack of accomplishments while I heal.
  8. When I feel weakest, then Christ in me is strong.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Sneeze, Why not?

I never thought I would start a story with a picture of "Sneezy", but my story certainly be rather dull to some of the things we read in God's Word. You know the stories, but I ask why? Why a burning bush that would not stop burning? Why a manger? A donkey (actually an ass) that talks? Swallowed by a large fish and then regurgitated!

You see, I was going for a run about 6 weeks ago now, and I leaned over to tie my shoes and sneezed. It then felt as if someone had hit me with a lead pipe that carried an electrical current. I was in my classroom and literally sat down from the pain. After a couple of weeks of pain and being treated for a pulled muscle, my chiropractor did an x-ray and decided he didn't like the looks of my 4th vertebrae, which led to an MRI, to a tumor being discovered, and you know the rest. But it started with a SNEEZE! Why not a sharp pain while lifting weights or at the end of a 20 -mile run? I think because God enjoys being God! Who else can receive the glory in a sneeze, but God!

The story of Moses and the burning bush was a life changing event for Moses and the Israelites, but what if he would not have "turned aside?" In our microwave soceity, I wonder how many things we miss because of our schedules and deadlines. This illness has caused Chris and I to pray more, to be quiet and listen for God. I know that many of you are behind on my story. The last two days have been action packed. In my last update I told you that I would not begin radiation until January 5th. On that day, Wednesday,while elated at the news of the negative
tests, I was very concerned about the delay in treatment. I am still in a lot of pain, but I have been thinking it was all surgery pain. Late that night I told Chris that my pain was deep in my spine just like before they found the tumor. So Chris began to pray!

On Thursday we traveled back to McKinney Regional Cancer Center, where the first thing was an iodine injection and a CAT scan on my skull. Moses was in the back of the desert and Chris chose to leave the comfortable waiting room to sit in a chair in the hallway. Accident or lucky? I think not! While I was in the testing room, Chris saw the radiation oncologist and they began to discuss my treatment and then he said I will see Kevin on Monday for radiation. Chris reminded him that the date had been changed to January 5th. He was shocked and said he wanted me to begin radiation immediately. I walked out of a test, which by the way, was also negative, to find out that I was beginning radiation in ten minutes.

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush Ex 3:1-4 (NKJV)

Moses was in the "back of the desert", which reminds me that God is everywhere. Moses chose to "turn aside", which reminds me to be aware. God is working, but might we miss out on things when we are not aware of God in our lives. Did you notice in v. 4 the scriptures say that God spoke when Moses chose to turn aside? I know my prayer life has increased; I want to get better at seeing God. Where will God want to meet with me tomorrow?

I had my second radiation treatment today. I met with my spinal surgeon yesterday and he said everything looks great from the surgery. Pray that the radiation combined with the steroids will reduce the tumor. The radiation oncologist is convinced that the pain is from the tumor. Pray for our strength and courage as we run daily. Pray that we will slow down and keep seeing with God's eyes.

Every moment of my life, not just my quiet time, prayer time, or church, is a chance to have an encounter with my God.

Earth's crammed with Heaven,
and every common bush, afire with God,
but only he who sees takes off his shoes--
the rest sit around it and pluck blackberries.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Leper Returning!

I have no pictures or graphics for this blog. This is a letter of praise to my God. Tonight I bow at the feet of my Savior to say, "Thank you." Thank you for a loving family, praying friends, and for hearing & answering prayers.

Martin Luther described worship as "one leper returning." Read this scripture and you will see where he derived this definition:
11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
Luke 17:11-19 (NKJV)

Today Chris and I heard some great news and we have felt God's Spirit in answered prayers. Today we were told that all tests so far have proven negative for myloma. My cancer will be treated as a solitary plasmacytoma. Statistics (not that I trust them) say that this cancer is only found 5-10% of the time before it has progressed into myloma. I still have some more tests ahead and treatment will now begin January 5th, but they can find no other lesions. The treatment plan is for radiation and no chemotherapy. Isn't it amazing that we pray for healing, receive it, and then can have the tendency to just go on with our lives. Praise to our God! I will be a thankful child.

In the book of Romans there are scriptures that have always bothered me a little bit. In Romans chapter 1, there are three verses that say 'God gave them up" or "God gave up on them," (verses 24, 26, & 28) What would cause this type of reaction from God. In the same chapter, you see the reason in an earlier verse:
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,
Romans 1:21 (NKJV)
Please celebrate with us! A milemarker has been passed!
There is still a race to run, but our Father continues to meet our needs and show his power and love for us.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


(in the picture at left)

Ryland, my grandon & I, at the hospital, reading cards. (I am the one with the tubes looking at pictures & he is the one reading.
This is the only hospital picture you will see and it is posted so you can meet Ryland!

My father always used to say to me, "To be so smart at schoolwork, you really do some dumb stuff." As I think back to some of the things I did, while growing up, I realize he was right. When I was about 6 years old, I had some really cool binoculars. Did you know that if you look through the lenses backwards that everything looks far away? I had so much fun running and chasing my sister this way. There is a photo of me with circular bruises around my eyes when I ran into the wall, but it looked so far away!
Later I was given my first magnifying glass. This may be a boy thing, but I absolutely spent hours looking at things through this fascinating device. Then I learned what would happen if you would focus the rays of the sun throught the glass. Shazam!! Smoke and then fire! So I wonder how hot this gets? Yes, you got it, in about 5 minutes later my mom was applying burn gel to my leg.
Magnify! This word has been impressed upon me throughout this race.
19 For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. Phil 1:19-20 (NKJV)
The love of my Savior shines most brightly when treasured above above health and wealth. Fleeing and avoiding pain, suffering, and even death is the shortest path to a life of waste. I will not waste my life. The scripture above speaks my heart. I will not be ashamed and I will magnify Christ in my body. (I know you saw that BODY in that hospital picture!)
27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, "Let the LORD be magnified, Psalms 35:27 (NKJV)
I'm afraid many Christians waste their lives by trying to escape the cost of love. And the cost of love is the suffering of our Savior. I will magnify the Lord!

Monday, December 8, 2008

What Did Jesus Look Like

In the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time in hospital rooms and in the bed at home. For the first time I have become acquainted with daytime television. May I say, "YUCK!" One thing I have learned from the commercials is that we, as Americans, are very concerned with our looks. It also seems, no matter the condition of the economy, that there must be a lot of money spent on changing and protecting our appearance.

So my question is, "What did Jesus look like when he was living as a man?" Not that it matters to me, but I think we do get images in our mind.

My grandmother, Ma-Ma, had this picture on one of her walls. It's a neat picture but I don't think it captures reality. Jesus was a carpenter. He was a construction worker. There were no power tools, so I feel that he was muscular and had callused, tough hands. I am amazed at most of the paintings and potraits that have been made of the son of God. Did your parents have one of the "big" coffee table Bibles? (Remember the one of Adam& Eve running from the garden?) We did and I found many of those potraits on the computer this morning while I reminisced of the days of opening that huge Bible and not reading, but finding all of the pictures. (and they were in COLOR!!)

May I vent before I get to the point of this blog? When did we make Jesus blue-eyed? Do we really believe he had to have had long, flowing, "feathered" hair? Why do most of the potraits make me think that I would not want Jesus' locker next to mine in athletics? Maybe some people confused the fact that Jesus was from Nazarene, but he was not a Nazarite! Nazarites took a vow to not cut hair or drink alcohol. Jesus was a homeless man, who did not even have enough money to pay his taxes. I really doubt he had color-coordinated, layered robes with matching open toed sandals.

The truth is we do not know what Jesus looked like. There is not enough historical evidence and the only scripture reference I could find says:
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
Isaiah 53:2 (NKJV)

What Jesus looked like is not important! What Jesus did is important!!
The last two weeks I have SEEN what Jesus looks like! No,this is not the morphine talking! Yes, I have seen Jesus!

I have seen my family & through my friends!
Jesus fixed our bedroom door. (Ryan )
Jesus kissed my cheek & told me to be strong (my Dad)
Jesus brought us a Thanksgiving turkey. (Jim)
Jesus makes sure I am not alone in my room (Kati, Callie, Derick)
Jesus keeps my family going by doing the everyday, unseen stuff. (Gammy & PawPaw)
Jesus keeps feeding my family. (SS class, HGHS faculty)
Jesus calls me daily! (my friends & fellow coaches)
Jesus showed up yesterday, raked leaves & cleaned our yard (Scottie, Michael, Dustin, & kids)
Jesus holds me at night when it is dark! (Chris, my best friend!)
I could write all day and I would still miss someone, but the point is made. What does Jesus look friends and family!

Thank you! I continue to see Jesus daily! I will finish because of YOU!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Laughter is the Best Medicine"

I read a book several years ago, "The Humor of Christ." I can't type the author's name because I think someone borrowed the book and if it was you, please bring it back! I do believe one of the characteristics of a follower of Christ should be an ability to see and enjoy those moments that you laugh at yourself, others, and enjoy life. This picture is of Kathy Clark, on the left, and my wife, Chris, on the right playing Wii and laughing at each other until we were exhausted. I always enjoy being with Jeff and Kathy because they are always able to make me laugh!

Yesterday was a tough mile of the marathon. Chris has strep throat and still took me to McKinney Regional Cancer Institute for tests in the morning and then to the hospital for a bone marrow biopsy. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say that since I still have staples in my back, the day and the testing was a challenge. I also now have an extra hole in my lower extremeties. I couldn't eat or drink for 16 hours before the procedures, so the day ended with the best cup of coffee I have ever had at Starbuck's, the humble abode of angels and caffeine. I will update everyone on the battle with cancer later. For now just laugh with me.
"So where is the laughter," you ask? Our nurse at the hospital, Leeann, did a wonderful job of preparing me for the surgery. As she was reading my file (yes, I have a large one now!), she commented that God may have saved my life with a sneeze, which is how I had my first back pain. Before I could respond, because I always respond verbally, we were interupted by the dark angel from the lab, to draw more blood. Soon Chris had to leave the room and I was put to sleep for the biopsy. The next thing I am aware of is Leeann patting my cheek and saying, "Kevin, I need you to take deep breaths. You are making alarms go off." As I was returning to the real world I recognized my nurse and if you know me, I still had thoughts that I had not verbalized and they were like hot lava, needing to be released. I said with a drug induced, thick tongue, "Leeann, are you a Christian?" She smiled at me sweetly and said, "No, not yet. I need to clean up the room and the blood first."
I know I am a member of the coach's fraternity and we have been labeled as mentally challenged at times, but this conversation now had me completely perplexed. She wasn't a Christian yet, so I was assuming she was pondering this decision in her life. I was now fighting the anethesia fog with all my might as I realized the weight of the dialogue. But what about the blood? Was she struggling with the Jesus' sacrifice for us? What room? At this point she looked at me and I guess saw the look on my face and said, "What did you ask?" I repeated my question and she began to laugh so hard. I wanted to laugh with her, but what was funny? She said through tears of laughter, "I thought you asked "Leeann, is Chris with me?"
Soon Chris was in the room with me and we continued to laugh. The last 3 weeks have had a profound heaviness, but each day Chris and I have found a reason to laugh. I hope you have laughed with us today. I agree with Peggy Noonan who said:
"Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows and survive."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Winning by Finishing!"

I have not always been a runner. I have always been intrigued by runners and especially by marathoners. I ran my first marathon in April of 2006 and it was a life changing experience-not because the time in which I finishedI the race or by the ease of the race. The number of spectators and volunteers amazed me and the enthusiastic encouragement by these total strangers was emotionally moving. Why did they feel the need to call out my name? Why did they stand and pass out water and energy gel?
They wanted me to FINISH!
I remember turning the street corner for the last half mile and hearing the announcer calling out bib numbers,names, and where these runners were from. I remember wondering if my legs would forgive me for continuing to ask them to move after 26 miles. I remember seeing my family on the sidewalk with the other spectators. Chris, my wife began to run on the sidewalk alongside me, telling me to finish. "Keep running!" she shouted, and continued to run through the crowd calling my name. Then the announcer said, "Kevin Weaver, bib #879 , from Honey Grove, TX, and this is his first marathon." Encouragement- what a powerful thing it can be.
Two weeks ago, I was told I had a tumor on my spine. All the other discouraging words followed quickly: malignant, large, radiation, chemotherapy.....................but God knew I needed encouragement and how He has provided! I have had more cards, food, phone calls, e-mails, gifts, and other sacrifices by friends and family than I would have thought possible.
God has allowed this trial at the perfect time for Him to be glorified!
I watched my mother, who was in a tragic accident months ago, walk into my hospital room to say, "You can do this, Son." My father, who survived brain surgery three years ago to tell me, "Son, you are made of tough stuff, now prove it." My other parents, (some people call them in-laws) have dropped everything to care for our children and to do all the little things that are not really little things at all. They love me as their own son and that I do not understand. My children have stepped to the plate and taken over responsibilities, understanding that Dad might miss an event. A brother and sisters who have encouraged by doing, without being asked. An assistant coach, Coach Lane, who I had the privilege to coach, take over a team. A principal, who is a dear friend, fill every gap and love my family as his own. A friend in Kathy Clark, the girls' coach, who makes me laugh and loves me like a brother.
What do I hear in all of this? You can do it! Don't quit! Keep running! FINISH!
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:2 (NKJV)

Don't get Blogged Down!

I am new to blogging, but I think this might be a great way to post thoughts. A friend at school shared a book with me about surviving cancer. One of the chapters said that writing and sharing your thoughts is a great way to gain perspective. I enjoy writing and maybe this will be a healthy exercise of slowing down, thinking, and being honest about my feelings. I will not let this be a burden. I keep a personal journal but this might be a good communication method also with my friends and family.
The picture is of myself and my best friend, soul-mate, and at this time my primary caregiver. I cannot imagine life without her. I hope you enjoy reading my random thoughts and stories as I become a cancer survivor. I am a blessed man and you will realize how truly blessed as I share my story the days ahead.
9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Eccl 4:9-12 (NKJV)