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Ten Things To Deal With Cancer

That is a picture of a goat. You might be wondering what that has to do with a top-ten-list. I have recently come across the acronym G.O.A.T. which means "Greatest of all time." This list is probably not the best way to deal with life during the wait with cancer, but it is what I've chosen to do and it does seem pretty great to me.

1. Leaning on God

In this season of life, this has been a huge thing for me. Yeah, I'm a pastor, but that doesn't mean I don't have problems in my life, and it certainly doesn't mean that somehow I'm exempted from my need to lean on God. I've found myself running to the Bible more frequently with the desire to see how God's glory is shown even in the midst of great pain. Turns out, God's glory is something God is not willing to yield on. Isaiah 42:8 says,

“I am Yahweh. That is my name. I will not give my glory to another. I will not let statues take the praise that should be mine."

2. Spending time with family

This one is a no brainer. I love spending time with family. Parents, brothers, kids, and my wife all love me. I love to spend time with people who love me. I feel all good inside, and even when I don't they still love me and put up with my junk. I can never be fired, kicked out, or voted off the island because familial bonds just don't rust or break. They last. We might get mad at each other, but because there's nowhere else to go and because mom said we have to get along, eventually we always make things right. I love that.

3. Intentionally doing things that I enjoy I don't normally do

I've been having a bunch of fun doing something I don't normally get to do. I've been riding a motorcycle. A couple of years back I got my motorcycle license. I had a bike for a bit but it ended up getting sold because it was in such poor condition. Getting to ride here lately has been something that has really lifted my spirit. Every time I ride somewhere I find myself smiling from ear to ear and loudly humming something in my helmet (the last time I hummed the theme song from Indiana Jones). I almost can't handle how much fun it is.

4. Only occasionally reading up on what's to come

There are a million things that I could be reading right now that pertain to testicular and thyroid cancer: five-year survival rates, current forms of treatment, reviews about doctors. I just can't stand to do that all that often. So I choose to limit how much I look at what is to come. Currently, I'm comfortable, but I know that I won't be. Truth be told, that bothers me, so I don't spend that much time thinking about it.

5. Getting snarky when it comes to cancer 
Cancer is a medical problem I'm dealing with. It's something that takes away peace of mind, causes discomfort, and eats up my time and money. It deserves nothing less than some snarkiness. Maybe I should be more serious about my cancer diagnosis but for me, it helps to be snarky about it. I like cracking jokes. I like it when others around me feel comfortable enough to crack jokes about cancer too.

6. Writing about how I feel
"Dear Diary,
Today I found out I have cancer. I also had a burrito for lunch..."

7. Binge-watching Netflix 
I would just like to say that this post is NOT sponsored by Netflix. However, I'm sure they would like for me to clarify that it is NOT necessary for you to have cancer to enjoy binge-watching Netflix. I've been doing just that. My wife and I find a show that is enjoyable and we watch every single episode until there are none left.

8. Preparing for the recovery downtime 
I know that the recovery from the surgery alone will take some time. I also know that I will likely spend much time sleeping during the first few days. However, after that, I will need things to do to occupy my mind. I love having a podcast saved up so that I have several episodes to catch up on or a book that I can read. I also like to have a project that I can work on. Normally, this is just me saying I should write a book, thinking about it for a while, maybe writing out an outline, and then doing nothing else about it. I think I just enjoy making plans which serve to keep me from dwelling on the cancer.

9. Enjoying things more
I do think I'm enjoying things more. Little things make me laugh harder, small things make me love deeper, and simple things seem more beautiful. The only way I can explain it is that having cancer has made me more intentional.

10. Starting a blog
Obviously... what else would I do.

Bonus: I'm going back to school
I've applied for the doctoral program at MBTS. Funny thing is that I should hear about my acceptance by the 24th... the same day I have surgery to remove the other half of my thyroid. It will be a big day!


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