Monday, May 26, 2008

Tenacious Tim

Two years ago, I related the story of my friend Tim (here) who had just been diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. At the time, Tim's battle had just begun but he was already showing signs of being a fighter who would not allow some silly stinking disease to take him down. Just a sample excerpt ...
At one point a doctor sat by the side of his bed discussing the treatment plans and protocols that were in store for him. That was fine … until she began to rattle off a string of percentages about how many people make it through this course or that, and their survival rates at each stage of treatment. Tim had had enough. He leaned forward and, with a piercing determination in his voice said, “I don’t care about all your statistics. Just tell me what I need to do. I’m going to beat this thing.”A few days later, still reeling from the chemotherapy that was racking his entire system, and with blood counts that had all dropped to near zero, his wife Missy arrived at the hospital to visit him only to find his room empty. She asked the nurse if he had been taken somewhere. No, he hadn’t.

Now Missy was getting anxious. She began searching the hallway knowing that Tim hated being trapped in his hospital bed; thinking he had escaped to just go move around a little. As she walked a little frantically down the hallway, she began to hear a rhythmic squeaking sound emanating from a room up ahead. Missy approached the door and peaked into an area she hadn’t seen before. There was Tim, his blue hospital gown draped over his pumping legs. Next to him stood a drip stand from which intravenous medicine flowed through tubes connected to his neck. Tim was peddling a stationary bike for all he was worth.
Today is the two year anniversary of his diagnosis. I could try to comment on how much Tim's battle affected all of us and describe what an inspiration he is to so many, but instead of doing that I choose to let you hear directly from Tim. His words reveal the kind of guy he is -- and the kind of faith we should all hope to mimic ...
Today is May 26th, exactly 2 years from my diagnosis of ALL. Thanks to God and great Physicians/meds/research, I am still in remission and doing great. In usual form I celebrated with a 60 mile bike ride yesterday and today I am hanging with my family celebrating Missy's B-day. The experience of being a cancer patient has changed my life forever. I have greater appreciation for life and its fragility. I am much more spiritual and have greater reliance and trust in God. I have learned that life is about our relationships and not our accomplishments or material prizes. I have experienced fear at its greatest level, bitterness, and pain, but also peace, love and perseverance. Most of all I have realized how blessed I am to have have so many awesome people around me ready to drop everything and be there when the times are tough. For this, I thank them (YOU) all today for their unbelievable love. My wife is an angel sent from god, my true soul mate. She has gone through this battle and back and never wavered in her support or strength to keep this family together. I am blessed with three beautiful kids that are the light of my life. Thank god they take after their mother. I have friends that I have cried with, some that have picked me up when I am down, and others that are just always by my side. Of course, I still have the ability to ride and run until I feel like my heart is going to explode and remind myself that I am ALIVE! If I had not had cancer, I don't know that I would have realized how great my life on earth is even though I have been faced with tough trials and will again. However, once was enough to wake me up so let's all pray today for this last year of treatment to be successful and that in three more years we are celebrating a cure. Pray bold prayers for this situation and the difficulties you have in your life. All things are possible through God. Take the time to thank God for all the blessings we have in this life, give credit where credit is due!

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