Guardedly Optimistic

Earlier this week a customer of the dealership inquired how I was doing and how 2012 was starting off with regard to my battle with cancer. This battle was not something I’ve shared with everyone here at Subaru, but when customers do stop in and see someone you know who has been bald, pale, and on crutches or with a walker they may have some questions when you have hair and are walking normally. And despite the perception of most dealerships, if this is a place where the culture is one where relationships are valued and customers are viewed as something more than transactions, connections develop and you get to know each other on a personal level.  

Without really thinking I found myself answering this question on more than one occasion by saying I was starting the year as…guardedly optimistic.  

For those of you who are new to Leveraging Life you can click this link to learn more about what my two-year battle with cancer has looked like. And for the rest of you who have been around here the last two years this post will bring you up to date with my most recent news and why I believe saying I’m guardedly optimistic may actually not be the message I should be giving. 

The Latest News

On December 28, I received the results of my latest PET scan (2nd since chemo ended in August) and the news was good. In my oncologist words, “this is as good as we hoped for and there is NO evidence of active metastatic disease.” 

To say Shari and I were ecstatic would be an understatement, and immediately left his office texting and calling family and friends.  

So why would I reply….I’m guardedly optimistic? 

After some thought and reflection, I know now there are two reasons why I answered that way. Both reasons are a reflection of a place where I was and not of whom I trust.  

For me 2011 started with a “clean” PET scan, not a “good” scan. Unfortunately the scan from last year happened to be misread and a spot on my sacrum, yes we all have one of those, was missed and cancer was present. This false sense of security led me to have an overly optimistic sense of that my cancer battle was one and done. So when on February 14 and I learned that not only the cancer was not beat but it had spread, I was left feeling that results and diagnoses could not be trusted. 

But in the fashion only God can deliver I was left feeling convicted by the fact that for two years every post on Leveraging Life was closed with 

trusting God period 

and a reply of being “guardedly optimistic” was something which left everyone to wonder if what I said and what I believed were two different things.  

I thank God for this lesson and the thought process which resulted, because what became apparent was the fact that God’s plan was far greater than the plan I had for my life.  

Regardless of the mistake with the reading of the scan, had my plan for 2011 been in play: 

  • Shari and I would have only been married two months and not 9½
  • I would have not have experienced what it feels like to see you stepson, not a friend’s child, be Baptized and give his life to Christ.
  • We would not have this story which exemplifies what trust and faith in God represents and looks like, something we feel compelled to share in every opportunity that presents itself. 

So if you and I run into each other on the street or if you inquire via email about how I’m doing….rest assured my reply will be:  

“Doing great, and bessed beyond measure…trusting God period, because I can’t fathom doing life any other way!”


trusting God period! 

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