My World Right Now

iStockphoto © Nemanja Pesic

I want to apologize to the Leveraging Life community and say that I’m sorry my posts have been off-schedule, intermittent, and random in sequence the last three weeks.  As I outlined in my Derailed post, I was hospitalized with a blood infection for a week and as a result of what I promised in that post I’ve been trying to maintain a sustainable pace in my life. I’m so appreciative of the Troncalli family and my team at Troncalli Subaru for helping and encouraging me to honor that commitment. That being said I’ve been in the catch-up mode at work and around the house which pushed writing Leveraging Life to the back-burner.
During the same time frame my wife’s grandfather passed away and my support of Shari, my stepsons, and her family was far more important to me than spending time in front of a keyboard. Regardless of all those circumstances, I felt I owed all of you who have been so loyal and so encouraging since this blog’s inception 13 months ago an explaination why my posts have been so infrequent. As Leveraging Life, the blog, has matured so many life lessons have reveal themselves to me as I write about this journey which I willingly share here with the hope that in some way it may help someone who visits the site. 
Last Friday I had to battle with my insurance company in order to obtain approval for a PET scan that my doctor said was imperative to charter a course for where my treatment goes from here. Sometimes things that seem so obvious become so tedious when dollars are involved and even after my doctor’s peer to peer review failed to accomplish that goal I had to take matters into my own hands. What most people, including insurance companies and some doctors, don’t realize is Merkel Cell is not some random skin cancer, there are only 1500 cases per year and when it metastasizes it takes on the characteristics of small cell lung cancer. There is no protocol with a cancer that did not even have a unified staging system until 18 month ago. While I was in the hospital a CT scan was done on my left leg where there had been cancerous lesions, and had been the source of pain for some time, and this scan revealed a new “suspicious” area which is outside the previous radiated area. Now this could be “good” news as a result of good cell growth as a result of the Zometa, Neopogen, and Neulasta I have received which helps white blood cells grow at a fast rate.   Or it could be “sot so good” news as it may indicate the cancer has grown resistant to the chemotherapy and could actually be new cancerous growth. Either way what is there at the end of July was not there in early July.
iStockphoto credit © Sean_Warren
In either case I would really appreciate your prayers tonight and or Tuesday morning as Shari and I meet with the oncologist late tomorrow afternoon.
If you were to ask I’d say that I’m prepared either way and I truly think I am, but if I’m honest and transparent I’d also add:
  • I don’t want to go back to square one with treatment
  • I don’t want to have open ended questions where there are no answers. 
  • I don’t want to have expose my wife, my stepsons, our families, and our friends to anymore uncertainty than what cancer has already brought  to our lives.
But I do not know God’s plan for all this and I do trust God period even if in this moment is so hard as I wrestle with everything I mentioned.
  • I do want time to rest without worry. 
  • I do want to be in a place where Shari and I can just be newlyweds without any of the stress cancer introduce to our lives. 
  • I do want to not have to expain why I get fatigued, why I can’t do all the things I want to do, and why I resemble Uncle Fester, Curley, or Elmer Fudd. 
Shorty after Shari and I were married, we participated in our church’s 2 to 1 pre-marital mentoring program. Despite the fact that we were all ready married, North Point’s program was so important to us, as part of laying the foundation for our marriage, we chose to do it even though it was no longer a part of the requirement to be married. Our mentors John and Laurie Swails gave us as a gift a daily devotional, Jesus Calling from Thomas Nelson publishing, which we have read each and every day since receiving. The devotional is structured as if Jesus were taking to you, or as in our case talking to us, and I’d like to share with everyone the message from this morning and if I skip ahead the one for tomorrow.
August 15th: I AM THE GOD OF ALL TIME and all that is. Seek Me not only in the morning quietness but consistently throughout the day. Do not let unexpected problems distract you from My Presence. Instead, talk with Me about everything, and watch confidently to see what I will do.
Adversity need not interrupt your communion with Me. When things go “wrong” you tend to react as if you’re being punished. Instead of this negative response, try to view difficulties as blessings in disguise. Make Me your Refuge by pouring out your heart to Me, trusting in Me at all times.
August 16th: Meet Me in early morning splendor. I eagerly await you here. In the stillness of this holy time with Me. I renew your strength and saturate you with Peace. While others turn over for extra sleep or anxiously tune in to the latest news, you commune with the Creator of the universe. I have awakened in your heart strong desire to know Me. This longing originated in Me, though it now burns brightly in you.
When you seek My Face in response to My Love-call, both of us are blessed. This is a deep mystery, designed more for your enjoyment than for your understanding. I am not a dour God who discourages pleasure. I delight in your enjoyment of everything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think on these things, and My Light in you will shine brighter day by day.
So tonight and tomorrow I will rest in the peace that comes from your prayers, these devotionals, and the verses shared all of which leads me confidently to lean into my Faith and trust God period knowing He has had a plan for my life all along including this stage of my journey.
Thank you so much for joining me in this journey!
trusting God period!

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