Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One year later - first meeting with the oncologist

As I think back to this day one year ago, it was probably one of the more frightening days of my journey. As a pastor, I had met with a number of people who had seen oncologists. It was one of the few doctors that I feared, and that was because of the disease he focused on - cancer. So when I was first told that I needed to meet with Dr. Vogel, my blood pressure went up, this meant it was real, I had cancer.

Dr. Vogel is a brilliant man who serves people who are facing life-threatening diseases daily. I truly admire him and the work he does, but to this day, I still get nervous when I have an appointment with him. Again, it is not him, it is the disease and, now, the fear of recurrence.

But at that first meeting, we were not sure what to expect. Jen and I already knew I would be having surgery, but the rest of the treatments were up in the air. So as we sat down and he went over the scans and biopsy, we started to see that there would be more than just surgery.

One thing that impressed me at the beginning was that he already had an idea what caused the cancer. His assumption, which turned out to be right, was that I had a genetic mutation that affected a very small percentage of white males under 40.

So I was/am special:)

But he picked up on that right away. He then went through the surgery and finally said, after surgery we will have radiation and chemo too.

This was the first bombshell, esp for Jen. At this point we were hopeful that it would only be surgery, but to add radiation, and esp. chemo, that sent up more warning flags.

How would I react to the chemo?
How would the girls react?
How much extra work would Jen need to do, at home and the office?
And the list of questions went on.

Looking back, again I was very blessed. I handled the treatments very well and the congregation was an amazing blessing to us every step of the way. It could not have gone smoother.

It is so nice to be able to look back and see those blessings, and see the hand of God every step of the way on this journey.

At my next meeting with Dr. Vogel I am sure I will be nervous again - waiting for results from my April 15th CT Scan. But I am also reassured, because I see God at work in this process and in my life, and I have an oncologist who is a true blessing to me.

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