I had planned to write a weekend update today to tell you all about my birthday weekend, what all we did, etc. The truth is, my birthday was very insignificant compared to what was going on. I promised myself when I started this blog that I would be honest with my readers. I’m not going to put on a face for you. When I’m happy and celebrating, I want you to all take part in that celebration with me. And when things aren’t so great, I want to tell my friends – all of you – about that, too.
One of my best friends from college has been battling stage 4 cancer for the last 2 and a half years. The year before he was diagnosed, he had a car wreck that nearly killed him. He spent that whole year having surgeries, physical therapy, all kinds of stuff. He was married to his wife in December 2013, one year after his wreck and was diagnosed with cancer the following month. It has been a really rough few years. That’s putting it nicely. You know what though? He has been the most positive person through it all. His entire family has fought with him and had the most positive attitude. He has impacted so many lives through this and I don’t think he realizes the amount of people he has reached through the way he has handled these last couple of years. He and his wife started a Facebook group to keep family and friends updated through his journey and every post he has written has been so powerful. He has completely changed the way I look at life. I’ve watched my friends and seen them change through this as well. He has brought some to Christ. One friend in particular started coming to church after not going for a long time and was baptized and is now on fire for God. It’s been amazing to see his journey and faith grow through all of this as well.
He was rushed to the ICU last week. I don’t want to get into all of the details because they aren’t mine to share, and because I would be typing forever. So much has happened in the last week. There have been many ups and downs, progress and set backs. Lots and lots of tears as we found out that the cancer has spread to his brain. Lots and lots of prayers, hugs, friends, family, encouragement, support. It has been a rough weekend. I was so thankful for my 6 closest friends surrounding his bed in the ICU on Friday night. His wife let us have that moment. It was so kind because if it were Ryan, I don’t know that I could be so selfless to give up even a minute with him, but she did.
His wife is such a wonderful, beautiful woman. She has been so strong throughout all of this. She is a nurse and she has taken so much care of him. She is incredible. Her spirit and her faith is amazing.
He is awake and doing okay, now. We were blessed to see him again yesterday and talked with him. He was cracking jokes and making us all laugh. He even gave me one of his famous bear hugs before we left. I am so thankful for that time that God blessed us with. It is not easy watching a loved one suffer so tremendously and for so long. We are being very prayerful in the days to come.
This has been a very tough week for his family and his friends. I wish I had happy news to share with you about my weekend, but this is reality. This is life. This is God’s plan, and I’m learning to have faith through good times and bad. I’m learning to praise God in this storm and every storm of my life. It’s not easy and downright painful at times, but God, I will praise you in this storm.