Learning and Burning - Pappy's Pen #13

*Note - This article was written by Kevin Dougherty. This post is part of a continuing series called Pappy’s Pen where he writes about his family, faith and recent cancer diagnosis. *

*Note - This article was written by Kevin Dougherty. This post is part of a continuing series called Pappy’s Pen where he writes about his family, faith and recent cancer diagnosis.*

It’s finally over; I had 5 sessions of radiology over 2 weeks.  Now I just need to wait for my body to “normalize” and have a follow-up in 6 weeks.  I met 2 really good doctors, many great nurses and techs, and other people at the cancer center who were very supportive and helpful.  Even though I hope to never see them again some have really touched me, and not just by putting balloons where they were not intended to go.

I have been told it should take 2-4 weeks for my body to get back to normal.  The radiation will continue to affect my body for about 2 weeks and then wear off.  At least that’s my understanding of it.  My prostate is still inflamed, which causes fatigue as it heals, and also causes “problems” with waste removal.  Meaning burning, reduced flow, constant feeling like I need to go.  Both sides.  The nurse recommended I take an over the counter medicine to reduce the burning.  My wife and daughter picked it up for me after the last treatment and it really helps, but I found out it is a medicine developed for a woman’s UTI relief.  And it turns my urine bright orange.  I may never drink orange crush again.  And on the warning label it states that it may stain contact lenses.  Trying not to think too much about how that happens.

So now I just relax and wait.  I am not at all worried about what the follow up will show.  I will have to go back every 6 months for blood work, etc., over the next few years.  But all this is behind me.  I am now a cancer survivor, or will be officially in 6 weeks.  Looking back on the last 6 months I am very grateful for the prayers and support of family and friends. I hope that by writing down my thoughts and moods maybe someone else will be encouraged.  The really amazing thing is that Nancy and I kept asking ourselves “aren’t we supposed to be mad or upset?”  Yet we weren’t.  We had an incredible peace throughout this journey.  God was there big time.  He’s answered every prayer; no real pain, no catheters, no diapers, no blistering, no internal burns, no more cancer.  His Word tells us that we won’t go through things we can’t handle.  He didn’t test our faith, He proved His love and mercy.

So how come I had this great result and others don’t?  I know it’s NOT because we’re more faithful, better people, or anything to do with us.  I do know prayer works.  And yet I have to contrast what’s happening to me with my mom.  She keeps declining despite everyone’s prayers, despite the fact she was probably a “better person” than me.  Reading Job has taught me that we are wrong when we try to attribute “God’s will” with what is happening in someone’s life.  We don’t and can’t understand the mind of God.  We can’t even figure out why we do the things we do, honestly.  It’s just up to us to love God and love others, let Him sort out the rest.  I still have the same Blessed Hope I had when this whole journey started, although it’s probably even more real now.

Hopefully I have learned thru this, hopefully I will be able to be as loving and supportive if and when this happens to someone else.  I really think this was harder for my wife and family than for me.  It’s hard to sit by when someone you love is sick.  I at least had a choice of how I reacted.  In the past I have not been very understanding when someone was sick or suffering, I just wanted to give them a pill and send them to bed.  Especially if a ball game was on.  I wish I was kidding but I’m not.  I know this is an area I need to grow in, maybe this will help me grow. 

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