The Days of Diagnosis

As I sat in my general physician’s office parking lot these words came across the radio…

 

You must

You must think I’m strong

To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me

Forgive me if I’m wrong

But this looks like more than I can do

On my own

 

I had been to doctor’s office twice already about the ulcer on my tongue. I was sweating bullets. The first time I was there I had prayed, and prayed in the parking lot for this painful sore on my tongue to be nothing. I was elated when he said it was a mucosal ulcer, “don’t worry”. You should have seen me praising His name in the truck. I was elated. The second trip was similar but cautiously muted. But this time was different. After coping with it for a month, doing my own research, looking at pictures on Google, I had that gut feeling that it wasn’t going to be something simple.

I prayed to God that day that no matter what the results, that I was His, he was my salvation and I trusted Him completely. No matter what was to come, even if it was the worst of all possible options, I asked Him to give me the strength to suffer well.

The radio continued …

 

I know I’m not strong enough to be

Everything that I’m supposed to be

I give up

I’m not strong enough

Hands of mercy won’t you cover me

Lord right now I’m asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

For the both of us

 

On that day I left the doctor’s office with just as many questions as I had going in. However, I did have one thing, an impromptu appointment with my ENT and was on my way straight to his office to let him take a look at it. The look on his face told me the whole story when he looked at the side of my tongue and said, “Alan, I’m going to have to get a biopsy of that. Have you got time for me to do it today?”

A few days later, Lori and I sat in the ENT’s office waiting on the doctor to let us know the results from the biopsy. Lori and I had prayed for good news, but when he walked in and said “Alan, I want you to know that I have been praying for you” I knew it wasn’t going our way. Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the base of my tongue. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, the whole nine yards. Lori and I took some time to dry our eyes and all I could think to tell her was that it was going to be OK, that God has always provided, He will continue to be merciful and we will continue to be faithful.

 

Well, maybe

Maybe that’s the point

To reach the point of giving up
Cause when I’m finally

Finally at rock bottom

Well, that’s when I start looking up

And reaching out

 

My mind flashes back to sitting in my truck at the general physician’s office. I had made God a promise that no matter the outcome that I was His, He was my salvation and most importantly, if this went bad I would need His strength to suffer well. That has stuck with me everyday since. To suffer well to me means to work hard to make it obvious to those around me that Christ is in my heart, God is in control and the Holy Spirit walks with me every step of the way.

 

I know I’m not strong enough to be

Everything that I’m supposed to be

I give up

I’m not strong enough

Hands of mercy won’t you cover me

Lord right now I’m asking you to be

Strong enough

Strong enough

Song: Strong Enough

Artist: Matthew West