CANCER CHANGED MY LIFE

Lance Armstrong has a commercial airing in which he stares into the camera and says, “Remember me cancer? You made me who I am today?” That quote really hits home with me.

On May 6th of 2003, I sat in Dr. Pate’s office and he looked at me and said, “You have cancer. You’re young and healthy, you should be able to beat this thing.” So much of that day is still such a blur in my memory. The only things remember about that day were hearing the words, “It’s cancer.” And calling my wife to tell her.

It was SO unexpected. It was the last thing I expected the doctor to say. And it changed my life.

I had my first surgery later that week. Wanting to avoid chemotherapy, I instead opted to go with a 2nd major surgery two weeks after the first surgery. The second surgery required a one-week stay in the hospital.

As my 4 year anniversary date is here I thought about some lessons I’ve learned from cancer.

  • I learned that my illness brought out so many friends I didn’t even know I had. I had over 250 cards sent to me (I still keep them in an old shoe box). Many from people and churches I didn’t even know. I was over whelmed with love and support.
  • I learned that there are no “do-overs” in life, so you should make the most of every day.
  • I learned all over again that my wife is an amazing woman, as she supported me through tough times.
  • I learned that it’s impossible to have any sort of self-dignity in a hospital gown.
  • I learned that real love, not the stuff you see in the movies or on soap operas, is my wife telling me I look “great” to her, even when I was pale, skinny, sick, throwing up and too weak to do a thing.
  • I learned that it was okay to be scared. And, that it was okay to ask God, “Why?”
  • I learned that in 2003 God answered prayers and that prayer can change anything!
  • “Remember me, cancer? My friends kicked your butt with prayer.”

So tomorrow when I celebrate my 4-year anniversary I’ll remember, cancer does change you in ways you cannot imagine or predict. It reminds me of what is really important in life: God, family & friends.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
31 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Anonymous says:

    that’s awesome. thanks for sharing that.

    brian

  2. Neva says:

    I am grateful for the man you are today—however you got there! I am so awed by a God who can take horrible events and make them into wisdom, growth and compassion. He is so awesome and you, my friend, are way cool!

    Peace
    Neva

  3. Messianic Gentile says:

    It is a tremendous blessing that we have you and cancer does not. Praise God!

    Happy anniversary.

    Jesus is Lord!

  4. Monalea says:

    You know, sometimes you forget what you precious brother has been through when you are so involved in your own things. Thanks for the reminder, I’m glad God answers prayers!

    Monalea aka WWW

    p.s. You used the ‘B’ word….Ummm!

  5. nb says:

    You’re an amazing person Trey! Thanks for sharing the things you’ve learned.

  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    I’m not sure amazing is the word I would use. I don’t think I acted any different than anyone else. In fact I was a little ashamed that I was supposed to be a “man of faith,” yet I continually asked God to give me more time to raise my kids.

    I don’t think it was a sign of weakness, just human-ness. :)

  7. Di says:

    Wow. I hardly know you but cannot imagine life if you were not a part of it.

    I lost my dad and brother to cancer. My brother was a year older than I am now when he found out he had cancer. He had kidney cancer and the tumor was the size of a football, too big for them to get it all.

    He lived for a year. I miss my brother and after he died I wished with all my heart that I had shared the pastoral misconduct with him. He considered Bob a friend. I wonder what would have happened if I had told him of the abuse.

    Like Monolea, I find it easy to forget that others are battling their own battles when we are in the midst of ours.

  8. Dee O'Neil Andrews says:

    Trey –

    I had no idea. I’m glad you’re still with us, fella! And I think it’s the right thing to do (for the record) to pray for more time with your kids. I’m glad God has answered that prayer.

    Godspeed, friend. And . . .

    Cheers! & Blessings to you all today! Dee

    P. S. Trey – Email me at “dee_andrews@bellsouth.net” because I want to interview you for my blog, if you will be so kind as to take the few minutes to fill out the responses to my questions. I’ve been running interviews with fellow bloggers every Tuesday on my blog, Finding Direction since January and it is a big hit with everyone. I’d LOVE for you to participate, if you will. Mike Cope has even agreed to do one for me after school (ACU) is out for the summer, so I’m excited about that.

  9. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Praise the Lord for your healing. I have many other young friends that were only healed from cancer after having seen their Father in heaven. One of these friends was stricken when he was in high school the first time. He lived strong for Jesus and got to enjoy 3 kids before the second time hit him. The people that he touched during his second chance were inspired by his life and many went into the ministry. He taught me what you said about not having “do-overs”.

    Thanks for sharing and the reminder. You too are one that people are learning from your second, (or third?) chance. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to live.

    BTW, I love you brother.
    Kathy

  10. Robert D. Lukenbill, III says:

    Brother Trey thanks for sharing that wonderful story with us. I am so glad things worked out for you and that God has allowed you to stay with your family and work for him for many more years to come. God truly is an awesome God!

  11. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I’m with you and Kathy on the lessons we can learn. You made a comment that you thought a man of faith would not ask God for time with the kids. I am not sure that God did not honor that more than any other request. That is a man of faith’s greatest responsibility.

    Congratulations, glad you are still around. You have always been a shining light.

    James

  12. Bob Bliss says:

    Trey, on one of the episodes of Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, the team was building a house for a family and the father/dad had been through a battle with cancer. I don’t remember all the details but during the show the father/dad said, “Cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me.” I thought what spirit!

    Reminds me of James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (NASB)

    Glad to hear of your faith and joy.

  13. Di says:

    Trey, on the feeling ashamed of yourself for being human: My first therapist learned a lesson from me – by being human and making mistakes and allowing me to see how she handled herself, I learned it was ok to make mistakes. She learned not to worry so much about mistakes because in making them she modeled to me and others that is ok.

    By being human and weak you can allow those you serve to see that is it ok to be weak and needy and human and scared.

    When ministers hide their humanity from the flock, I think they are doing them a disservice.

    Tom, my pastor, once told me of a speaker who told all the pastors in the room to get off the cross and let Jesus be the perfect one.

    I need you to be weak just as much as I need you to be strong, brother.

  14. lisa leichner says:

    Wow! Happy Kicked-Cancer’s-Butt Day!! (sorry, I don’t get to say the B word in my house very often — hope Monalea’s not mad!!)

    Trey, I have to echo what others have said. Maybe I’m a little selfish to thank God that I got a chance to get to know you — but I also am truly grateful for your wife and sons that you are still alive today. What a blessing you all are to so many, and I know you treasure each other so deeply.

    Thanks for sharing the lessons you’ve learned. You truly are a man of faith and a blessing to have in my life. :o)

  15. Robert D. Lukenbill, III says:

    If I remember correctly there was an apostle who called himself the chief of sinners….hmmm who was that?

    Fight the good fight brother!

  16. TREY MORGAN says:

    Good thing my 11 year old and 5 year old don’t read the blog. The “butt” word might get me a little “soap in the mouth.”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Glad your still with us. This world would be much dimmer without you around. Its great to hear things are going great and your still cancer free. Keep up the good work.

    Ches

  18. Don Neyland says:

    trey-
    Congratulations! :)

  19. Monalea says:

    Lisa,
    I heard that!!!!

    Monalea

  20. lisa leichner says:

    oops.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m late coming in on this blog, but I, too, thank our Father that you are still going strong for Him. I have a friend in Houston who has been battling breast cancer for five years, and it has now gone into her liver, lungs and bones. She has been in many test trials and keeps a marvelous attitude of faith in God, no matter what. But she also prays constantly that she will live long enough for she and her husband to see their daughter, now 7, grow up, and I also pray for her to be able to do that. I certainly will include you in my prayer list. You seem to be a great man of faith. God continue to be with you and your family. Lisa’s Nana

  22. TREY MORGAN says:

    Thanks Nana! :)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Trey, I have been cancer free for
    8 years now (kidney). As you can
    remember my would have never been
    found had me and my wonderful sister(Sandi) not been in a horrible car wreck outside of Dimmitt, going to a basketball game
    (Shalane). Thank God for every-
    thing. HE is awesome.

    Toni

  24. TREY MORGAN says:

    Toni – You are a blessed girl. I remember that wreck and when they found your cancer. God had a hand in that. AND if I remember right, Sandi can’t drive. 😉

  25. Gallagher says:

    Wow! and God is great!

    All I can say is WOW!

  26. Donna says:

    I never know why someone updates an old post and it hits me…thanks for sharing this right now. I have been procrastinating a visit to the Doctor….I think your post was speaking to me.

  27. john dobbs says:

    Trey, I’m guessing that I wasn’t reading your blog back in March when you posted this? I heard you reference cancer in one of your sermons and meant to ask you about it … and see here there is a post about it. I’m glad you have it linked to your front page so others can see it and experience hope.

  28. john dobbs says:

    Not March…May. doh!

  29. chipper says:

    I have a similar experience as anonymous had. Had kidney cancer 16 years ago. Was only found because I was going to the doctor for tremendous bi lateral leg pains and took a back x ray. The doctor called me that night,told me to forget my leg pains as I had a mass back there to check out. Woke up the next morning with no more leg pains. They were given to me by “WHO ELSE”to have me go to the doctor and discover the cancer. They removed the cancer and kidney and have given me 16 years and counting. Praise be to HIM!!!

  30. TREY MORGAN says:

    Chipper … I praise God with you!!!

  31. Terry says:

    Thanks for sharing your lessons.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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