I’m Glad I Had Cancer?

I still remember where I sat when the doctor said, “You have cancer.” Lea hadn’t even come with me to the doctor appointment, because neither one of us felt “the lump” was going to be anything serious. I remember going outside to call Lea and tell her that the doctor had just told me that it was cancer. The rest of that month, and summer for that matter, is still like a bad dream.

When it comes to the fact that I’ve had cancer, I try not to wear it on my sleeve for the sake of pity or sympathy. But I do like to be vocal about it from time to time, celebrating the fact that God has blessed me in my victory over cancer. I also think it’s important to talk about it for the sake of being pro-active in cancer research and support.

Seven years ago after being told I had cancer, and after my first surgery, my doctor presented me with three option…

  • I could start a long hard road of chemotherapy and radiation immediately.
  • I could take a HUGE gamble and possibly bypass the chemotherapy if I was willing to have a second BIG surgery. IF that surgery showed that the cancer had not spread, I could miss out on all the chemo and radiation and just do follow up (cat scans, blood work & x-rays). I still laugh when I remember how the doctor described the “BIG” surgery, as he called it. He said, “I’m going to make an incision from just below your sternum all the way to your pelvis. Then I’m going to literally lift your intestines and organs out of the way, so I can remove your lymph nodes. Your lymph nodes will tell us if the cancer has spread. It’s going to be one tough surgery, but you’re young and you should make it fine.” I remember thinking, “What? I should make it fine?”
  • The third option was having the “BIG” surgery, and if it showed the cancer had spread, I would still have to have the chemo after I recovered from the surgery.

Seven years ago today, I took a huge gamble, and I had my second surgery  3 weeks after the first one, hoping to miss out on chemo and radiation. My doctor went into my abdomen and pelvis and removed the lymph nodes to see just how far my cancer had spread. After 2 days in ICU and 4 more in the hospital recovering from having everything in my abdomen moved around, my doctor told me that he’d found no cancer anywhere else. The gamble had paid off, and I was going to be able to miss out on the chemotherapy.

I spent the rest of the summer recovering from that big surgery, but I got to miss out on the chemo and radiation. The summer of 2003 challenged me and changed me in many ways. Cancer made me refocus and re-prioritize my life in amazing ways. It made me a better husband, father and Christian man. It strengthened my faith.

I’m not sure I could ever say, “I’m glad I had cancer,” but I am glad for what I learned. I would never wish cancer on anyone, but it’s amazing how God can take a bad thing like cancer and make good things come out of it.

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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. Trey Morgan tagged this post with: Read 1182 articles by
20 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Sarah S. says:

    We are in a place at our house where it’s hard to say we are glad we are here, but we are thankful for the myriad of evidences of God in the midst of it that we would miss if life were “normal”. I don’t think I’m thankful you had cancer, either, but I’m thankful you are here today, Trey!

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Sarah … it’s pretty amazing to see how God works through events and circumstances. I think even if it’s what we call a bad event, it’s still good if it draws us closer to God.

  2. NB says:

    I’m not glad you had cancer either, but you’re right, it IS amazing how God can take a bad thing and make good things come out of it!

  3. Cressie Willis says:

    My really good friend’s 14 year old daughter Madison, just found out she has a rare cancer. Today she is starting chemo. She is a very strong young lady. She has started a blog to share with people what she is going through. http://www.madisonsmission.blogspot.com. Please add her and Matt’s aunt Peggy to your prayer list. Peggy just found out she has bone cancer. She had cancer 2 years ago and it came back. God is good! You are a great example of that!!

  4. Carl Feril says:

    I rejoice the same way. Three years ago this week (during VBS), I felt bad, my back was out, I was horribly constipated, and I hadn’t been comfortable enough to sleep at night for 5 days so Friday I went to the Doctor. My wife went with me, because at that time I was the macho man who never went to the doctor. I thought I would get a high powered laxative or at worst an enema. Two hours later I was in the hospital with my physician and a surgeon taking my history. Their combined report was that they were sure I had colon cancer in an advanced state. They told us they would know more after the surgery but to be prepared for some very bad news.
    I have the same scar, mine’s longer because of my big belly, but they found no cancer after “pulling my colon out, laying it on the table and combing it with a fine tooth comb”, according to the surgeon. My gall bladder had caused my pancreas to begin to die. My being tough and stubborn about cost me my life.
    Recovery was slow, Family Camp 3 weeks later had me only teaching my class from a chair and watching everyone else do the activities. My co-director took on the entire load. Life returned to normal over the next few months.
    God was good, sparing my life, sparing my wife and sons the grief that follows. I praise him for my health and I am more attentive to it. I learned more about letting others care for my needs, and I think became a better more sensitive caregiver.
    VBS begins this week so I remember the anniversary of it well. I don’t know why he spared me, I am grateful for more time to praise and serve him here.
    I am glad he spared you brother! One day we will have to compare “zippers”.

  5. That just put my day into perspective.

    Also, how odd to live in an age where people are disemboweled in procedures intended to save their lives.

    Thankful you’re with us.

  6. Zack Blaisdell says:

    Trey, that is powerful! Truly, truly God is the ONE who gives the weak strength to pull through in tough times. Thanks for your example dear brother. God bless you and your family as y’all AIM to make disciples in Childress, TX and Miami, FL.
    Zack
    http://zackblaisdell.wordpress.com

  7. Greg England says:

    Haven’t had cancer (that I know of) but I remember feeling bad for several months and finally going to our doctor in Florida. He told me I either had pancreatic cancer or my gall bladder was all out of whack (which, coming from him, I assumed to be a medical term). Turns out it was my gall bladder, but the thought of facing pancreatic cancer was a stunning blow! I’m glad you took the risk and have been cancer free. You continue to be a blessing to my life through your blog.

  8. Jenny Close says:

    Trey, I am so thankful that you survived and are able to be the good, Christian, family man that you are today. I, too, am a survivor. Ten years ago I fought two brain aneurysms, a stroke and spinal meningitis so I know what those anniversaries mean to you because I take great pride in each one myself. I survived for many reasons and each day I thank God that he has given me the day to worship him and love my family.

  9. Wow Trey, It’s hard to believe that it was that long ago. I remember finding out about you having cancer and the uncertainty that I felt with the situation. You were definatly refined by this experience. Blessings to you on this anniversary.
    Matt

  10. suzi hodges says:

    Trey, if you had not made it we would not have you in our lives today. I thank God for that. I have never had cancer but some pretty tough situations where I honestly did not think I would make it through another day. I have to stop and remember that every trial we go through is just another way of God teaching and re molding us into His image. He has a plan and purpose for us and sometimes that bad is just a glimpse of the blessings that will follow. God has used you in amazing ways, he saved you for a reason. I am so glad you are here and that you use Gods strength to keep going with a that unforgettable smile of yours. Love ya brother :)

  11. I’m so thankful things turned out for you the way they did. I’ve never had cancer but I have had 17 major surgeries since 1972; my last one being in 2004. I had a gallbladder attack and had never had a single symptom until the day before I ended up in the emergency room. I was in the hospital four days, literally hanging on by the proverbial thread before the doctors finally found the root of the problem. A sonogram and cat scan showed a healthy gallbladder, finally after an endoscopic test they discovered my gallbladder had indeed been full of stones and had completely emptied out causing a blockage of my pancreas. Yep- gallbladder pancreatitis. I can assure you it is a most painful condition. I had surgery on the fifth day and spent another week in the hospital. I told Larry not to worry; there isn’t much of anything left for them to remove that I can’t live without. I’m down to ‘necessities’ now. Each experience has strengthened my faith.

  12. Dee Andrews says:

    Trey – Thanks for your “anniversary” remembrance. Your scar starts where mine (& now two months ago) Tom’s end – ours being from having our sternums sawed in half for heart bypass surgeries. I mean, the guy just had to go “all in” for us to have matching scars!

    But, for me, the anniversary I never forget (besides my 5 heart bypasses in my 50s), was 40 years ago this year when my third baby was born – a son, Mark – and I became a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic. That has ever since colored literally every second of every minute of every hour, day and year of my life because of its burdens and cares.

    When 10 years later my little 13 year old daughter became diabetic, I thought the world had ended. But, we both are doing well and always encouraging people to watch their health, as most diabetes – Type 2 – can be prevented, unlike ours, which is type 1/insulin dependent.

    Thanks for your encouragement to all of us, Trey. I’m in Abilene this week and will be back in Dallas (McKinney) this weekend for a few days, so have been thinking a lot of you . . . being close by.

    Dee

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Dee… I’m glad things have worked out. We’re learning that God never promised us pain free living, but he did promise us he’d be with us. I’ve got to go to Abilene this week, wish it was going to be when you are there. Would love to have a cup of coffee with you and hug your neck.

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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