WHAT I LEARNED FROM CANCER

Today I celebrate life. It is my anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary, but my cancer anniversary.

Five years ago today, my jaw dropped as I sat in a doctor’s office and heard the doctor say, “You have cancer.” So much of that day is still such a blur in my memory. The only things I remember about that day were hearing the words, “It’s cancer,” and calling my wife to tell her what I had just found out. It was the very last thing I expected the doctor to say. And it totally changed my life.

I had my first surgery the very next day. Wanting to avoid chemotherapy, I opted to go with a second major surgery about three weeks after the first surgery. The second surgery required a one-week stay in the hospital. It was not fun.


I’m reminded of what cancer has taught me: The only
things that really matter in life are my faith, my family & my friends.

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. As I celebrate life today on my 5 year anniversary date, here are a few 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 cards and prayers came 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.”

Every morning when I rise I can see the two scars that remind me that I have had cancer. But today on May 6th, I celebrate my life being cancer free. Having cancer has changed me in ways I could not imagine or predict. And, I’m reminded again today of the most important lesson I’ve learned from cancer: “The things that really matter in life are simple … my faith, my family & my 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
44 Comments Post a Comment
  1. blogprophet says:

    Amen!

    glad you are still around for our sake, brother.

  2. Donna says:

    I am thankful for your praying friends…otherwise I would have never known you.

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  3. Dcmba says:

    Congratulations on you anniversary! Glad thinngs are going well.

  4. jel says:

    WOOHOO!

    Am glad that ya kicked cancer’s butt!

  5. Lady Vankovic says:

    I was blog hunting and i found yours.. i have seen so many of my family members die of cancer. Its really scary.. And even though i dont know you i am so happy that your still here, encouraging me, a stranger thru your blog.

  6. Tucker says:

    May today and your words help all of us take a moment and ponder why God leaves us here instead of just taking us home. I am glad you are still around. You are an awesome inspiration!

  7. That Girl says:

    To God be the glory!

    I’m glad you’re a survivor ’cause I wouldn’t know how great it is to kick your booty in Fantasy Racing! :)

  8. merry says:

    Glad you posted this right now. I sent a link to a 29-year old friend who started chemo yesterday. In the midst of many depressing cancer stories, it is good to be reminded that an obstacle can become an opportunity.

  9. Amy says:

    Amazing post!! We are so blessed to have you in our lives, Trey!

  10. Stachia says:

    You forgot to put the disclaimer on there that says “This will make you cry”. Happy Annniversary!!!!

  11. John Roberts says:

    Trey – Congratulations on your anniversary! Like all the rest, I thank God he gave you life – you are an inspiration every day through the things you write and share.
    And a prayer for many, many more…

  12. Shane Coffman says:

    Happy Anniversary, friend.

    Strength is truly made perfect in weakness.

  13. doug young says:

    Trey,

    Happy Anniversary. You really are an amazing soul. I hope I can meet you soon. I really would love to!

  14. doug young says:

    Trey,

    Happy Anniversary. You really are an amazing soul. I hope I can meet you soon. I really would love to!

  15. Odgie says:

    Trey,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It means a great deal to me, having lost two friends close to me in age to cancer in the last two years. May you celebrate many more cancer-free anniversaries.

    Odgie

  16. Anonymous says:

    Glad to share a birthday with such an amazing answer to prayer!! Happy anniversary bro.. Hopefully we can get a run this afternoon..

    Zach

  17. Stoogelover says:

    Whoa, Trey! Congrats on another year of being cancer free and thank you for sharing this with us. I’d read this on your blog before, but had forgotten the journey you and Lea made six years ago. Whatever I’ll face today regarding work or finances will pare in comparison. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

    Oh yes, thank you for reminding me, too, of the power of prayer!!

  18. jamie riley says:

    Trey – your story is a powerful witness of God’s amazing love and strength. I’m blessed that he brought you through to share your life with us…

    Thanks for sharing, and Happy Anniversary!

    Love ya bro…

  19. Brie says:

    The fifth anniversary is such a milestone! Congratulations! I loved reading your list.

    Big illnesses have a way burning off the things that aren’t important. It sounds trite to say that it grants you a sense of perspective, but that’s about the only good thing I saw happen when my Dad fought his cancer.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Happy anniversary…that is an important one…I am sure glad that you are here to share your story and your life with all of us..congrats to you and your family…take care of yourself…steph

  21. Zack says:

    So glad your well dear brother! Love you and praying for you. God bless!

  22. nick says:

    I thank God for you, brother.

  23. Haley says:

    Amazing! Clearly God knew that you still had a lot of work to do and a lot of lives to touch so praise God that you are cancer free!!

  24. Terry says:

    Trey,
    Happy anniversary! Your story puts everything into perspective.

  25. Brandon and Katie says:

    Katie and I are both happy that God wanted you to stick around! We love you so much! Keep being the light!

  26. Toni Burns says:

    Congratulations. It must feel amazing to have won the battle against cancer. Glad that you are still around. You are a major inspiration to a lot of people. I know when I have a bad day I always try to check your blog for a boost. We are working on our schedule for this summer. We are going to be in the states all of July and we are going to try and make it to Childress for a day or two. We will let you know.

  27. willow says:

    Happy Anniversary Trey!

    What a wonderful blessing to add to your resume.

    To God be the glory!!!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I couldn’t make it without you in my life. To God give the glory, great things He has done. gmj

  29. TREY MORGAN says:

    Thank you to everyone. I appreciate your words. And I’d like to say to my mom (who I know will read this), sorry I said the word “butt” mom!

  30. Emma says:

    The BEST anniversary present ever!!!
    You are such an inspiration!… I thank God for you and for what you do! YOU ARE MY HERO!

  31. Brooke says:

    Happy Anniversary! I can still remember going to visit you in the hospital and you putting the biggest smile on my face because you weren’t going to let the cancer get the best of you at all. I am so blessed to have had you as a preacher and even more blessed to call you my friend. Congrats!!!

  32. johndobbs says:

    Trey, great post…makes me love you even more! What a great encouragement.

    As you know both of my parents have cancer at this time … my dad is not projected to make it.

    I am thankful that we believe in a God who has kicked the devil’s butt already and the victory is won … no matter what happens here.

    jd

  33. shei says:

    trey – i love you.
    -shei

  34. solo says:

    Very thankful you’re here!

    Happy Anniversary!

  35. Pastor David says:

    Congrats, Trey- God is good and thanks to all that prayed for you. Made a comment on my blog about your anniversary.

  36. Cressie says:

    I am so glad that you beat cancer and are still part of my family. Love ya! Cress

  37. James says:

    Sorry I didn’t get a chance to chime in yesterday. But, just a reminder for you anyway that we are glad you’re around. God blesses many through you. Hope today is great.

  38. Mike Riley says:

    Congratulations on a most meaningful anniversary.

    I firmly believe that cancer made me a better person. I KNOW that it deepened my faith.

    May God continue to shower His blessings upon you.

  39. Dee Andrews says:

    Trey –

    I was traveling yesterday, so didn’t get to read this post, but wanted to leave you a comment today.

    I’m so thankful that God answered all of the prayers He did on your behalf, so that your four boys could grow up with their dad to be there and care for them like you do.

    I’m sure it must have been a life-changing event in many, many different ways, not all of them good, perhaps, but you display an exemplary Christian life and attitude as a husband, father and minister. Most of all, for all of us, as a Christian blogger of reknown.

    May God richly bless you with a long life on this earth in His service!

    Much love,

    Dee

  40. Timbra Wiist Owner/Photographer says:

    trey. . .there’s not much that hasn’t been said, but thank God for prayer and friends and well, thank God for God I suppose! PS. . now you know why women say there’s no dignity left after childbirth. . . that whole hospital gown thing!

  41. Diane L. Harris says:

    Dear Trey,

    From one cancer survivor to another, God bless you. God’s got a purpose for you that isn’t completed yet; how wonderful. As for me I think I’m just getting to the deepest part of His plan for me, 16 years after my breast cancer surgery. What an awesome God.

    Diane L. Harris
    http://www.steppingintothelight.net

  42. katy says:

    Great testimony. Since I don’t know you, what kind of cancer did you have?

  43. karin says:

    Thanks be to God for continuing to use you to be a blessing to others in your family, your church family and the greater body of Christ. Have lost some dear friends to cancer. I know I’m late with this comment, but better late than never. Just recently found your blog, don’t remember how, but I like what I read here.

  44. westcoastwitness.com says:

    Wow – was browsing your blog today and noticed the link to this post – I never knew.

    Those lessons you learned are timeless, and all who’ve read this have been blessed.

    Bless you, brother. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Merry Christmas.

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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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
  • He was pretty tough to listen to as well.
  • As crazy as it might sound, Chris Collinsworth just might be worse to listen to than the song Christmas Shoes.
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