Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eerily calm

I knew as soon as he walked into the room. He's usually quick to make eye contact and shake hands, but on that day, he greeted me and looked away. My oral surgeon had removed a suspicious lesion from the side of my tongue a week earlier. I love how we describe lesions as "suspicious" - like they have a brain that guides their devious, destructive plan for each day. Seems strange, but fitting, especially for this one that was slowly eating away at my tongue like it was dessert - something to be savored not devoured. Anyway, he asked how I was feeling, and I let him know that my mouth actually felt better than it had in a year. He responded, "I'm glad to hear that, but unfortunately, you have squamous cell cancer."

I don't think I even blinked. I couldn't feel emotion yet. It was like my intuition that I was about to hear something really bad had made me eerily calm. He began explaining what might lie ahead for me concerning further diagnostics and treatment, but I could tell he was uncomfortable. It was obvious that he doesn't hand out cancer diagnoses every day. Isn't it funny how we often end up comforting those who are charged with comforting us? I felt so bad for him. He couldn't stop talking. To be fair, I asked plenty of questions, but he kept talking even after the questions were sufficiently answered. He wanted to be able to do more, to call it a mistake, to close up the wound neatly as surgeons do. Instead, he felt like he was opening a nasty one. I found myself trying to reassure him with, "It's okay ... someone had to do it." But, I have cancer. He can't fix that, and I can't make him feel better about it.

There is One who is able to fix it, though. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." -Job 13:15


Moran said...

Your perspective, insight, and unwavering faith are inspiring Daniel. Thank you for helping everyone who has ever come to know you also come to know Him.

Anonymous said...


Have been praying and sharing with others about you all day. I promise there is no one in the building that has not thought of you today, I have made sure of that. I just learned that there is a special prayer get together tomorrow night at one of the churches here in Livingston. We all plan to be there. We hope that our prayers will lift you and let you know how much you are truly loved by your family here at Medical Arts.

You are in our thoughts, prayers and hearts...always.


Anonymous said...

Dear Doctor Daniel,

I was so saddend to hear of you situation. Marla told me Friday when I saw her. I instantly began praying. I will continue to pray. Your blog is like a book in the bible. You are an inspired man of God. You are being uplifting to other in your time of need. I pray that GOd will heal you and make you whole again. We need you in this work but like you said "the Lord knew our lives before we were born"
I just want you to know you made a great positive impact on my life when I moved here two years ago in July. I was placed here by GOd and he brought good people into my life. You Daniel are one of them.
I was reading Proverbs and it is an amazing book of the bible. "He that loveth purness of heart, for the Grace of his lips the king shall be his friend."
You are a pure hearted man. You are so kind. I wish I could do something to make this all go away. I will be in constant prayer for you and your loved ones.
You are an amazing man even in your sturggles. God surely has blessed you.
Hope to hear god news soon
Your friend
Joni Jones