Monday, December 14, 2009
Due to the passing of a good friend, an amazing husband and father, Kat Foley Photo will have limited hours starting today, Dec. 14. Please hug those you love so tight, be grateful for the hours you are given, and honor those whose have lived their lives with strength, hope and courage like my friend, Dr. Matt Uday. Matt, your passing leaves a gigantic hole in the hearts and lives of your friends, patients, family, and especially in your wife , Megan and son, Ethan. We were all lucky to know you and are heartbroken for all who knew and loved you.
Here is a post from Matt last Spring.. good for all of us to remember :
ENJOY THE WIND IN YOUR HAIR.
As I took my walk this morning with Ethan, I was reminded of a similar walk three weeks ago, that helped me put those questions behind me once again. It had not been a full week since I had found out that my tumor marker was rising again, but it had been a rough week. I was faced with not only the how's, why's, and what if's, but also the thought of what now? I was worried about myself and about my family, and what they would do without me. I went for a walk that sunny Sunday morning for about an hour and a half, and I prayed the whole time. Prayer has always been important to me, but I have never prayed that long of a prayer in my life. I asked God the questions that had been troubling me all week, and I told Him what I hoped the answers were. I told Him that I did not feel that I was ready to give up down here, and that I still had a lot to contribute to this world. In the end, my plea was simple, I just want to be. I want to be a husband, a father, and a Christian. Beyond that it is all just icing on the cake. I did not try to make a deal with the Lord, but I told him if he continued to give me the strength to fight this, I would beat it and I would be committed to be a better person than I was before; a better husband, a better father, and a better Christian.
Now I know not all of you reading this may share my belief system, but bear with me here a little longer. I am not going to tell you that a booming voice answered my prayer that morning, or that I returned home to find some unmistakable sign from above. I did, however, feel an answer to my prayer. I felt a sense of relief when I finished my prayer. I felt that I had gotten a lot off of my chest, and that the worry I had begun the day carrying was gone. I can't cite the verse, but I know that scripture suggests we allow God to carry our burdens for us. I never really knew how to do that, but since that prayer I have felt that my burdens are gone. Those disturbing questions may still creep into my thoughts at times, but they don't last and they do not haunt me. I no longer fear what the future holds for me, and I have gained a new appreciation for the present. I can truly say that I am no longer worried about cancer. It may sound crazy, but the worry and the fear disappeared.
Instead I am savoring life; at least as much as one can between appointments and treatment. That morning three weeks ago was a beautiful Spring day, and I watched Ethan giggle as the warm breeze lifted the hair up off of his head. I was so worried about what my future may or may not look like, I was beginning to ignore the beauty of the moment. I was worried about whether I would be around to teach Ethan all of the things a father should teach a son, and then his joy in experiencing his first Spring breeze taught me a lesson. Whether faced with cancer or not, our days on this earth are numbered. In the face of cancer it may seem that the number is smaller than it should be, but we still have no way of knowing how many days are left in our lives. Why not spend them giggling at the wind in you hair, instead of pulling it out worrying about the future?
So whether I have 5 days or 5 million days left, why would I spend them worrying and wondering when and how it would come. Instead I am going to enjoy every moment I have, and if I live to be a hundred and two, just imagine the fun I will have in all of those days. I am going to start working on being a better husband, father, and Christian now, rather than waiting until I beat cancer. I am not going to worry nor be afraid, but I am going to focus on being healthy and strong. In the end, I will do everything that I am able to be a better and stronger person. I am going to enjoy life and giggle with Ethan when the wind lifts the hair off his head. It will either be enough to beat cancer or it won't, but either way it will have been worth the ride. Then I will put my faith into God's hands because he has a plan that is far greater than any I can imagine.
It is easy to become consumed with fear and worry, but that is no way to spend your days, no matter how many you have left, nor whether or not you have cancer. My cancer has proven more stubborn than I had expected, but it cannot match my stubbornness. I will fight it every day of my life, but I won't let it run my life. The highlight of my day today was being beaten up by a ten month old! Ethan decided it was time to take on Dad, and he gave it everything he had; he hit me with toy cars, plastic rings, pacifiers, and smacked me with his bare hands. The whole time he shrieked with glee as he won his first wrestling match. When he wakes up from his nap, he will get his first lesson of revenge in the form of some serious tickling. To me, that is a much better way to spend the day than worrying about tomorrow.