Coping With Cancer: Message From Nate

Guest contributor Margaret Nyman has been chronicling the 42 days after her husband Nate, a patient at Rush University Medical Center, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This post was written by Nate.

October 7, 2009

Blogging now stands for what used to be called stream-of-consciousness writing, so here it is. My mom died at 91, Dad at 76. I am 64, and at noon on 9/22/09 a team of highly respected doctors told me I might have less than six months to live. My parents got more decades of life than I ever will, but I am grateful that during my six decades I’ve enjoyed good health.

It’s really not about how many years a person gets. Rather its how we use the ones we have. It’s not about the number of candles on the cake but rather how good the cake tastes.

During these last two weeks, many thoughts have crowded my brain. First came numbness, then pain. I’ve thought about finances for the family, and also about my own uncompleted work. I also pondered soul-issues. In addition, many of my life goals will remain unreached, although I know now that some of them were unattainable anyway.

The family I have has contributed strongly to the quality of my life. I’ve also had many opportunities, such as attending college and law school and participating in the military, that others haven’t had. I’ve been able to attend the best churches in the country and have been taught by the greatest preachers.

I enjoy a personal faith in Christ, especially now, despite the circumstances. I have assurance that it will all work out for good, eternally. My Bible tells me, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

If I could sign on a dotted line to get out of this, my pen would already be out of my pocket. But that isn’t reality. In the end, it all boils down to two things, just as the old hymn says: trust and obey. Apparently this is God’s will for me, and I accept it.

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