My wife and I sat in a small room at MD Anderson. The Dr. came in and told me I had a rare type of cancer, that there was no cure and I had less than 3 years to live. He asked if I would consent to a trial with a treatment regimen including high-dose chemotherapy, total body radiation and a bone marrow transplant. We were speechless. I was consumed by fear, doubt, denial, anger, etc. I was short on faith, hope and understanding. “Why, why me, why now?”
The next few days were very difficult. I had many visitors and phone calls – family, friends, church members, etc. I really appreciated their visits and though they tried to be encouraging and optimistic, the reality of what the doctor said overwhelmed their attempts to comfort me.
I remember calling the Anderson Network, a group of cancer survivor volunteers, to talk to someone with my disease and could give me some guidance, insight or expectation of the treatment. I will never forget the words, “Mr. Moorman, there are no survivors of your disease in our network”.
I told her that I would be the first.
As the days turned into weeks, I slowly began to realize that there was only one way to deal with this tragedy. I surrendered everything to The Lord. This was not something that happened in one prayer, but was built over weeks and months. The reality was that God had already sent His angels in the form of neighbors, friends, church family, to visit me, to bring food and mow my grass. I grew in faith as my fear of death subsided. The Lord started giving me daily doses of comfort and peace. Things that I should have known for years became a tangible reality. Had I really known The Prince of Peace? Had I really known The Great Comforter? Had I really known The Great Physician? I did now.
I had a relapse/reoccurrence of the same disease three years later. Though I had more chemo and my second bone marrow transplant, this time it was much different. I had a comfort and confidence that the Lord was in control and I truly believed that this was all part of His plan. I have been a volunteer at MD Anderson for over a decade now. My role as the first cancer survivor of my particular disease has provided comfort and encouragement to dozens of newly diagnosed patients. It took a long time for me to identify my purpose in life. It took a disease for me to really know God and learn to surrender it all to him.
Coach Randy Moorman