Post-cancer…

I totally lost it last Friday. I had worked so hard all day on  upping my positive attitude: a crucial companion when questioning one’s purpose in life. I’d received a pep talk from my wife and mother, compared myself to the struggling Japanese, and even reviewed Liz Murray’s homeless upbringing in NYC.

But the floodgates broke that evening. After a stressful phone call with my oncologist, I felt the all-too-familiar strangeness. The beginnings of  seizure terror. Trying to ignore it, I nonchalantly put just one Ativan underneath my tongue to calm the brain. As my jaw began to freeze I screamed for two more, which my mom quickly provided. Every nerve in my left hand began to freeze up as my eyes twitched uncontrollably. I felt like they might pop out of my head.

My episode miraculously ended as unexpectedly as it began, but as I lay face down on the carpet with my pants down (rectal valium syringe ready), I couldn’t take it anymore. I’d lost it. The after-shock tremors and anxiety shivers ended with a new grand finale: tears and more tears.

I feel slightly foolish telling hundreds of people that a grown man cried because of a stupid little seizure. But it was more like my water broke, which is nothing to laugh at. The dam collapsed, and out flowed my frustrations, all my anxiety, all the horrific memories of being stuck inside a convulsing body I cannot control.  Built up inside of me were the countless afternoons I’ve spent curled up in bed trying to avoid seizing while home alone, alongside the constant irritant that comes with my inability to drive or even walk away from my condo without the risk of someone calling 911, and it all broke loose as I tried to hold it back.

After I’d pulled myself up (pants too) and dusted off,I thought to myself,  ‘You big pansy, what happened to your positive attitude?!? You need to go back and read some of your own blog posts!’

And while I didn’t do that, I did go to my site’s administrator section. And I was reminded of two things: (1) the privilege of impact …

(2) Acts 5:41. Which says, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin,  rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Christ.”

Now…I’m no apostle before the Sanhedrin and I certainly don’t rejoice over cancer or seizures, but I suppose I should wipe off some of my frustration because of the disgrace I’ve been allowed. If not for it,  my impact for Christ would probably not be even a quarter of what I’ve had the opportunity to have had.

This time last year I barely knew what blogging was…I still don’t really know what it is. And I certainly have no idea how to do it. Or why this site gets the traffic it does. I used to try and write cleverly; but lately I just struggle to get something written each week.

A few weeks back I thought I needed to quit having seizures and make my tumor disappear so I could be an example for this quote from a March 18th USA Today article:

Many in the general public have noticed Adventists tend to be superstars of good health and longevity; research shows they tend to live 10 years longer than the average American.

I thought I needed to pull it together if I wanted to be a fair representation of my church. The article: Adventists’ back-to-basics faith is fastest growing U.S. Church , excites me that my bible-based Christianity is leading the pack, but saddens me that 2.5% is the number that earned us the spot. I think God is ready for bigger and better returns, and if I want to be a part of that, maybe pulling it together isn’t the best way to get that done. Maybe I should recognize that having cancer is a part of my story, and without it, who would care what some 25 year old snowboarder kid working a job has to say?

But then again, what do I know? Maybe when brain tumors and seizures in my life are long forgotten, http://christianpoints.com will be too. But hopefully when I’m back to snowboarding and working a job, God will give me enough cleverness to continue sharing His soon return.

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10 Responses to “Post-cancer…”

  1. allison harper Says:

    Thanks Daniel….. your Mom is inspired by you daily, for your courage and bravery and perseverance amidst a seemingly never-ending battle. Glad for some relief for you today. I am praying it will continue. Last week was a tough one for you, but I loved being there and miss all our conversations. I miss Logan as well. She is an AMAZING young woman. I am looking forward to the two of you coming out here sometime soon. Love….mom

  2. Nancy Gerard Says:

    Daniel, this is really hard stuff (and I actually, really have no idea how hard it must really be for you but can only imagine!). God has intrusted you with a life experience that he could only trust a very few people with. Be faithful, man! Lamentations 3…”yet” is the key word. After his litany of all the awful things that have happened, he turns the corner with that one word! “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23. You and Logan are in our prayers! Nancy G.

  3. Hey Daniel –

    I’m still praying for you. I haven’t kept up with your posts as much lately and I plan to catch up. I haven’t kept up with a lot of things because Ben got an order for 135 of his science kits for a teacher workshop the first part of June and I am overwhelmed trying to get this done.

    What surprises me is that I never realized that a person was conscious of what was happening when they were having a seizure. I thought they might be aware of everything that came before – the “aura” or whatever. I really thought that they were unconscious during the actual seizure itself. Knowing that you experience all of this is really scary. I can see why you live in “seizure fear”.

    Right now I am going to look at some of your other posts I haven’t read. You are greatly loved by so many and your testimony is so authentic and touches each person with its honesty. God bless you, your wife, and your family.

    Jan Roy

  4. Brittany Ryder Says:

    Daniel you are such an amazing example of perseverance and faith! You are impacting thousands of lives! Keep the faith and know that you have a ton of people that love you and are praying for you!

  5. sharlene carman Says:

    Daniel and Logan,
    Although I am so very sorry for the painful trials u are living through, I am filled with joy when I think of your witness to others. May God’s love and grace continue to carry you through.

  6. Aloha my Brother.

    Our prayers and Aloha are with you. The guys all told me to tell you Hi.
    You sure have a talent for writing…maybe there is a book in the making here…? Think of you always!

    Jeff

  7. Loren King Says:

    If ever there was a hero…it is you Daniel

  8. Daniel our thoughts and prayers are with you and may God continue to guide you through all the trials and frustrations. We hope you are doing better and continue to be able to return to normalcy. God bless and happy sabbath.

  9. Danny and I are praying for you and Logan all of the time Daniel. I am sorry for the pain and frustration that you are going through. I admire your strength and honesty in your blogs. Can you imagine going through this without God and without knowing He cares for you? And you are witnessing to others so that they will realize that He cares for them too! Thank you for allowing God to be glorified in your life in the good and bad. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 15:13

  10. Dorothea Sarli Says:

    Keep up your courage, Daniel. Remember, the sprint is relatively easy – like, doing something scary or painful for God. But the marathon takes something quite different – endurance. That is what you’ve got. Even the best runner gets tired, so don’t let that get you down. What’s important is that you’re still in the race. Still getting back up. And cancer or not, endurance is what we’ll all be needing just before Jesus comes. Check out the last part of Hebrews 10. These Christians had suffered greatly at the beginning of faith, but now they were getting discouraged – they had not expected to need that one ingredient – endurance. “But you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Then read Hebrews 11 and trace the theme of “hanging on” to faith – even when the promises weren’t personally realized. The first part of Hebrews 12 continues the idea. So, courage to you! Jesus said, “He who endures (there’s that theme again) to the end will be saved.”

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