Home > Blog, Cancer Update > 18 Months and Counting…

18 Months and Counting…

May 21st – 18 months ago I got histological conformation of my cancer.

I turned 28 on that day.

I was married for only 11 months.

And my life was changed forever.

To contemplate just how much my life has changed in the last 18 months is no small feat. My identity, the person who I am, is now intricately intertwined with cancer. Its almost impossible to separate me, Jared, from the cancer that has dominated the last 18 months of life. The words Jared and cancer are now synonymous.

This has been both a blessing and a curse.

The curse part is obvious. I have been confronted with my mortality, slapped into my face like a cold fish, there is no avoiding it, I’m dying; I’ve been confronted with family, dealing with the mourning associated with finding out a loved one is suffering; I have been confronted with marriage, knowing that Hannah is grieving this in totally different ways to me, in ways no new wife should have to; And I have been confronted by community, the support, the friendship, the collective sadness at what awaits me in my future.

All these things now define me, and are my cross to bear, so to speak.

If I stop my contemplation there, I end up depressed and feeling sorry for myself. So, if only for my own sanity, I have to look at the other side of my journey.

Cancer has been a blessing. And not in a silver-lining-behind-every-cloud kind of way, but there has been genuine reward in the journey I have been on over the last 18 months in ways I could never have anticipated.That reward has come at a price, but none-the-less, has had a hugely positive impact in my life. As mentioned in a photo I posted earlier this month, the colours around me are so much brighter than they every used to be. The beauty of the life I have lived has never been so appreciated as much as it is now; The bond of marriage has been woven even tighter than I could possibly have thought as Hannah and I are forced to embark on this journey; And finding joy in knowing a community that weeps with you, rejoices with you, and celebrates with you, no matter what the circumstance.

In the light of death, there has been re-affirmation of what it actually means to be alive.

And the exclamation mark of that last paragraph belongs to Christ. The hope, the faith, the love, are all things that carry me beyond my present reality. They empower me to be me, beyond cancer, beyond a short lifespan. They create meaning in the nothingness, beauty in the uggliness, and colour in the black and white.

Perhaps that is the biggest reward of this journey, is re-discovering faith in a world that is rapidly leaving it behind.

Thanks for listening.

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Categories: Blog, Cancer Update Tags: ,
  1. Jas
    May 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Jared,
    You’ve communicated incredibly eloquently & with great insight not just in this post of your reflection but the others as well. To be faced with such adversity & mortality at a young age and turn it around to help others by speaking so openly about it, to be firm in your faith in Christ and trust God, I admire.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday! May God be gracious and grant you another one (or many more)

    Regardless, you & Hannah are and will continue to be held with love in God’s arms no matter what happens.

    Thanks very much for sharing,
    God bless & take care

  2. frances
    May 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    These reflections of yours have helped us to know you and to think about the value of life in a way that we would never otherwise have done. Thank you for that.

  3. Catherine
    May 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Jared, it’s comforting us to see your blessings in the journey. Remember. your mortality will put on immortality, and you will be more alive, more aware, more reflective, more excited, and all this without the curse of a stricken body. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” Love and prayers to you both.

  4. sas
    May 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

    hi jared, i’m a friend of a sibling of yours. i have been following your blog and appreciate your posts and photos. you are a great communicator and photographer.
    i and my husband have been walking (or more like dragging ourselves along) a road through infertility and miscarriage loss. it is so very different from yours and hannah’s i know, but like you, there have been many new issues that i now have to constantly (painfully) confront and have also grown from, that i wouldn’t have even considered before. exactly like you said, life has never been the same again.
    it was especially sobering for me, thinking about your journey, when you posted that pic of autumn leaves on the tree branch. i don’t know you but i think of you guys often and am praying for you. thank you for sharing your life with us.

  5. Theresa
    December 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

    You are such an amazing writer. Wow, this post is amazing; the world is definitely rapidly leaving Faith behind, and in its place is a huge void of meaning, and you are helping to shine light for many of your blog followers, back on Faith & light & ‘living well with dying’ as 20/20 put it so well. Keep writing, it really is a gift! I love your work & share your Faith story to many I meet..

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