Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Anger, Part II

I went in to have my radiation mask fitted a couple of days ago. Strange experience. The mask is designed to hold you in place. Same position, every treatment. If all goes well, it saves having permanent tattoos on your face to isolate the treatment.

The idea is that for the radiation to work, they must give a specific beam of energy to the same spot on every single visit. Seven weeks at five days a week... 35 treatments of precisely-targeted radiation. My own personal Chernobyl. It seems odd that we use something that causes cancer to fight cancer. Seems that is the case with a lot of things in life. No wine is good. Some wine is better and too much is bad. Everything in moderation can be used for good. No fire and you freeze to death. Some and you stay warm. Too much and you burn your house down. It is hard to fear something that is designed to save my life, yet it feels easy to fear, nonetheless. At the same time, knowing I am facing an unrelenting bombardment of radiation... It's hard to keep a smile on my face everyday when I think ahead. Laying this in God's hands is a daily task.

My friend, Shari Aldrich, stopped by this week as well. Shari owns the school I founded. It was quite a sight. You see, Shari was participating in the "Tough Mudder" race (basically a half-marathon with insane obstacles. Long story short, on October 6th, just three days after I lost 1/2 of my tongue, Shari lost her pinky finger on one of the obstacles. It was torn clean off. It was the same obstacle that took a man's life earlier this year. As a massage therapist and massage therapy instructor, Shari's life has changed. Both of us lost part of the very tools we use to perform our jobs. Both of us have therapy ahead that will help us adapt to the world in which we live. The outcome of that therapy is an unknown for both of us. Crazy.

Shari wasn't the first person to ask me about my process and how I'm dealing with the anger. "Did you already get through that stage? Did you deal with the anger already?"

After giving that question some thought, the answer was clear.

Of the American population, 50% of the men and 33% of the women will get cancer. One in six will suffer a stroke. Four of five will suffer economic hardship. The list goes on. Life happens. Things happen to all of us. The question isn't "will something happen?"... the question is "when?"

Truth is, if I get angry that I am dealing with cancer, what that really means is that I'm angry it wasn't someone else instead of me. If my desire is to fulfill the greatest of the commandments, showing love to my neighbor means I am willing to take on cancer so that they do not have to.

If you are the lucky one who does not have to deal with cancer... the next logical question comes into play, and that is this: What will you do with your life since you are not being attacked by this vicious disease? What will you do to make a difference in your world? How will you be a blessing to your neighbors, your city, your world?

Remember... The question isn't IF we are going to die... we all are. The question is, how are you going to live?

I am so very blessed, regardless of my situation, and I am so excited that I have the opportunity to bless others still.

~Robert Haase,
A Blessed Man

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