Monday, November 28, 2011

A Happy Birthday - And A Sobering Anniversary

This handsome guy is grandson number 3, namely, Canon Josiah Adkins. (that's right another C.J. Adkins!)

Canon, who is seen here in his favorite hat, celebrates his seventh birthday tomorrow, with his brother and their parents in New Orleans. Seven years ago, he was born at Oschner Medical Center in the Big Easy, and it's one birthday I suppose I will never forget.

You see, Canon is not only my grandson, but he's also my marker.

The day he was born in a New Orleans hospital, I was admitted to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, KY. My family doctor socked me in the hospital for tests to determine why my hemoglobin level was less than seven. The day Canon was born, the doctors in Ashland explored my innards from north to south. (I was praying for a bleeding ulcer, but no luck on that!) The next day, the doctor (like the Starship Enterprise), "boldly went where no man had ever gone before", and he hit the jackpot!

The pictures showed a huge, ugly yellow looking mass that the doctor allowed was surely malignant. He immediately got me in touch with a surgeon, and within a week, I was back in Bellefonte Hospital, having three feet of my intestines unceremoniously removed. Biopsies were performed on the tissue that had been removed, as well as on my liver and several lymph nodes. The reports came back positive, and I was told I had an aggressive cancer that was spread throughout several organs. "Stage 4. Incurable" I remember the doctor telling us. Research (and later the oncologist) revealed that 18-22 months was the average survival time for someone in my condition.

And so the adventure began.

I could go on and on, but let me just say that with wonderful medical attention from the doctors, nurses, radiologists, etc - and (most importantly) the hand of Almighty God - has kept me here five years beyond the average survival rate.

Since he lives so far away, I don't get to see Canon but about four times per year. Those visits are precious. Partly because he is such a special little survivor himself (5 surgeries on his leg in four years) and partly because he is my marker. Whenever I see that little grandson, and note how grown up he is, I am reminded of how long God has allowed me to stay here beyond the expected time.

I can't tell you why He has spared my life, but I thank Him that He has, and I want to make every day count for Him!

Happy birthday Canon! Papaw loves you - and hopes to be around to see you have many more November 29ths!

1 comment:

Camera Clicker said...

I've been following your blog for some time. I found your blog doing a search for "surviving stage 4 colon cancer". God led me straight here.
You see, my sister (41 years old) was diagnosed with colonc cancer in March. Through many followup tests, scans, and doctors' visits she found out she has stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to her liver in 2 small spots, along with the lymph nodes up and down her back.
Your story has been so encouraging to me! I know the reality of my sister's situation if God chooses not to cause a miraculous healing.
She is on 12 rounds of chemo every 14 days, which include going home with a pump for 46 hours. This past week she had treatment #7. It is definitely getting tougher on her.
Thank you for sharing your story so someone, years after your diagnosis could be encouraged. God is using your story.

Side note~ My husband graduated from NOBTS in 1995, and we now live in cajun country where he pastors a church. Actually, my husband goes back to NOBTS this week to being his DMin classes! My father is also a pastor in Washington Parish. So I can relate to many of your references to your family living in New Orleans!