Man on an Island

This Island, Man

When you can no longer interact with people according to socially acceptable norms you begin to cultivate a unique perspective on society. It can be so easy to feel like an island, even when you’re surrounded by continent. You’re in the throng, people are all around you happy and talking and laughing, but you’re still completely by yourself. You can …

Lives Intertwined

Cross-Stitched Lives

Just over ten years ago essentially every deep, lifelong friend I’d had walked away from me and my family.  They did this because the group of churches I had grown up in told them to, and they were informed that anyone who talked to us would be tossed out along with us. With a couple of exceptions, I haven’t talked …

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Life Springs Eternal

When was the last time that you thought about death? Does it sound morbid to say that I think about it a lot? Now, sure, it’s probably natural for someone who’s been fighting cancer to think about death somewhat.  After all, for many people it is a sharp slap in the face that, contrary to popular opinion, they are probably …

Byron and Sarah

The Cancer Journal Part Four

(This is Part Four of The Cancer Journal.  You can read Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here!) Two days passed following the PET scan.  I tried to push the technician’s look out of my mind, but without much success.  And so we came to Friday evening.  I was driving when the doctors’ office called, and because …

Byron with the Girls

The Cancer Journal Part Three

(This is Part Three of the Cancer Journal.  You can find Part One here and Part Two here.) We went into treatment.  Prior to starting, though, we were told the laundry list of side effects.  These included, but were not limited to: Nerve Damage Heart Damage Lung Damage Severe Fatigue Demolished White Blood Cell Counts Demolished Red Blood Cell Counts …

Byron & Eden - January

The Cancer Journal

I don’t know exactly when the itching began.  I do know, however, that it started inconspicuously as some mild irritation on my calves.  My wife, Sarah, thought it was an allergic reaction to body wash, so we started cycling through all sorts of different soaps to get rid of it.  Strangely, nothing seemed to work.  The problem seemed pretty tame …

Praying Hands

Our Healer

I stood in the shower, tears melting into the spray from the shower head on my cheeks.  There was a huge lump under my arm that I had named Nebraska; my skin was on fire; I couldn’t keep food down because of my incessant coughing.  And the fevers weren’t giving me any confidence in my health’s outlook, either.  Or the …

A Special Announcement

In the winter of 2013 I found my health in a steep, desperate decline. The longer and more rapidly it spiraled out of control the more obvious it became that something was very wrong. Finally, in early January, I was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We began chemo therapy and were told there was roughly a 50% chance that …