You Look So Good!

 

A little over two years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. Of course, the diagnosis came as an unexpected shock. After the initial shudders, I began a series of medications to arrest this disease.

Among the many things making this journey interesting is the reaction of people who see me, especially those who haven’t seen me for a while. Typically, their response is, “You look so GOOD!” The expression of surprise on their faces causes me to chuckle inside. I think they expect an emaciated person rather than a relatively healthy one.

Hearing this oft-repeated response has caused me to introspect and find out why I am feeling and looking better than most people expect. Here’s what I found:

  • Faith. My faith in Jesus Messiah has carried me over several of life’s potholes. I spend time in the Bible (yes, it’s my profession, but I take nearly two hours every day studying for my benefit). I seek Him for His plan in my life through prayer. His presence, patience, and love for me take me through dark nights and questioning days. I can’t emphasize this more—God is my salvation, hope, healer, comforter, and strength.
  • Exercise and diet. Here’s a practical tip—don’t stop exercising. I work out five days a week, lifting weights, doing cardio, and doing a series of core-strengthening exercises. It’s a habit learned long ago, and yes, sometimes I don’t want to do it, but I feel better and sharper after doing it. And I try to eat well. Sure, I fall off the proverbial wagon sometimes, but I’ve cut back on sugar and rarely eat anything fried. My diet is full of fresh veggies, fish, chicken, and hot or cold tea.
  • Work. I love my work. It’s a retreat from the daily yuck. It keeps my mind focused and clear. Sitting around or “puttering” may do well for some, but I enjoy concentrating on my clients’ needs and how I can help them fulfill their ministry goals. Their interaction keeps me sharp and causes me to learn and be creative.
  • Fun. I enjoy baseball and music, so I immerse myself in those two hobbies as much as possible. I fancy reading, so I try to read, for pleasure, as much as I can. I take time to be with my wife. Many a simple outing becomes a special day together—even a doctor’s appointment can become a “date” because we always celebrate by having lunch or dinner together afterward.

There’s probably more, but these four are the top things that help me “look so good.” My Oncologist is a brilliant, thoughtful person who is doing his best to help me.

This disease doesn’t own me or define me. Yes, it’s a reality, but at the same time, I have the faith to know that my Father in Heaven is healing me and strengthening me for what He’s called me to do.

I’d enjoy hearing about your experiences with difficult circumstances. What keeps you going?

Wayne Hastings is an author and publishing consultant. His book, The Way Back From Loss, has helped thousands of people who’ve experienced loss through death, layoff, or other circumstances.

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