The Advantage of Adversity – two.

When I heard I had 6 months to live…? It turned out to be the best good news of my life!
Last month I shared many excerpts from the two books I have written on the Advantage of Adversity caused by stage 4 lung cancer. My Bible tells me to “Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).
My two books, “To See Another Sunrise” and the newly released “Cancer: My Rainbow in the Dark” provide comfort, wisdom and real-life strategies for anyone fighting cancer – or any other overwhelming challenge.
“Why did I write these books? Well, for one reason, a dead man should not be writing. And two, Because I want you to know that the courage of a person is gauged by how it takes to discourage them.”A.W. Tozer once said, “God never uses anyone greatly until he tests them deeply.”
My journey with cancer began in the dead of winter, 2004. Our Idaho home was snowed under, and I was attempting to shovel the driveway. For some reason, I really struggled to catch my breath, becoming more exhausted with every stab at the snow. Something was very wrong. Just yesterday, I’d felt absolutely fine. I was more tired than I’d ever been. The next morning, I was puzzled by the fact I couldn’t get out of bed. My wife and outstanding caregiver Sandi, took me to the ER for a series of tests and lab work, and I was relieved to get back and rest at home. Little did I know we were in the lull before the storm.
After a troubling call from our family doctor, Sandi rushed me back to the hospital. This time, I wasn’t going home. As the dark clouds of anxiety and fear rolled into our minds, we became more aware of just how unprepared we really were for what was about to overtake us. How do you prepare for trials you don’t know are coming? Welcome to the world of cancer!
All told, Jim Morrison was just about a dead man. But not yet! Today, I am a 13- year survivor, and I have been NED (no evidence of disease) for ten years. To reach this point I endured 30 months of infusion chemotherapy, two ports installed, two blood transfusions, three relapses, complete hair loss three times, bone shots for blood count, three surgeries, including removing a significant portion of my left lung with the tumor. I’ve lost count of CT, X-rays, MRIs and PET scans, not to mention lab tests, blood thinners both oral and sub-q injections, and taking my Tarceva pill faithfully for nine years.
Enough of that medical stuff. All cancer warriors know what’s involved, right? What I really want you to know is the fresh new start that cancer offered me. Since cancer, I can tell you the sunrises are more eagerly anticipated, and the sunsets more spectacular than ever before. Cancer gave me an entirely new appreciation of how wonderful and precious the creator and all of creation and life is. Yes, it comes at a steep price, are you okay with being a survivor? Of going through the agony of various trails to reap the rewards?
Cancer or any overwhelming addiction or habit, leads us into the darkness of desperation, but at the very bottom of its evil pit, I unearthed a treasure and found appreciation. Thank you, cancer!
My fellow warriors, I pray you experience what only the Lord Jesus and the rainbow in the dark can offer those who find its treasure. I share my story to inspire and encourage you to hold out for just one more goal and one more sunrise. I realize there will be nights that will feel impossible. I know, because I had many of those, too.
Warriors, we must have hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Your endurance is inspired by hope. We must have faith, reliance, loyalty, and complete trust in God. Now, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. After being told my situation was impossible, faith and hope were all I had left.
As survivors of anything, our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens. It’s not what life brings to us, but the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst that creates extraordinary results – a rainbow in the dark.
There will be an overview of both books and a meet and greet on Thursday, May 11 th , at the Post Falls Library 821 N. Spokane St. 208-773- 1506 from 6 to 7:30 pm. This event is free, and I would love to sign your books and share your story. Please check out for more. Books will be available for sale at the event, $15.00 each or two for $25.00. 20% of total sales will be donated to Post Falls Friends.
Hope to see you there!