Tests, the news, the surgery, 7 months of treatments. 11 rounds going toe to toe with an opponent who doesn’t fight fair.
But in the midst of all this: An amazing walk with my Lord and Saviour by my side. And a great blessing….
Shortly after being diagnosed, Naomi and I found out that God answered our prayer and blessed us with the ability to have another child. Since then, I had been praying that God would bring this child into this world in the pause between rounds; allowing me to truly live the arrival of my daughter rather than being a simple spectator affected by the side effects of treatment.
As He did on many occasions during this difficult season, God decided to remind us of His presence by answering my prayer just at the right time. Naomi’s water broke at 8:45 am on the day that round 9 was supposed to take place; giving me just enough time to contact the ward and postpone treatment for a week.
My precious baby girl, Élise Faith Desbiens, was born at 12:30 pm the following day and I was given the privilege of “being fully there” to support my wife through it all. I am a blessed man.
Round 9 was hard to go through. My body and spirit felt broken. I wanted it to stop; Throw in the towel and fall in my corner. All I wanted was to be done and give my precious family my very best in this challenging period of adjustments.
I met with Dr W. just after round 10 and, based on the lack of sensation in my hands and feet (neuropathy), she decided to stop giving me one of the two chemo drugs I have been taking to allow my nerve system to start healing as soon as possible and reverse the effects it had on my body.
I anticipated round 11 to be a walk in the park. After all, my opponent now had a hand tied behind his back. I stepped in the ring with confidence for the first time since round 7. A few moments into the round, I noticed that chemo had an evil grin on his face and suddenly started hitting me in the gut with strength and accuracy. This round attacked my resolve so deeply. I thought this was going to get easier and it ended up being the most uncomfortable round yet.
God shows up by sending my mother in law and her husband our way to give us the space we need to tend to our wounds and adjust to “life with a newborn” once again.
It’s October 9. The day before the 12th and final round. We drive up to Prince George to meet with Dr W in person and begin the conversation about “life after treatment”. I share with her the discomfort I experienced during round 11 and the impact it had on my resolve to step in the ring again. She recommends lowering the dose of the one remaining drug I would be taking which prompts me to ask her this question: “Do I have to go tomorrow? What impact is it going to have if I walk away now?” Her answer is simple: “It’s not going to make or break our efforts at this point and it is entirely up to you.”
Before you start judging me; remember that this fight has been going on for over eight months and that we have a newborn at home which brings it’s own set of “complications” into our daily life. My decision is quick but has been brewing for weeks. I bow out of the final round. Dr W officially confirms that treatment is over and that the season of recovery is finally here. I can’t hold the tears. The weight on my chest is slowly lifting. My fight is over.
If you are reading this and you have been praying for me and my family: I thank you.
If you are reading this and you have let God use you to comfort us in simple but meaningful ways over the last few months: I thank you.
If you are reading this and you want to continue to pray for us please pray for a positive outcome for the many tests that will take place over the coming weeks and that I will receive a clean bill of health when I meet with the oncologist to go over the results on October 27.
My heart is full these days. My Lord continues to heal me every day and my soul is being restored as well as my body. It’s now time to train before getting back in the game. I’ll be swinging for the fences for my God with every opportunity He will give me to step to the plate in the future.
Thank you my love for being by my side at my best and at my worst. I thank the Lord for you every day and I am so proud to be your man. Thank you for being the kind of woman who is so loving and courageous that it makes me want to be a better man. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere!