Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Keep the faith.....

I hadn't seen my cousin in nearly 15 years and almost didn't recognize her. She was near the hospital entrance when I arrived. We hugged and smiled our hellos.

"I have good news....no, great news," she said in a raised voice. "It's cancer but it's totally treatable."

At that moment, all I could think was, how is cancer good news?

My grandmother's rosary

Last week my uncle complained of stomach troubles and was taken to the hospital. Doctors found a cancerous tumor in his colon. He'll be having surgery today to remove the growth and reconstruct the damaged area. Once his body heals he'll receive chemotherapy to wipe out any last traces of the cancer.

When I visited at the hospital on Sunday he seemed optimistic yet scared. His family and close friends were there, determined to keep my uncle's spirits up. They were on a mission!

You could feel the love and support and hope in that hospital room! It was faith made tangible! I sat there like a quiet observer just soaking it all in.

My aunt and cousin have been amazing, staying with him at the hospital from 8am to 8pm every day since last week. The three of them worked together in complete harmony. Whatever my uncle needed, my aunt and cousin were right there to help. Literally functioning in tandem as a family unit.

Never having experienced that growing up at home, I was in awe, witnessing it for the first time through extended relatives. The way the three of them treated one another put my immediate family to shame.

The whole experience left me feeling anxious, sad, worried, withdrawn, and out-of-place.

There's a great sense of uncertainty and powerlessness because everything is out of our hands at this point.

In the end, all we can do is pray and hope for the best. To deal with it one day at a time and maybe most importantly....keep the faith.


Dzyan said...

Hi Dean, I send you and your family all my best wishes, hope your uncle gets better really soon. I think what happens is that at least they now know what is the disease he's bearing and that goes a long way when you have the uncertainty as to what is happening, where is the pain coming from, and now they know how to treat him, for that I'm glad, and try not to get that worked up, cancer doesn't mean death nowadays, it will be hard, but perhaps if you keep praying and keep his morale up he'll be just fine. Receive a huge hug on my behalf and all my best wishes, I'll pray for you too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dean, I sure hope all goes well with your uncle. It's very promising that the doctors are confident that it's a treatable cancer! It's out of your hands at this point, but in the hands of modern medicine. Your feelings are very justified! I had all of those feelings back in 2005 when I had a scare with skin cancer. It was very treatable as well, just requiring a few day surgeries to remove a few tumours, I didn't even require any chemo. I was petrified, but had great faith in the doctor and in my own strength to get through it. I'm sorry you and your extended family have to go through this, you are right...day to day and keep that faith. Take care!

Anonymous said...

I lost my mother to brain cancer last yr. I just wanted to encourage you to as you said keep the faith. Truly at times like these it is all we have. Sounds like your uncle has great support, that will take him further than anything else.

Keep your chin up my friend, and know there are alot of us out here that understand the felings you are going through.


Don Coker said...

Good Morning, Dean! I hate to hear of the suffering of your family members, but it seems you are doing the right thing by showing them love and support, After all, that's all we human haves to offer, isn't it?

Thank you for your kind comment at my blog. I really appreciate it.

Keep working, pushing the limits of your watercolors, but most of all, keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this note, Dean.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Dean, I hope everything turns out ok. There is no need to feel for shame for your immediate family. Different families have different dynamics.

Dean Grey said...


You're right. They were optimistic because they knew the cause of the pain and were certain it could be removed.

Thanks for the well wishes!



I'm sorry to hear you had a brush with cancer but am very glad you made it through just fine!

Hopefully my uncle will too!



Yes, I actually read about your mother and her battle with cancer on your blog. Sorry for your loss.

I am keeping in mind that others have gone through this before and know where I'm coming from.

Thanks for the encouragement!



I will try!






You haven't met my immediate family! LOL

They most definitely have their own dynamic....just not the one I want!


I appreciate everyone's supportive words!


Manon said...

Hi Dean,
All you can do is have hope and faith.
My mom also had colon cancer seven years ago. I was the size of an orange but they got it all and she's been cancer free ever since!
I'm sending positive energy your way!!

Dean Grey said...


The great news about your mother gives me hope then!

Thanks for the positive energy!!


suzanneberry said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are an inspiration. thank you. suzanne

jason said...

Sending lots of good energy to you all out there.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

I will remember your uncle in my prayers. It is really, really important to have someone in the room with your uncle, to hear instructions and to CHECK to make sure that the stuff that's supposed to be done IS done. When my dad was in the hospital (at a really good hospital) a nurse signed off on 4 hours worth of checking in and checking incisions on my dad, but she never came in.... once. So all kinds of errors can happen... It is great that your uncle is getting all that care! Put it in God's hands!

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate it!



Thank you!



You are so right about that!

No worries. My aunt, cousin, and I are taking turns staying with my uncle throughout the day at the hospital. And yes, we are staying in the room with him to make sure all the instructions are understood.

The hospital staff did make a couple blunders but since we were there we caught them right away.

It's been rough, but we're moving forward!


Thanks to the three of you!!


amar said...


I am truly sorry for this sad news. I hope your uncle will be well soon.

Whenever someone I love falls ill, I imagine them happy and healthy as much as possible. It eases my worries and anxiety and sends them positive vibes.

Dean Grey said...


I appreciate the kind words. I will give your idea a try.


"Tommy" said...

It is good that the family rallies around.

You are very lucky to have that.

Cause I know.

Have a Great Weekend up there in Yankee Land

Dean Grey said...


Very lucky indeed!

Thanks for stopping by!