Back in May 2011... on Friday the 13th, the day before we were leaving for a cruise, I received the diagnosis every man NEVER wants to hear... I had Prostate Cancer.
After I mentally picked myself up of the floor, I listened as the doctor explained the results of the Prostate biopsy done 2 weeks prior, indicating that my Prostate Cancer was the least aggressive. However, he was very concerned about the volume/amount found. The doctor & I further reviewed all the options available ~ pros/cons of each & so forth.
Prostate Cancer runs in our family (my father & uncle were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer 15 years ago and are still living well into their 80's). My wife & I have had many conversations over the years regarding what we would do if I ever received a Prostate Cancer diagnosis. I made my decision that day opting for the best option available for me ~ a Robotic Radical Prostatectomy ~ the newest & most technically advanced procedure available. My doctor advised that since I am still relatively young (56 years old) & in very good health this option was the best as there is/was an 80% chance that I could be CURED of Prostate Cancer.
But it was the time between the Prostate diagnosis 05.13.11 and the surgery 07.06.11 that I was given a more serious diagnosis of a Spiritual Cancer. During my one on one ( mano a mano ) time with God, I learned I had a very curable condition called God's Little Helper Cancer & the BEST & ONLY OPTION AVAILABLE was to undergo a God's Radical Little Helper-Ectomy. I have always been a believer, but my prayer life, as I learned, was in complete shambles.
So the even better news is that my prognosis for God's Little Helper Cancer is >> I am on the road to a complete recovery. I finally realized that I should always pray in faith and not give up until God alone makes everything clear to me. As F.B. Meyer once said, "The greatest tragedy is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."
The Sunday before my surgery, I had the honor of be asked to be the guest speaker @ Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in place of Pastor Sergio Camacho (he had to be with his cousin in Mexico as she was undergoing Breast Cancer surgery on the same day as me). This was the first time I have ever delivered a message to fellow believers.
The message I shared with the congregation was about my own personal experience & struggles with REALLY PRAYING. I finally learned after all these years that just because I think physical healing would be best thing for me, doesn't necessarily mean that God agrees with me. We should ask for what we want without telling God how to answer our prayers.
I thank God every day, for my beautiful wife, life partner, and soulmate Sheri. I know that I would never have made it through this very difficult journey without our mutual trust & faith in God and Sheri's unconditional love, support & understanding. To quote my wife "I will support any decision you make ~ I just want you here ~ with me"
Thanks Honey Bunny... I love You
I believe that God still has a purpose and destiny for me to fulfill, and that He isn't finished with me yet. As a Pastor friend of mind shared with me the other day ~ "Joseph ...your best days are not behind you; your best days are out in front of you".