When I came up with the name "Faith-Love-Hope-Win" it was both something that just popped into my head and something that I considered carefully. As I remember it, I was driving to work, in traffic, on the highway. A homily at Mass in the days preceeding had included references to "Faith, Hope and Love". The passage might have been this one: 1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. Whether this is the exact passage or not, my point is, a biblical passage was the inspiration, the order of the words however, were not random.
To me, faith is first and foremost. In addition to faith in God or faith solely from a religious perspective, it includes faith in your doctors, medicine, family, friends neighbors, etc. Faith that even in the midst of being diagnosed with this terrible disease, something good will come of it. As I pondered faith, I quickly realized that faith alone will not accomplish the goal ahead but it is the foundation which will enable us to beat this disease - to Win.
In my mind, Love had to come next - the love for one's spouse, children, God, family, friends etc. It is an emotion we think about a lot but say to each other far too infrequently. In my life for example, I love my brother in law. My wife aside, he is one of the people I am closest too. He is truly one of my dearest friends. I have never said to him "I love you". I realize that there are many other people in my life that I love, but I also don’t tell them nearly enough, or at all. The battle I wage cannot be successful without them and their love.
Finally, there is hope. Hope, without it, we as humans would struggle to survive. Placing the cancer fight aside, Hope is what gets us up in the morning and Hope is what allows us to sleep well at night. Hope for a cure, hope for surviving another day, another week, another year and beyond. There are times during this journey that Mary and I have struggled to keep hope alive. This struggle has been one of the most difficult moments of our lives. Fortunately, we have always managed to find the inspiriation, spirit, faith and love to keep the hope alive.
So if you ever wondered about the creation of FLHW, it was not just a random grouping of words, but the foundation of our mission and our journey.
From the Oncologist yesterday:
- My PSA on 12-15 was 7.8, my PSA from 12-28 was 7.4
- my lymph nodes are now clear. There was one small area near my heart on the February CT scan, Fridays CT scan was clear.
- the Oncologist looked at the February x-rays versus those last Friday and noticed many areas have cleared up, however the radiologists report was missing the comparison between the two, we expect that today or Monday.
> Again, Chemo is on hold. I will now have blood tests once a month and meet with the Oncologist every other month. Assuming we can keep the PSA steady (or declining?), the chemo will remain on hold.
As soon as we get the official radiologist report I'll post here.
Because I feel I don't say it enough - I love you and I really believe that all of your prayers have been a major force in my battle. With all my heart, I thank you.