14 March – For Del

Good afternoon and thank you to all of you that have made it to the church today.

Today is a significant day.  It is a very mathematical and symmetrical day. The 14th of March, written as 3.14, is national Pi day since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form (3,1415….). It is also Albert Einstein’s birthday, so a good day for the celebration of Mathematics.  On the subject of symmetry the 14th of March is White Day in China and Japan. It is one month from Valentines Day, 14 February, and is an opportunity for the men who have received valentine gifts from a woman to give a gift to them in return. It is called White day because the company in Japan that came up with the idea made white chocolate and marshmallows.

Today, one year ago, I found myself taking far more note of mathematics as I furiously researched percentages and statistics and anything else that I could find about breast cancer. It was a Thursday. We would not be able to see a specialist until Monday the 18th. It was the longest weekend of my life. Del and I have to have information. In both of our careers we have made a living by taking big problems and breaking them up into manageable pieces, then taking the manageable pieces apart to label and categorize them. We are problem solvers. We speculated and hypothesized all weekend. I remember joking with her that she had finally won the argument, the subject being plastic surgery.

Today, I reflect on the plan. After getting as much information as the doctors were able to give us before our brains exploded we had a plan. The doctors recommended an aggressive course of treatment involving chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. It was medically logical but given that it would take a number of months it lacked the specifics that I wanted. Initially I thought that this was because the medical profession is as scarred of being sued as the rest of us. I found out, slowly, that it was actually because they didn’t know. How could you know exactly what the chemicals would do to a human body? How can you tell the exact size or complexity of a tumor when it is hidden in healthy tissue? Most importantly how will your patient react?

Shortly after we got our medical plan, we realized that we needed a bigger plan. Cancer is known medically as malignant neoplasia, and it is a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth in which cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, which may invade nearby parts of the body.  Cancer is also fear. And fear breed’s anger and despair and self-pity. Our plan involved not being afraid, even when we were, staying positive no matter what happened and putting our faith in God. Everyday was a beautiful day to fight cancer.

Today, one year later, we have invited all of you to come here to say thank you with us. We thank God, in our church, together with our friends and family that Del is cancer free. I am standing a meter away from where Del and I got married. Another meter away from where Caleb was baptized. It is a humbling experience to stand here and say thank you.

We would like to thank you, our friends and family, for your support and encouragement.

Thank you for bringing dinner on red chemo days.

Thank you for taking Caleb for an afternoon.

Thank you for shaving your head.

Thank you for morning motivation.

Thank you for the free haircuts.

Thank you for judging us, it reminded us to fight harder.

Thank you for taking Caleb swimming.

Thank you for praying for us.

Thank you for praying with us.

Thank you for liking Del’s facebook posts.

Thank you for giving me time to be with Del.

Thank you for toasted chicken mayonnaise.

Thank you for staying up late to skype with us.

Thank you for waking up early to skype with us.

Thank you for crying.

Thank you for not crying.

Thank you for letting us talk about cancer.

Thank you for not asking us to tell you about cancer.

Thank you for visiting.

Thank you for phoning, texting, or just thinking about us.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Published by Warwick


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