Unexpected Diagnosis–Cancer

Making the most of every day that remains

I got the news four days ago that I have cancer. Just a little over a month ago, I felt fine. The last thing on my mind was the possibility of having a life threatening disease. Then, at a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house, I ate some tasty home-made pepperoni pizza which I thought gave me indigestion that lasted into the next day. But, over the next couple weeks I had worsening stomach and bowel symptoms that landed me in the ER at 5:00am on a Saturday morning. A CT scan revealed a tumor on my pancreas and a subsequent biopsy showed that it was malignant. It was all so unexpected.

If you know about pancreatic cancer you know that the survival statistics aren’t encouraging. As a person who believes in God and follows Jesus Christ, I believe that he can heal–and I’m asking him to! But that isn’t always his plan. This means that I’m facing the possibility of leaving this world sooner, maybe a lot sooner, than I anticipated. As you might imagine, this has led me to do some serious thinking. If my time here is short, what am I going to do? What are my priorities? Here is what I have arrived at: Make the most of the time I have, whether long or short, by facing each day with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22 & 23, ESV). Breaking this down, it starts with loving God, trusting him, and living each day with his peace, love and joy in my heart. Next, It’s loving the people in my life. Treating everyone with patience, love and kindness, regardless of my pain or fatigue. 

I want to use each day that remains to bless each person who crosses my path by helping them move closer to God and to show God’s goodness to everyone. It might seem paradoxical to talk about God’s goodness when he has not prevented me from getting cancer. But, I trust him, and whether he heals me (through a miracle or through medicine), or not I believe that he is good and his plan for me is the best possible plan.

11 Comments on “Unexpected Diagnosis–Cancer

  1. This was the first I had heard of this shocking news. I am adding you and your family to my prayer list and I am asking God to heal you and surround your beautiful family with people they love and for God’s amazing healing power to be heavily present in your lives. Good luck Brian. May your faith and love remain strong. God bless you.

  2. Praying for you Brian! Your faith filled attitude is inspiring. Blessings to you and your family along this difficult journey…

  3. Praying for you, Mr. Bird!
    You are shinning bright for the Lord.
    Your faith is helping me to trust the Lord when I don’t understand life.

  4. We have been praying for you Brian. Thank you for your encouragement to us sharing your faith in Jesus.
    Love you brother!
    Chuck Fisher

  5. I always wonder how I would face such news myself. Your faith and grace is an inspiration to me and others. I will pray for your healing and recovery.

    • Thank you to all of you for your encouragement and prayers. It means a lot to me that God can use me to encourage your faith.

  6. Brian.
    Hearing the word cancer is such a shock. I found that my faith helped thru some of the shock. I find your words so encouraging to all who are facing these things. Rely on our faith in god and make the best of our time. Mel and I are praying for you.

  7. Brian and Amanda-

    I called forever ago and didn’t follow up to see if I still had the correct phone numbers. There isn’t a Christmas season I don’t think of singing Christmas Carols with you guys; I was looking through some songs the other day looking for some that we sang together. I know you guys will be having an Advent season impacted by truly leaning into the gift of His first coming.

    Thank you for writing this blog post…praying for God to provide strength and steadfastness to all of you. Brian may you have comfort and joy and continue to be a Bright Light to everyone you encounter.

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