Several months ago 23 year-old Evan was diagnosed with Leukemia, nearly died, went through chemo and a bone marrow transplant. All along he has been strong and determined to win this battle. All signs have been encouraging. He’s been gaining strength focusing on leaving the transplant house to return home. That is until a few days ago when his bone marrow biopsy showed 10% cancer cells. Devastation swept over the family and that is putting it mildly.
Shortly after the news spread to family and friends, Evan made this post on his Caringbridge site. I was so moved and inspired I asked him if I could share this with you.
It’s a strange feeling when you find out you probably don’t have much time left to live. Back in March, when doctors told my family of my slim chance of survival, I was unconscious on a hospital bed. But I survived, and after recovering from the infection-related surgery, it left me with a sense that I can tackle anything. Months passed, and the cancer treatment seemed to be going along smoothly. What made the news of my recent prognosis so difficult is that I’ve been here so long, and being just weeks away from my dismissal back to Forks (Grand Forks ND), it really took the wind out of my sails realizing I will be in Rochester for many more months to come in battling the relapse. I just wanted it all to end.
Then I remembered seeing an article in the Rochester newspaper describing an old tennis coach of mine who was given only months to live, but is still doing well 6 years later. He said he lives his life by three words: attitude, effort, and sportsmanship. I figured I have two options. I can either wallow away in self-pity and anger, or I can try live each day with a positive mentality and a will to fight back. It would be easy to surrender to the first, knowing my chances of survival. But it wouldn’t be fair to everyone who has supported me throughout these past months, and it especially wouldn’t be fair to my family. Whether it has been administering medications in the early hours of the night, pushing me miles around the Mayo campus in a wheelchair for appointments, or cleaning out my emesis bucket on a regular basis, they have always been there for me.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m not giving up. Cancer may kill me in the end, but it will not win. As my favorite sports anchor, Stuart Scott, said, “You beat cancer by HOW you live, WHY you live, and the manner in which you live.”
Evan is a living these scriptures:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5 NIV.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV.
Evan inspires me to praise God in all circumstances. He challenges me to stay positive when anger and bitterness would be my natural choice of emotions. He reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Share how Evan’s story inspires you.