Against Improbable Odds


Statistically speaking, there is a 10% chance of cure.  Yes, I said it.  This percentage doesn’t seem as drastic until you reverse its order:  90% chance of not entering remission. Stay with me here. Don’t go off in thought, thinking of ways to tell me not to entertain such thoughts.  Truth is, it is a sterile reminder based on information from others who have also occupied this similar space.

Now onto a lighter note – isn’t it always how one feels after exposing oneself to delicate places of the heart; the uncomfortable feeling stirs the need to adorn a sweater to feel composure again.

So, I decided to paint a couple walls the other day.  This is what I do as a form of therapy. Either that, or give in to the compulsion to iron, disinfect, or perform other random non-essential duties in times of instability to keep me somewhat sane.

Days before Bill’s first surgery, a sweet friend offered to come over and clean my home –are you kidding me?  My house is almost sterile.

Anyway, we have embarked on a clean eating, cancer fighting plan I am excited about.  I truly believe it was sent from above, delivered via United States Postal Service.

A few months ago, during our time of temporary remission, Bill looked into the status of our insurance policies, wills, trusts, and other pertinent information.  I may not have known his desire to make sure all was secure, had a random book not appeared as evidence. which sat in his office.

Intrigued at the sight of this foreign item of words in his vicinity, since I’ve watched him read maybe a handful of times in our 28 years–let’s say I am intrigued, but, not wanting to appear so, I slowly move toward it with a slight hint of interest.

As I pick it up, he says someone he spoke with from the life insurance company heard positive things about this particular book, and decided to send it to us.

“Oh, cool.” I say.

As I read the subtitle, I gasp.

‘Against All Odds’

I know this is not an ordinary title, or for that matter, an ordinary moment.

A couple hours earlier, driving down the road, a song came on the radio from Phil Collins I hadn’t heard in ages. Aubrey immediately went to turn the station, and I said, “NO, wait, I love this song!” My heart leaped inside as I attempted to retrieve the words from my memory bank of 80’s memorabilia:

Take a good look at me now
‘Cause I’ll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It’s the chance I’ve got to take

Immediately I entered into nostalgia, while Aubrey put on a game face of interest.

The song stayed with me all afternoon.

Then, I entered his office…

Coincidence? Random chance a book arrives from a stranger, states away, the same day I overreflect on a song with the same three words in the lyrics? What are the odds? Happenstance?

One could say, yes. Chance. That is all it is.

No. I say, God. The Author of all existence. The One who edits our course behind the scenes, almost in randomness, with His gentle guidance.

Being one who devours books, I digested it quickly. Talked about it. Planned to follow it completely.  Until, it found its way away from the table, and into a drawer.

Until now.  Dusted off, pantry cleaned of good, but not necessarily cancer-fighting food, the blinding light of my disinfected fridge begs for nutrition to occupy its shelves.

I am ready. Feeling like my own version of a pioneer woman here, but without all the flavor. Still, we will make it through.

You know, odds are a funny thing really. I believe many defy the odds set before them.

It gives us hope when hope seems unlikely, because it places our improbable into the hands of only One with whom all things are possible.





Sitting at the kitchen table, I decide to open the pamphlet on the drug Bill will begin in the near future.

Five pages long, it is specifically catered to a similar, yet different cancer, as his type does not have specific trials as of yet.

The similarity is the cancer didn’t  respond to traditional treatment, that being chemotherapy, and has spread.

As with anything on the market which is supposed to be of aide, the warning signs nearly cause one to reconsider, as it may require additional medication to counteract the anxiety-induced attack of panic-driven proportions..

We were assured though the chance of anything too serious was around the 1% range per warning.  Oh, okay, I feel much better now.  Unless, of course, you place a face to the statistic.

Trials are tough, and come with risks.

Life in general is not without a certain amount of risks.  Some days they are entirely obvious, but on others, I wonder how oblivious we are to the risks against our wellbeing.

Bill was asked at the onset of his surgeries to donate his unhealthy tissue for clinical trials, because not only is this cancer rare and aggressive, he doesn’t fit the general profile of one who succumbs to this disease.

Actually, we are excited at the thought of possibly helping another individual from walking through this particular valley in the future, by helping researchers find a cure through his donation.

Even if the cure does not have Bill’s face attached to it.    

Oh, how we hope and pray it is, but, to know this trial benefits another, comforts us also.

Life’s trials are not always solely our own.  And, when we (I) recognize this, difficulties can become opportunities in the midst.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.


Seasons of Difficulty


I hate to wish a season away, but, I’m to the conclusion that humidity is a taste of hell on earth.  Drips of perspiration dropped on the dewy landscape as I plodded along my path this morning.  One word says it all, “ugh.”

Still, I don’t want to wish time away dreaming of another day on the calendar, even if it happens to be with a lower heat index.

Same with seasons of hard; while I don’t desire them, I don’t want to wish the time away either.  Because truth is, in the hard, I’ve experience a plethora of joy, which makes seasons of difficulty worthwhile–

Laying around watching romantic comedies

Reading, reading, reading

The gentle rock of the hammock to birds singing above in the leaves

Hands in dirt pulling weeds and planting seedlings

Hugs, hugs, hugs

Family from afar together again around the kitchen table

Competition from endless card games

God’s comfort in the dark of night

His peace enveloping me like a blanket when the chill of anxiety overwhelms

Times when sadness draws a closer sense of intimacy with loved ones, and my God.