A dark place…

This is where I was over the weekend. It was lonely there and I didn’t like it at all. After getting the CT results, the mental battle began. It is hard to continually get news that you don’t want to hear. The battle raged all weekend long. There were thoughts of death, arguments with God, sleepless nights. It was hard and too real to deal with. What is going to happen with me? What is going to happen with my family? Cancer sucks and life is not fair at all.

We met with my oncologist yesterday for my next round of chemo. He said the CT results were not as bad as the report read. Ye said, yes, there was a “little” more growth, but the chemo is keeping the cancer at bay and causing it not to spread out of control. He noted that the bladder was probably ok and I am getting an MRI on Friday to rule out any bladder issues. The visit was going well until I asked a question I have been wanting to ask, but have been afraid to get the answer to.

The question was whether or not my original two year prognosis has changed at all. To my surprise, the answer was no, my prognosis has not changed. This gives me 15 months left, speaking humanly and statistically. I was crushed and emotional to say the least. What if God chooses to take me? What will happen to my wife, my kids? They need a husband and father. It is not fair for my kids to loose a father at such young ages. Not fair at all. So, I find myself in another dark place, praying, wondering, crying…

Yes, cancer sucks and life is not fair.


25 Responses

  1. It’s those long dark nights that I think are the hardest. I’m so sorry you and your family have to go through such a thing. I will pray for you during my sleepless nights.

  2. Man, Steph .. this is incredible. I renew my passion to pray for a miracle, friend.

  3. Stef,

    I am here to give you hope. I work with a lady who Mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung cancer. Never smoked a day in her life. The eye doctor diagnosed her when she went in to get new contacts. She had a large tumor behind her eye. When she meet with the oncologist she was given 2-3 months max…. This was November of 2000. She is still kickin today. Happy, still fighting cancer, but an active part of her family’s life. Her treatment has basically been treating different tumors as they cause her pain. Her answer for her extention on life. FAITH IN GOD! She and her family have turned her prognosis over to God and begun to live life for each other. The cancer thing is part of it but dosn’t define it! I honestly have never meet anyone with a stronger faith. She has eight chidren and in the last eight years they have added 6 grandchildren to their wonderful family.

    What I’m trying to say is I can’t imagine how hard it is to hear that kind of news but doctors don’t always get it right! So LIVE ON BROTHER!

  4. Reading this makes me want to kick myself for every time I feel sorry for myself for some trivial thing. Your thoughts help us all put life in perspective a little better. I think you have been given a mission to be a testimony to all of us. Please feel blessed that God is using you. He won’t forget your family. We will pray that better news is just around the corner.

    Paul & Jackie Wetzel

  5. Stef,
    I have been reading your posts for a long time. I felt compelled to post this time. You coached my twin boys in soccer, Bailey and Jacob:) Life is NOT fair, if it were fair there would not be cancer, children dying, wars raging, and people suffering. We also can receive a diagnosis, and a prognosis, but what do they mean? GOD is in control. He can and will heal you. I truly believe that, with all my heart. I believe that our worries are just to be lifted up to God, and he will carry our burdens. I’ve learned this more as I grow older. Worrying will not add one day to our lives, and I understand this. However, it’s hard to put it into practice. It is okay to be angry, okay to be sad, okay to be lonely. Just know that when you goto these dark places, there is light at the end. People who love you, people who pray so hard for you, people who care. My boys pray every night for you, God is listening to the little children. Please know that hope is something we can never lose sight of. Hope and faith help us get through the dark times. I’m constantly praying for your healing, and for your beautiful family.

  6. I read this on your friend’s blog. It rips my heart out and makes me realize how shallow and superficial I can be at times. I don’t know you, but I am praying for you and your family. My stepfather had colon cancer and it was rough, and he made it out. He’s been around years since then to irritate the snot out of me 🙂

  7. I am sorry to hear your news. I can not even imagine what you are going through but I know God is still in control and he loves you more that you can ever comprehend. I sometimes think about how much I love Caleb and always want the best for him and how it does not even compare to God’s love for me and you! Please remember how our Father loves you and sees your pain. REFUSE TO LOSE!! Jen

  8. Stef,

    I couldn’t possibly know or understand what it would be like to be where you are. I wouldn’t even know how I’d handle it. You are a very strong person Stef. i know that strength doesn’t always get you what you want, but the determination allows you to live each day to the fullest and appreciate what God has blessed you with. the “unknown’s” and the “what-if’s” are scary, but know that God is always with you even in your lowest points, He is listening and blessing you everyday. I will continue to pray for you. God Bless You and Family. I also say to you REFUSE TO LOSE.


  9. I pray for you and your family every morning and night. Hang in there good buddy,

  10. My Dear Friend Stef-

    Surely one would expect that God in His infinite wisdom would heal you– for your sake, that of your precious family, and certainly for His Almighty Glory. That indeed is our prayer and hope. To think otherwise would be anything but a good human response. The only thing wrong with this whole picture, Stef, is that God is not human. He IS God! With that in mind it is your faith–our faith–in Him that guides us through each day and must be the strength that enables you through the humanly sleepless nights and thoughts of concern and worry about the future of your precious family. Don’t ever think there is anything wrong with having your concerns. I would think far less of you if you didn’t have these concerns–as I’m sure most people would. Faith, my friend, is what enables us to get through these difficult times. You know our family’s story, Stef, and that to this day we are concerned for our daughter’s future….however, our faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present God gives us the peace that passes all understanding. Are we happy with all the results? Should you be happy with your disheartening news? Certainly not! However, the peace WITH God that abides in you through the Holy Spirit is the source of God’s peace that He offers to your heart and mind and enables your faith to kick into gear. It is also this same faith that God uses to prepare the way for the future regardless of its outcome, and the same faith that helps us to know that God’s presence will always be with you and your family regardless of what the future brings. Humanly, Stef, refuse to lose! As a true believer though, know you can’t lose! God’s best for you and your precious family is what you will experience. So, rejoice that your future and that of your family is firmly in God’s hands, not yours, your doctors, or mine. Let your faith kick in and remind you of the precious attributes of your God. He will continually care for all of you and will only allow what is truly the best for His glory throughout our time here and through all eternity. I love you, man. I pray for your healing. I pray for your strength to be the man God has called you to be as a husband and father. I pray for your family’s strength to deal with God’s best for you. Keep living the life, Stef, and let God receive His due glory through you. You are being used for His glory every day–rejoice in what He is allowing you to accomplish for His kingdom and by faith live your life to the fullest for God’s glory and your pleasure. I love you, Stef!

    Your Lifetime Friend,
    Pastor Dave

  11. Stef-You have always been a great sourse of encouragement to us, especially Tyler. I do not know what to say when I need words of encouragement for the great encouager. I do not have the words. Cancer is barbaric. It flat out sucks!

    We are praying for you. You will beat this.



  12. Stef,
    As I read your latest post I couldn’t help but think how it truly is unfair. It makes me made that you even have to go through this. My heart breaks for your wife and kids. Battle on brother. Battle on.

  13. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

  14. Sorry to hear you had dark days. Dark days will come and go. You know my personal story with depression and my mom’s rare cancer. As she told me when it was a very dark day after hearing “you are now completely paralyzed.” “Mary, no matter what the sun and Son will shine today, tomorrow, and forever. We have Him what else do we need?” Hang on to your faith and it will pull you through those moments. The Lord will renew your strength. Right now you are a husband and father. Yes, your wonderful wife and children do not deserve this. Nor do you. Don’t doubt you, your faith when those moments arrive. Just keep searching for the Sonshine!! Yes, cancer sucks!! On March 14th my dad gets his biopsy results. I don’t want to go thru this again!! I don’t want to watch my dad suffer as my mom did. So here is my strength this week
    Psalm 139. Go read it. Put those darks moments right in God’s hands. Refuse to Lose!!

  15. You and your wonderful family are in my prayers.

  16. Stef & Sandi…

    I won’t even begin to imagine the emotion & mental mind games you guys must be going through at this point in your cancer battle. I hate to sound trite & cliche’ish but the only thing I can think to do is turn to scripture for support, help, encouragement & strength. As a result I was directed to a passage in Philippians this morning. I don’t know how but I hope that you will find encouragement through it. We love you guys!

    4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6. do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

    10. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


  17. Stef
    The light you live your life by touches so many people. I hope that during this time of grief the light you shine is reflected back to you. I found this quotation and wanted to share it with you. My love is with you, Sandi, and the kiddos.
    “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.”
    — Anne Lamott

  18. Stef, my heart is broken for you and your family!!! I am truely sorry for your time of sorrow and darkness!!! Satan is the prince of darkness, DONT let him get the better of you, “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD”!!!!! Continually praying for you and your precious family!!!!

  19. Stef and Family,
    We are saying MANY prayers for you. Tyler asked about you yesterday.


  20. Stef,
    Your post brings me to tears. I cannot imagine what you and Sandi are going through. Man it sucks! Here is a verse that hopefully can encourage you – Deut. 20:4 – “The Lord your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your ememies (CANCER!) to give you victory.” Brad and I are praying for you! Brad and Jacob pray for you every night before bed!
    Brad and Andrea Nelson

  21. Stef, it has been way too long since I perused your blog! I’ve been reading through your posts and am so sorry to hear the prognosis and know that this is such a dark valley to walk through.

    Any words I could say would probably seem hollow, but please know that I write them with all sincerity and a heartfelt concern for you and your precious family.

    Yes, cancer sucks and it is not fair as we esteem justice; not fair at all. The righteous persish while the wicked appear to prosper yet we know from an eternal perspective that this is an illusion, for in the end all injustice will be righted and we will have eternity in the most awesome of all places where there is no more sickness, pain, heartache or death.
    We will never again experience the sorrow of saying good bye, nor separation from those we love. but that may be little comfort to a man who is looking at his family and wondering what will happen to them should the Lord take him home…

    He is faithful Stef; the Father loves you and your family,, he truly does! And He is trustworthy, that is all I know.
    But I weep with you in this trial and pray for, believe for your healing!!!
    Keep fighting the good fight of faith and never, ever give up!
    Hold fast and Refuse to lose!

    Our love to you, Sandi and the children in Jesus Christ our Lord. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers Stef!

  22. Stef,

    As I read your blog and all of the words of those that love you and your family so very much I just weep. I can’t look at my own kids and understand even the smallest bit of the emotions that you feel. You have blessed so many lives in a way that you will never fully understand with the great strength that you’re showing…..even at the darkest of times. All of us are so very lucky to be a part of a man’s journey that has such a love for God.

    As always, you and the family have all of our families prayers. Sometimes when you’re feeling at your darkest…..have those beautiful children sing ‘Jesus Loves You’. Hearing those sweet voices singing such a simple song of truth can do wonders!


  23. Steph,
    Sorry to hear about your rough report 😦 Your pastor’s entry was beautiful.

    I don’t see an e-mail address; thought I’d pass along that Mark & Matt Bidd’s mom died suddenly last Monday.

  24. Stef,
    I know that the reason for your despair is not because of yourself, but because you are worried about your wife and especially your children — That seems so like you, to put concern for others above yourself! I feel helpless to say anything that could bring comfort to you right now, but I just feel that you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue to live life to its fullest. Also, by definition, a prognosis is a prediction — it’s not etched in stone — there is room for error, as Tyler’s cousin, Debbie, posted earlier on this blog — You are such a great guy, and there are many, many people who are made better by knowing you!

    Refuse to Lose — You have countless people praying for and backing you!!

  25. Hi Stef, As I read your recent posting…my prayers go up for you and your family. Don’t think of it as how much time you have because only God knows that answer. Just as you know, although easier said then done. You have to take each day as it comes realizing each day counts because tomorrow could be the last day for any of us. Cancer does stink. I had to see my dad fight it, and to be honest it is not fun but I believe God is still at work in every situation like this. I am praying you beat the stats, even when you were given a time frame…because in the end God is in control of all of it. Keep fighting just as you have been saying…Refuse To Lose!! Praying for you and Sandy.

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