By Bob Irwin
Originally published May 2015
It all started when I saw my cardiologist on February 5, 2015. It would be a journey that would be my adventure through cancer and through health. On this February day, the doctor noted that two kidney function tests were elevated and suggested that I get a renal scan. On February 12 my scan showed a large tumor in my right kidney. Subsequent tests were taken and verified that I had a large kidney cancer, which had spread to the adrenal gland and renal vein. Surgery was performed on March 4, and it verified all of what the tests predicted. There is no known successful medicine or radiation for this problem. Therefore, I am headed for an experimental drug trial at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Southern California.
The above story is the laser version for my men’s team, but it doesn’t tell my story and how it feels each step of the way. The true reveal: I was sitting in my driveway and reading a book in the sun when my cardiologist called and told me the bad news.
My first reaction was disbelief, then shock, then fear, and then pissed that 15 years on a men’s team had not prevented my physiology from responding in such a way to my psychology stressors. One minute later a man in my division called for a routine problem, and I shared what had just happened. A few minutes later I was telling my wife the news while we both were crying.
Over the course of the next few weeks this repeated itself many times.
I slowly began to tell my kids, brother and sister, grandchildren and then my team and division.
I became equally challenged and supported. I started to take one step at a time. I began working with a Healer who kept reminding me to fall in love with the gift of cancer. She told me how this was going to support me on my journey. I started to have dreams and conversations with my kidney, believe it or not.
The message I received was to start caring for me first and then my family and the men. The next message was to focus on my diet and spirituality. I have investigated many websites about healing cancer. Many sites were actually about taking advantage of people’s fear of cancer and taking money from desperate people. For now, my plan is to focus on healthy eating, meditation and spiritual searching. I focus on being grateful and what I am feeling during each day. I value each day, and my sense of urgency is growing.
We are all worthy of being healthy.
Recently, I came across a Vedic Meditation thought for the day from Jeff Kober in Ontario, Canada. It expresses best how I feel at this time:
“Dear God, being of light, I surrender this relationship to you. Take it, please help me to know what to do. Give me strength and courage to do it. Help me to remember I am not in charge. Help me to be loving and kind. Help me to be of service. Help me to be who you would have me be. Help me to be the best that I can be. Help me to remember that whatever nature has in store for me must, by definition, be greater than what I can imagine for myself. Thank you.”
I feel healthy at this time and pray that I will be able to overcome this challenge with the support of my wife, family, men’s team and, most of all, God.