Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Trust. (A Gift I Opened.)

(Before you start reading this, I must start by offering my standard apology: this is about that silly little season of my life I'm sure you're sick of hearing about. If so, hit the back button now. I really don't mean to be melodramatic, or wear it on my sleeve like some "poor Ollie" sympathy thing.
It's just purity is transparency...and I want to use every aspect of my story to help others, well, not just "others," but to help you! Maybe it's not cancer, but maybe you can identify something in my stories with something in your life...that's part of my dream.
So, this is the part that may sound melodramatic, but I don't give a crap: I'd take a hundred more cancer diagnoses, if someone could be inspired to live.)

People say, "I battled cancer." Or, "He lost his battle with cancer."

I had cancer.

It was in my brain.

It was stage 4 brain cancer.

But, I did not battle it.

(Standardized Ollie Preface: I'm talking about me, myself, Paul Ollie Horne, Sr. I'm not speaking on behalf of all cancer patients and/or the otherwise terminally ill*.)

I've battled to recover from its effects, but...I did not battle the lemon-sized glioblastoma tumor, which manifest itself by causing me to have seizures on a plane in Nigeria.

I couldn't battle the tumor.

I had no training, no education, no equipment, no expertise, no degrees.

I had no sterile environments. No scalpels, no medical-grade Craftsman circular saws.

I had not a single item in any arsenal imaginable with which to wage this battle for my life.

Well, okay, I did have one thing.

One thing debated to be either foolish or wise...and the thing I personally hold out to be both: foolishly, even ridiculously wise.

That thing?


I only had one thing with which I could fight my battle: I had to give up my battle to the care of others.

Of course I had faith and trust, and I had those in copious doses. But that faith was not a possession to which I could lay claim. All faith we ever know is on loan to us, we're never its owner. We're never its manufacturer.

So all I could do was trust, and believe, and pray. (Now, I used to get indignant at the hokey movie line of the wise old doctor, who'd half in care/half in callousness, tell the anxious family, "All we can do now, is pray." I wanted to ask why not START there? Why not start with praying? Anyway.)

But I learned this amazing thing during this amazing thing!


I learned trust.

My neurosurgeon was the best of the best neurosurgeons.

My radiation oncologist was the best of the best radiation oncologists.

My medical oncologist was the best of the medical oncologists.

They explained things in unnecessary detail. When they weren't in the office, they were traveling the world teaching their colleagues their life-saving expertise. They weren't cocky, but they had the steady confidence you so desire in a person who is literally holding your brain in their hands.

(My greatest comfort came when one the oncologists described my neurosurgeon as a genius artist. A scientist, a genius, who performs art while removing unwanted lemons from the parietal lobe.)

I trusted.

I trusted the doctors and their staff.

I trusted Nurse Mark (free willy) when he made me do my predawn walk of the ICU.

I trusted the MRI techs when they assured me I wouldn't spontaneously combust in their tube of doom.

But you know what else I learned, or, well, I guess I should say my years of learning were tattooed onto my heart through this overwhelming blessing?

I learned that I really do trust God, my Daddy.

Some people have referred to this time in my life as a storm...but for me this has been so far from storm-like! It's been more like the kind of refreshing rain shower where country kids go outside and splash around in the mud...and throw their heads back, open their mouths wide, drinking raindrops straight from the clouds!!

Anyway, in all honesty, I've been given a gift. A super power, that's renewed every time I wake up.

It's called trust.

Trust is what carries us through the fear of the unknowns. Trust is what reminds us everything will be okay. Trust says, "It's okay if I don't understand, if I don't get how this all works, because I trust the one does know how all this works."

His name is God...but he prefers a more trustworthy name: Daddy.

Much Love!

*I had to "asterisks" this, because, short of the return of Jesus, we're all facing the same beautiful terminal disease: life. Congrats!

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