Hope Is the Anthem


3/17/18 – Yeah, I know… I haven’t posted anything since Thanksgiving. The truth is that I really didn’t have much to say. Everything has been going great and I had nothing new to share. All may scans have been excellent and my blood counts have been normal… overall, I just feel so blessed on the health front.
With this post I do have something that is worth posting about. When I started this adventure with Mantle Cell Lymphoma I was 47 years old. Today I turn 57 years old. Can it really be that I am 10 years older than when we began? It’s just crazy me to think this journey has been so long. If I think back to the day I was first diagnosed… when I Googled “Mantle Cell Lymphoma” … when I read all the grim and frightening things about my prognosis…and my life expectancy. 
But that was 10 years ago… a time when Mantle Cell Lymphoma was considered a death sentence… when all you would find on the internet about Mantle Cell Lymphoma were negative survival rates and/or remembrances of those who had succumb to the disease.
But that was 10 years ago… before I met Dr. Goy… before so many wonderful medical advances occurred… before there was a realization that when it came to Mantle Cell Lymphoma there is truly HOPE for anyone who has been diagnosed with the disease.
As I think about my journey I see myself as someone who is a great example that there is HOPE… after all I been treated 3 times for MCL, I have had a Stem Cell Transplant, and yes, a few setbacks along the way… BUT the most important thing is that I’M STILL HERE.
As I said above… I am so blessed with the good health I am experiencing and now I have such high hopes for my future. I plan to make the most of every moment. And yes, my HOPEcomes from God and all the great gifts He has bestowed upon me.
Speaking of making most of each moment… I recently attended a Men’s Spiritual Retreat. It challenged us to focus on things that matter most….To be the best we can be, each day… each moment. To pray daily, to be charitable, kind and compassionate to othersTo be available to serve others… and to be that peacemaker… not an instigator Instead of complaining, make things betterTo help others be better… and never tear them down with criticism.  …All of this being God focused at all times… being living proof of God’s love. This was clearly very impactful
To further enhance the message of the retreat one of the men shared this, to help keep us focused on what matters.
George Carlin's wife died early in 2008 and Georgefollowed her, dying in July 2008. It is ironic George Carlin -comedian of the 70's and 80's - could write something sovery eloquent and so very appropriate. An observation by
George Carlin:The paradox of our time in history is that we have tallerbuildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, butnarrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, webuy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses andsmaller families, more conveniences, but less time. Wehave more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, butless judgment, more experts, yet more problems, moremedicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend toorecklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry,stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TVtoo much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced ourvalues. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate toooften.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We'veadded years to life not life to years. We've been all theway to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing thestreet to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer spacebut not inner space. We've done larger things, but notbetter things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We'veconquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more,but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We'velearned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computersto hold more information, to produce more copies thanever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, bigmen and small character, steep profits and shallowrelationships. These are the days of two incomes but moredivorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These aredays of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwawaymorality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pillsthat do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a timewhen there is much in the showroom window and nothingin the stockroom. A time when technology can bring thisletter to you, and a time when you can choose either toshare this insight, or to just hit delete.
Remember to spend some time with your loved ones,because they are not going to be around forever.Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up toyou in awe, because that little person soon will grow upand leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,because that is the only treasure you can give with yourheart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and yourloved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embracewill mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment forsomeday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time toshare the precious thoughts in your mind.
And always remember, life is not measured by thenumber of breaths we take, but by those momentsthat take our breath away
I always looked at George Carlin as that man who could find something funny with just about anything. I was WOWed by his serious side… his ability to put life into perspective.
So, I had a lot to say with today’s post. In short…
My health has been greatI’m 10 years older from when my adventures with MCL startedI will always be hopeful with the help of GodI want to make the very best of each moment… Am I shooting too high to want to be as awesome as I can be each moment???Probably but I certainly worked hard to get to where I am.I now feel I need to make the most of it.
Here are some great songs about HOPE and LOVE that are sure to inspire you during this Lent and Easter season. Enjoy!
“Hope is The Anthem” by Switchfoot:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXIozS9B5E0
“All My Hope” by David Crowder with Tauren Wells: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sxpo5Yg5fs
“The Proof Of Your Love” by For King And Country (Ft. Lauren Daigle): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WR3h60V2tik
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Romans 12:12
More to come…

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