A remarkable 15 years young Baer, cancer survivor I have come to know, wrote me recently. Its a long letter, It was so beautiful I just had to share it:
“if I could tell you anything about cancer it is this… It has been the worst and most incredible thing that has happened to me. My name is Baer, and i am a 15yr old AML (Acute Mylogenic Leukemia) cancer survivor. My story goes like this. It all started at my first high school track meet on ST. Patrick’s day, 2009. That morning I woke up feeling the sickest I had ever felt. My mom thought I should push myself and go anyway, because I didn’t tell her how sick I really was. So I ran, but my time was lousy. I felt awful afterward and started to cough blood.
That was the first physical symptom I had, and for the next two weeks I just got worse and worse because I was usually pretty healthy. Nobody, including myself, was very concerned until my blood test results. The doctor told my mom to take me right to the emergency room because he was very concerned about my cell count. When we got there, they took my blood again and told my family and me that I had leukemia.
I was told my treatment would last 6months all in the hospital. They started me on chemotheraphy the day after I was admitted. Then a few days later it started to hit me and that’s when I had an epiphany. God came to me one night while I was crying in my mom’s arms. I kept saying “this is too hard, I don’t think I can do this.” I had never felt so afraid in my life. So I just started to pray. I asked God right then and there how I was going to make it through this. Out of nowhere I said, “Trust in me….Mom, God just told me to trust in him.”.
From that moment on I knew if I trusted him through this, everything would turn out fantastic. I was hospitalized for the next four months. I suffered the worst pain I ever thought a person could take. The chemo, bone marrow, and spinal tabs were routine, I lost 20 pounds and all my hair. I had to face the fact that I might die. I saw other kids go through crazy things and didn’t understand why.
Even though it was the hardest thing I had ever done, my situation seemed so much better than others. My doctors said I wouldn’t be able to eat, I would spend a lot of time in the ICU for infections, and I wouldn’t be able to go home during treatment. But I ate three meals a day, got only one infection, and was able to go home for short visits. Before now it seemed like my belief in God was something done out of fear…kind of like “hell insurance” in the back of my mind I had always thought that there was a possibility God might not even exist. Sometimes when I would hear people speak at church about their experiences with God. I thought they believed in it so much that it just seemed real to them.
What happened to me with cancer totally changed my perception and my relationship with God. Now I know that God exist for sure, and no matter what, I cannot be convinced otherwise. God has shown me that the thing I feared most (Death) can be as wonderful a gift as life is. If we didn’t have death, life would not be as important or enjoyable. I can really say that I am not afraid Now. God helped countless times overcome all my fears and walked me through the hardest time of my life. God truly does work in mysterious ways. I know now that we cant take life for granted; we have to work hard and enjoy it as much as we can.
I feel like my life is the greatest gift that has been given to me. I’m living a dream that gets better everyday. I love what I have and I love what he has given me. That goes for all mistakes I have made, and all the bad things that have happened to me, because if my life went any other way, it would not be as wonderful as it is right now.
What a blessing it is to realize that God is in charge of what ever happens, that he can make good use of whatever we have to endure..