The Road To Zero

I continue to struggle to keep my weight up. That last six month Lupron shot really did a number on me. The above picture was my actual weight this morning. Sorry you had to see my deformed toes.

I had the same problem a year ago, and probably for the same reason. Some prostate cancer patients gain weight from hormone treatment. I lose weight from it, and I can’t afford to lose much weight. I’m already thin.

As I talked about in my post, The Six Month Lupron Shot Blues, the six month version of the shot I was given last time made my abdominal area numb for a couple of months, so I couldn’t feel hunger until my stomach started growling. I’ve never been able to eat when I don’t feel hungry. I’ve never been able to stuff myself, or overeat. That was a great advantage to me all my life until I got cancer. Now it’s a problem.

I’m sure I told this story at some point a year ago in this blog, but it bears repeating. Once, years ago, our dear friend Deanna asked my wife (tongue in cheek, I’m sure – that’s Deanna) if I eat. My wife said, yes, I eat, but I stop when I’m full. Deanna was incredulous! What a concept! I eat when I’m hungry, and I stop when I’m full! That’s worked really well for me until about a year ago.

A year ago, my weight reached as low as 120 pounds.

And that’s with socks on! That’s when the alarm bells went off in my head, and I realized I needed to see a nutritionist, which I did. Her name is Lisa, and my visit with her a year ago is told in my post, My Manna From Heaven. If you are a thin guy on hormone treatment who struggles to keep his weight up like I do, I highly recommend reading that post.

If you were reading this blog at that time, you may remember that her program worked very well for me, and I gave her some of my gourmet dark chocolate ice cream to thank her.

After my weight started going down again a month or so ago, I thought the time might come when I’d need to see Lisa again. After a week and a half of diarrhea from our trip to Mexico, that need became more apparent. So I made an appointment to see her yesterday.

My normal weight is 130 to 132 pounds. You might not think five to seven pounds is that much to lose or gain, but to me, it’s huge. It’s hard for me to gain that much weight. I have the opposite problem that most people have; it’s always been easy for me to lose weight, and hard to gain it. I’ve always had a high metabolism.

Once, in the 1980’s, I went on a four day fast for spiritual reasons. I was in my thirties at the time. I lost fourteen pounds in four days, and it took me six months to gain it all back. And that’s when I was perfectly healthy. Now it’s even harder.

I’m sorry I have to say this again, but please don’t joke that you wish you had my problem. Trust me, you don’t. I know you mean well, but it’s not funny.

By now, my bowel movements have gone back to normal, but my weight issues persist, as you can see. So when I saw Lisa yesterday, I couldn’t blame my weight on a bug from south of the border, or Montezuma’s Revenge. Just the same problems I’ve had ever since I got that six month Lupron shot. My appetite is not what it should be. I get hungry, but then I eat a few bites and don’t want anymore.

Since I had consulted with Lisa before, I pretty much knew what she would say, but there was additional information that I didn’t learn last time.

I told her about my appetite problems, and she said it’s a common issue for cancer patients in treatment. There isn’t really a good solution for it. She said if my problems persist in that area, there’s a mild anti-depressant that she can prescribe that also acts as an appetite stimulant. I’d really rather not go that route if I can avoid it.

But treatment isn’t the only thing that’s ruining my appetite these days. I’m also emotionally upset over a conflict between good friends. I wish I could fix it, but it doesn’t seem like there’s anything I can do. It tears me up inside, and that doesn’t help my appetite either.

The obvious solution to both my appetite and my osteoporosis and muscle tone loss is exercise, of course. I know I need to exercise, but it’s been hard to find the motivation to do so. But now I have to. At the very least, I need to walk more. We have a gym with a weight machine in our basement, so I need to start using it again. At least two or three times per week, according to Lisa. I’ll start doing that again tomorrow. And the weather is great here this week, in the seventies and even eighties this weekend, so there’s no excuse not to walk the dog.

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, Mark, aren’t you a medical marijuana patient? Isn’t that supposed to help with appetite?” Yes, it does. But what I’m taking and the way I’m taking it doesn’t really help my appetite at all. It’s true that pot smokers get the munchies, and that cancer patients on chemo get help with their appetites by smoking or vaping medical marijuana. But the oil I’m taking is so concentrated that, even though I don’t get very high from it, it ruins my tolerance for taking cannabis any other way. Smoking a doobie is not gonna help my appetite. I’ve tried.

But Lisa suggested that CBD, which is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, and also the part that has most of the medical benefits, could also help with my appetite. I have access to CBD from a hemp plant provided by my caregiver that I grind up and use to make tea. I’ve only done that occasionally, and never felt anything from it. But maybe it will help if I start brewing that for myself every day.

Lisa also wants me to start having protein shake lunches every day again. So I got some cheap ice cream, and ordered more of the MRM Natural Gainer I used before. My gourmet ice cream is way too good for protein shakes. Too expensive, too! In addition, she wants me to start eating before I go to bed. This is much harder than having a shake for lunch.

I understand the principle of eating before bed. I’m about to fast for eight hours or more while I sleep. I actually sleep for something more like ten to eleven hours each night these days. So I need to give my body something to digest during the night. But we usually eat dinner around 5:00 PM, and go to bed by 8:00 or 8:30 PM. Last night, we ate dinner around 5:30, having had chips and salsa for an appetizer, and my wife made pasta especially to help me gain weight.

But I ended up going to bed around 7:30 PM last night because I was so tired from the day. I was still full from dinner, so I didn’t eat anything right before bed. I didn’t get up until after 7:00 AM this morning. Almost twelve hours without eating. So I lost a pound instead of gaining. I need to be more intentional about eating before bed, even if I still feel full. But that’s very hard for me to do.

I’ve done this before, so I know how to do it again. I just need to get on with it so I don’t lose any more ground. If I don’t, Gaunt Cancer Guy is right around the corner.

I asked Lisa about diets for cancer that I’ve heard about from well meaning friends, in particular, the Ketogenic diet and plant-based diets. I wanted to know her professional opinion of those as a nutritionist. She said that the most important thing in fighting cancer is keeping a good BMI, or body mass index. Plant-based diets won’t do that for me. One of the benefits of those diets is weight loss. That’s a benefit I don’t need. It’s more important for me to keep my weight up than it is to try to sift out all of the “bad” foods for cancer, and only stick to the “good” ones. So excuse me if I keep having bacon for breakfast. It’s what I need to do right now, and probably for good.

After my consultation with Lisa, I told her about this blog, and that I had been talking about her in it. I told her I’d be writing about her today, and that I consider her to be a valuable member of My Team. I got emotional, right there in the office during a consultation. Shocking, I know. But this lady saved me from some real trouble a year ago by teaching me how to eat properly. I’m so grateful that I still have her to consult with a year later, now that the same problem has recurred.

As I’ve said before, I’m going back to the four month version of the Lupron shot from now on, to try to avoid this problem in the future. But this probably won’t be the last time I have to deal with this. I just don’t have that much margin for error. Gaunt Cancer Guy is still in the future, but I can see him coming. #waroncancer

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More Good News

I have more good news to report. I wasn’t expecting to get my PSA result so soon, but it came in this morning. My PSA, which was already low, at .16, is now even lower. It’s .06. It’s not quite what they would call undetectable, though I was really hoping that would be the title of this post. And I don’t think I can say I’m in remission, as the definition of that seems to be that you can go off treatment, at least somewhat. I doubt that will ever be true for me. But it’s great news, just the same.

It means that the trend is still down, which means my cancer is still shrinking. As I said in my post, Melanie And Me, my oncologist says that, at this point, it’s more about the trend than the actual numbers. The trend is still in the right direction.

It’s odd the way this test was carried out. For some reason, my next Lupron shot and PSA was scheduled for next month, which is too early for Lupron. It’s been two months since my last test, and my oncologist thought a two month interval was a good time to test. Normally, the blood draw happens a few days before, so I have a chance to talk with him about what it means. But this time, it didn’t happen that way.

So when I got my result from the My Centura Health account I’ve set up with them, I had trouble reaching my oncologist to ask about it. As much as I’ve bragged on My Team, my one real complaint is that the doctor is hard to reach. Even his assistant takes a while to return a message. I left a voice mail this morning to ask specifically if my new number was considered “undetectable” or if it meant I was in remission, but when someone called back, I was in a meeting, and couldn’t take the call.

All the assistant said in her voice mail was that my PSA was “slightly lower” at .06, and all of my other numbers are normal. So while I may not be in remission, since I have to stay on treatment, a number that low for a Stage 4 cancer patient with bone mets and who still has his prostate is an amazing number.

As I’ve said before, my PSA will never be zero, because of the fact that I still have my prostate. I thought .16 was as far down as it could go, but I was wrong. I’ve never been so glad to be wrong about anything.

Since I couldn’t reach my doctor or his assistant – she doesn’t work on Fridays, nor does my favorite nurse Melanie – I asked in a support group what number was considered undetectable, and got varying answers. Google was no help either. Every result assumed a low number after surgery. I couldn’t find an article that showed what number would be considered undetectable, or “no evidence of disease” in a Stage 4 patient who still had their prostate. But it’s hard for me to imagine that my number go any lower than this, barring a miracle.

The tone of the assistant who left a voice mail on my phone was not celebratory. It was very matter-of-fact, and it doesn’t seem that my doctor is overly excited about it either. I’m sure if I saw him, or if we’d had this result yesterday, he would have said I’m doing really well and let’s keep going, but probably not much more than that. So I probably shouldn’t use the R word or the U word. I’ll just take this number at face value. I’ll take it for the rest of my life! But I probably won’t get that option.

I know Xtandi gets a lot of the credit, but I think the cannabis oil program I’ve been on gets some of the credit too. I’m now on a lower “maintenance” dose that I hope to stay on long term. It’s just a matter of paying for it. Insurance doesn’t cover that.

And of course, the prayers of so many get credit for this too. Ultimately, God gets the credit for all of it. It’s been a while since I’ve thanked you all for your prayers, so I have to do so now. Thank you for your prayers. I feel them. They sustain me. Please keep it up.

The last time I had a really good report like this, some people had the impression that I was cured. That I was cancer-free. I’m not. I never will be, unless cannabis oil does everything they say it does, or unless God miraculously heals me. Maybe that’s what he’s doing right now. If so, all the glory belongs to him. If not, I’ll keep being a witness to his goodness to me during this time for as long as I can. #waroncancer

A Perfect Storm

My visit with my oncologist went as well as could be expected today. His answers to my questions allayed most of my fears. And I got to see my favorite nurse and my nutritionist! But I’ll start from the beginning. It’s a very good place to start, or so I’ve heard. Sorry for that ear worm. Actually, I’m not. I think Do Re Mi from The Sound Of Music is a brilliant piece of songwriting. But I digress.

I arrived at Cypress Hematology and Oncology here in Denver this morning. As usual, I took the stairs rather than the elevator. I’m glad I did, because I happened to run into my nutritionist, whose name is Lisa. I haven’t seen her since I gave her some of my ice cream to thank her for helping me get my weight back on track several months ago. I told her I was struggling with my weight again, and have some digestive issues that I think are a consequence of our trip to Mexico. She gave me her card again, but I didn’t need it. I made an appointment with her for Monday on my way out.

As I checked in at the front desk, the new girl at reception finally knew me. The last time I was in the office, I had teased her about how famous I am there. So when she simply handed me my badge when I walked in, I said, “See, you know who I am now!” She laughed and agreed. Have I mentioned that I love my team?

I didn’t get my usual MA this time, Nikki, but another that I’d seen a few times before, a lady named Leara (pronounced Lair-a). She came in to get my vitals before I saw the doctor. I told her briefly about my “episode” and how one of you had suggested that it may have been a drop in blood pressure that caused it. I asked her to take my blood pressure from a lying down position to a standing position, which she did. My blood pressure lying down was 125/78, and when I stood up, it was 107/78. Pretty strong. So it doesn’t appear to have been that, or at least not that alone.

I was very glad I had made this appointment to talk about the onset of osteoporosis with my oncologist. It came at the perfect time after my episode. But when the doctor came in, we talked about the osteoporosis first, since that was the reason for the appointment. I asked him how at risk I am for falling and lifting. He said he’s not an expert on osteoporosis, but he thinks I’m okay for normal activity. He wants me to exercise, but not try to lift too much. I can do that. But I need to be careful not to fall. Falling is dangerous, especially for me. So I did the right thing by sitting down immediately when the spell came over me. I guess I should have crawled to the bathroom instead of trying to walk. Then I wouldn’t have fallen the way I did. Live and learn.

He also thinks we’re being aggressive enough with treatment for it that I can expect my bones to get stronger, not weaker. That’s what the monthly Xgeva shots are for.

I have other contributing factors that may be at play in my osteoporosis, like the fact that both my mom and sister have it,  and the mere fact that I’m “a skinny white guy,” to use his terminology. Hmmm, Skinny White Boy sounds like a good parody of a certain Foreigner song I know. But who would play it?

Then I told him all about my Scary Episode. I gave him details that I haven’t given you yet. The crucial detail I left out of my last post is that my wife and I have both had diarrhea, or soft stools ever since we got back from Mexico. When I described to him what happened last Saturday night, he thought the most likely explanation was a “perfect storm” (his words) of dehydration from diarrhea, maybe some bug I’d picked up south of the border, and perhaps a slight drop in blood pressure.

So my friend Trevor’s suggestion that it was some kind of Mexican virus was the closest to the truth. He also had the best advice – stay off Google! Which I did.

It doesn’t appear to have been low blood sugar, and it definitely was not a cardiac event, or a heart attack. I feel fine today, and I wouldn’t if it had been a cardiac event of some kind. But he did tell me that if it happens again, I should get to the ER fast. Not an Urgent Care unit closer to home, but Porter Hospital, where their offices are located, because all of my records are there. That’s good to know in any emergency I may have, not just a recurrence of that dizzy spell. Porter is about 15 minutes away. It’s good to live in a big city at times like that.

While I was there, he decided to get my blood drawn for a PSA test, since it’s been two months since my last one. I’ll post again when I have that number, probably by Monday.

Then my favorite nurse, the famous Melanie came in. She was wearing the cross pendant I gave her. She gave me my Xgeva shot, and made sure my next two appointments for shots were on days that she’s working. She called me Honey several times. I love this lady so much. No, you can’t have Melanie. She’s mine. Unless you go to the same place for cancer care that I go to. If you do, insist on her!

On my way out, as I mentioned earlier, I stopped by my nutritionist’s office to make an appointment with her for this Monday. I want to talk to her about my recurring weight issues, and the continuing soft stools that can only be making that worse. I hope she’ll be able to recommend something to get this whatever-it-is out of my system.

In Mexico, we didn’t stay in an Americanized all-inclusive resort. We stayed in a house, and ate out at local restaurants for almost every meal. So who knows what I may have picked up from a Mexican kitchen, or maybe ice cubes (Do they use purified water?) or the wonderful seafood, which I ate almost every day.

Not that I’m complaining! If you’ve read my post about our trip, you know what a blessing it was. We just seem to have come back with a touch of Montezuma’s Revenge. We’re not the first to have that happen.

Some dire choices I might have to make were running through my head before this appointment. Lupron can cause heart problems, though it’s rare. It makes sense, since it ruins muscle tone, and the heart is a muscle. If it was cardiac event, would that mean I’d have to choose between staying on Lupron and risking a heart attack, or going off of it and just letting cancer take over? That was just one of the jolly scenarios I was considering. But thankfully, that’s not a choice I’ll have to make. At least, not yet.

I was overwhelmed and a little amused by the reaction to A Scary Episode. It’s now my #2 all-time most viewed post, and was probably only kept from the top spot by the fact that I shared a year old post yesterday, Priorities, which got a lot of attention. I’m incredibly grateful that so many care when I have major news to report. But I couldn’t help but be amused that I’d just written what I considered to be this beautiful post about hearing the voice of God in The Sound Of The Surf, and that post barely hit my usual low number of views. But write one about falling into the bathtub, and everybody wants to read it!

It’s good to have good news right after some bad news. The good news is, I appear to be fine. Other than cancer and osteoporosis, that is. I got to see my team, and I got to give you some good news. Let’s all hope and pray that the news is still good when I get my PSA number. #waroncancer

A Scary Episode

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I’m exhausted and very shaky today. Not only, or even mainly because I had a five hour rehearsal with the kids yesterday and a show this afternoon. It’s because of something that happened during the night last night. I had some kind of “spell” or “episode,” and I feel like it’s weakened me significantly.

I went to bed around 9:00 PM, which is late for me these days. I went right to sleep, as usual, thanks to the Tiny Popsicles. I need to update you on that program, by the way, but that’s for another post. I was awakened at about 12:30 AM by our dog Sookie barking to be let outside. We don’t have a dog door, and it’s my job to let the dog out during the night.

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Sookie has attitude

So I got up and went down two flights of stairs to our back door to open it for her. I needed to “do some business” myself, but I always wait for her, because she’ll invariably bark to be let back in while I’m in mid-steam, if you know what I mean. While I waited, I was overcome by a wave of dizziness, nausea, and sweat pouring out of every pore of my body. I felt like I was about to faint or vomit, but I did neither. I couldn’t keep standing up, so I sat down near the door to wait.

After letting her back in, I tried to make my way to the bathroom by holding on to whatever I could find along the way. I made it there, but once I stepped into the bathroom, I lost my equilibrium and fell into the bathtub.

My wife happened to be up at the time, and came to see what had happened. There I was, lying in a heap in a bathtub, unable to get up. And I still needed go. Really bad. This would not do. I was not about to pee my pants in a bathtub.

I assured her that I could get out on my own, and she went back to bed. I did manage to do that, and get my business done. Now all I needed to do was go back up two flights of stairs to the bedroom. I didn’t even make it out of the bathroom on my first try, I was so dizzy. I had to lean on the bathroom counter for a few minutes and collect myself first.

I finally managed, by hanging on to both bannisters all the way up and gripping walls and whatever else was handy, to get to the bed. But my pajamas were completely soaked with sweat. I couldn’t just climb back into bed. I had to change. So I sat on the edge of the bed for a few minutes until I felt like I could stand long enough to change out of my wet clothes into some dry ones.

Once I had changed and gotten back into bed, thankfully, I went right back to sleep. But when I got up this morning, I was very shaky on my feet. I felt very weak, and still do.

A fall like that is scary for anyone, but for me, having been newly diagnosed with osteoporosis, which was caused by Lupron, it was a nightmare scenario. It’s exactly the kind of thing I need to avoid. I got by with just a scrape on my forehead and a deep bruise in my right thigh that’s made it difficult to stand, sit and squat today. Perfect for a day when you have a gig and are expected to carry musical equipment.

I have no idea what might have caused that episode. Maybe I ate something that didn’t agree with me. Maybe my system is still flushing out stuff I ate in Mexico. Maybe it’s related to my treatment in some way. I don’t know. But it can’t happen again. Falling is not allowed.

I have an appointment with my oncologist on Friday to talk about my osteoporosis, and how careful I need to be. How much weight can I lift? How dangerous is falling for me right now? I know I’m supposed to be exercising, but I feel like I need to talk to him first before I start.

I’ve talked before about how Lupron is making me weaker every day. But until now, it’s been a gradual process. But I feel like last night’s episode took me down a few notches. Like I’ve lost ground that I’ll never make up.

Did that keep me away from the kids’ show today? Of course not! The show must go on, and there was no way I was gonna let them down. Besides, we’ve been working towards this performance for months. I wanted to be there with all of my heart. So I went, and as expected, the joy of being with them and performing got the ol’ adrenaline juices going, and I got through it fine. The kids were amazing. I’m so proud and happy to be part of The Littleton Conservatory Of Rock.

I didn’t tell my friend Todd, who runs the Conservatory, about how shaky I felt or why. I didn’t want to put that on him. But I did tell his wife Sandi, who I’ve mentioned many times before in this blog. I at least wanted someone there to know what was going on in case I collapsed onstage or something.

I can’t help but wonder if I really have lost some basic physical strength because of this that I’ll never get back. I continue to lose weight. I get hungry, but eat a few bites and don’t feel like eating anymore. That’s making me weaker too.

If something like that happens again, it could be disastrous. What if, next time, I fall down the stairs? Or hit my head on something sharp?

My dad got one of those walker carts with wheels recently. I saw someone using one in a store the other day, and wondered how long before I’ll need one. How long before cancer, or Lupron, or both compromise the strength of my bones to the point where I can’t do much at all?

Tomorrow should be a recovery day, but I need to work in the morning and we’re hosting a friend for dinner. I refuse to cancel that. It’s been too long since we’ve gotten together with her. Tuesday will have to suffice. I just hope that I don’t have another scary episode like that between now and then, or ever. #waroncancer

The Sound Of The Surf

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Playa Los Muertos in Sayulita, Mexico

 

It was an amazing week in Sayulita, Mexico with our dear friends Paul and Denise. It was our first trip to a tropical location like this in twelve years. Everything about it was wonderful, but I had forgotten how much one simple aspect of it would affect me; the sound of the surf.

We spent our last full day there on the beach. Most of this post was written there, with the above view in front of me and the sound of the surf in my ears. I thought I might be inspired to write from there, and I was. The surf was gentle and fairly calm that day, and the sound of the waves coming ashore soothed my soul in a way that’s hard to describe.

One Lupron note. You know you’re on Lupron when you’re at the beach and you’re more interested in the bikini-clad girl’s dog than in the girl herself.

Despite the fact that I live in the inland mountain state of Colorado, I’ve always been drawn to the beach. I’ve always wanted to live on the beach, or at least in a beach town. Something about beach culture appeals to me. I think it’s my inner hippie coming out.

The house where we stayed was not very close to the beach, but it had a breathtaking view of the bay below us. The sound of the surf is always there. Until the outdoor live music in town started at 9:00 PM, which it did Every. Single. Night. Some kind of local festival was going on, which made things interesting. But the music didn’t keep me awake once, because the sound of the surf so deeply relaxed me throughout the day.

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The view of Bahia de Banderas from our balcony

 

A couple of notes on the house where we stayed before I continue. We were frequently visited by a very friendly Cocker Spaniel, who belongs to the owner of the property. Her name is Lady. She helped me not to miss my Sookie so much.

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The Lady of the house

 

And in our room, there was a statue of the Buddha. I decided that was a good place to hang the cross pendants I brought with me.

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I cover you with crosses, Buddha

 

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well I’d get through this trip, so soon after my last trip to visit my family. I thought I might have problems with my energy level, but I only needed one recovery day while we were there. That was Monday, after a strenuous three hour boat ride on choppy seas, holding on for dear life. But it was nothing sleeping in and taking a nap couldn’t cure.

I also stressed about the mere fact of being away from home for a week. I can’t explain it. It must be a security thing, but I find myself wanting to stay home these days. Overall, I feel like I’m in a weakened state. I feel very vulnerable outside my comfort zone. I don’t feel like I’m physically capable of things I used to do easily. So I have difficulty venturing outside what I feel is my “safe zone.”

One quick example from the trip. On the boat ride excursion we took, there was one place the boat stopped to allow passengers to swim to shore through a tunnel to a picturesque beach area. The trouble was, you had to jump into cold ocean water over your head to swim there, maybe a quarter of a mile. Two years ago, this would have been no problem for me. This time, there was no way. If I’d tried that, I don’t think I’d have had the strength to hold on for the ride back. Stuff like that reminded me of my reality while I was in paradise.

Even in paradise, I still had to take my medicine. I can’t think of a better way to take it than sitting on this balcony, looking out at the ocean, listening to the sound of the surf.

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There’s something about the sound of the ocean, the sound of waves hitting the shore that relaxes me like nothing else does. Rough waters or calm, the ocean speaks to me. With the sound of each wave that washes ashore, I can exhale more deeply than I can anywhere else. The longer I’m near the ocean, the more the stress that’s been coiling up inside me since I found out I have cancer loosens. This was exactly what the doctor ordered. This. I had no idea how much I needed this.

For me, being near the ocean is being nearer to God. The ocean speaks to me of God’s faithfulness, his power, and his unchanging nature. When the waves are high like they were on Saturday, or choppy like they were when they were tossing our tiny boat on Sunday, the waves say, “Who are you to question the ways of the One who set the boundaries of the sea, and spoke the laws which govern it?” The ocean reminds us how small we are, and how big God is.

The crashing waves remind me how futile it is to ask Why Me. It’s like asking why a particular wave hit the rocks the way it did. The power of the waves reminds me to trust an all-powerful God.

When the waves are calm, like they were our last day on the beach, when I wrote most of this post, they’re like a gentle, caressing hand, massaging my soul. They say, “Relax, Mark, God’s got this.”

On the balcony of the house where we stayed, the sound of the surf is far away, but always there. It says, “God may seem far away, but he’s always with us.”

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Sunday morning fog over the bay

 

I brought my iPod and a Bluetooth speaker on this trip, like I always do when we travel. For the first few days, I used it. But after a while, I didn’t want to anymore. I’d rather listen to the sound of the surf. I can listen to music anytime.

This trip was an unexpected gift. Due to the state of our finances, we never expected to go on a trip like this again. My wife and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this July, and when Paul and Denise invited us to join them in Sayulita, we decided to count it as our anniversary trip. We are so grateful to them for making this happen for us, and having them with us the whole time made it even better.

Because in the end, that’s what really shows the love of God, more than the waves. It’s the love of friends like these, in times like these.

Thankfully, Paul and Denise traveled back to Denver with us. We’ll be able to continue to see them. The sound of the surf followed me home too, but only in my soul. I hope to hear it again one day, but if not, I’m eternally grateful for this chance to hear the voice of God in the sound of the surf for a few days. #waroncancer

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