On March 28th, 2014 my dad was diagnosed with stage four Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, cancer of the blood. I had known that my dad was going in for a doctors appointment that morning, but I hadn’t heard anything yet. During my fourth period class that day my aunt texted me and asked “Have you heard from your dad?” I hesitantly replied with “No. Have you?” My aunt then replied with “Call me when you can.” This overwhelming feeling came over me and I immediately had the impression that my dad had cancer.
A little back story to this- a month before my dad was diagnosed he got shingles and he would be exhausted after walking around the house. When he would stand up his heart would beat as if he had just ran a marathon. At the doctors appointment that morning he had done a stress test and they put him on a treadmill. He quickly failed that and they thought he was having a heart attack. They rushed him to the emergency room and immediately put him into surgery to get an angiogram to make sure there was nothing blocking his heart.
My sister and I had arrived just as he was getting out of surgery and returning to his room. My grandparents from both sides were there, my dad’s sister and her husband, and my mom. I rushed into the room with tears and hugged my mom. At this point we didn’t know why my dad felt so bad. They had told us that nothing was blocking his heart and they were going to go forward and do a blood test. Well after what felt like the longest 2 hours ever, they came in and told us that his white blood cell count was 165,000. The normal number for your white blood cells to be at is 10,000.
I remember looking up and seeing my mom just sobbing. We all knew. Those were insane numbers. We could assume at that point it was cancer. I then received the warmest, most comforting feeling of peace, that I have no doubt was the spirit of the Holy Ghost and my Heavenly Father. I knew all would be okay. They then diagnosed him with Leukemia around 8 p.m. that night.
It’s been about 5 months now and everyday is a new day. My family has been the most amazing support group. We are so lighthearted about this whole thing and we have put our trust in the Lord. We laugh often and enjoy each others company. Our testimonies have been strengthened tremendously and we have come unto Christ in this whole trial. There was a quote from the April 2014 LDS General Conference that said “I would have never asked for this trial, but I would never ask for it to be taken away.” This isn’t a trial that you would ever wish for, but now that I am going through it, I would never ask for it to be taken away. It has added to my testimony, strengthened my relationship with my family members, and humbled me tremendously.
Since the time I can remember I have been my daddy’s girl. He has been my support system and rock to lean on my entire life. He has taught me some of the most important things I have learned in my life. My dad is the most amazing man I know. He is also the most stubborn man I know, so I have no doubt that he can get through this.
We always talk about how everything that happened before my dad got cancer was to lead to where we are now. I am a firm believer in the statement “Everything happens for a reason.” We had just moved into a new house just 7 months before this. We moved into the most wonderful ward [church group] who helps out with anything and everything they can. They have been a great support group through this. The friends that I had when this happened have been nothing but supportive and understanding. Candice Day, my best friend, has been the person that I have confided the most in. She listens to me laugh and cry to her all the time. I know this hasn’t been easy for her as well and she has been such a great rock to hold me up through it all. There are no words to describe my feelings other than grateful. Everyday I am so grateful for the little things that happen, and I am so grateful to look back and appreciate all the long term things.
As of right now, we just take it day by day. Every day is different. You just have to keep a positive attitude and keep a smile on your face and believe that everything is going to get better-because it will! God will never give you anything you can’t handle. I know that this trial is just a bump in the road. And I know that no matter what happens it will happen because that is what Heavenly Father wanted to happen. I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life while going through this. I don’t know what I would do without it right now. I am also so thankful for everyone who has reached out and helped my family so so much! We are strong. We can do this! We are going to kick Cancer’s Butt!! 🙂
Story written by: Lizzie Morris
This story was seen first on Real Imprints.