What I’ve Learned From Cancer

And why, yet again, I've learned to listen to my wife!

I have had cancer.

Before you get concerned, I have the kind you would want. Tomorrow, a doctor working a robot is going to remove 2% of my right kidney. A couple of days in the hospital, and that’s it. No chemo. No radiation. There is a 99% chance I’ll be cured.

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I’m sharing this with you because I’ve learned some things.

To set the stage, my wife has been bugging encouraging me to get a doctor for years.

Just so happened…

A couple of months ago, it just so happened that I woke up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain in my calf. I’m the deepest sleeper you know. That’s never happened to me. I’d been on a couple long plane rides, and I had the thought that maybe this was  blood clot.

I got up and went to the clinic and was sent to the hospital for an ultrasound. I didn’t have a blood clot. In fact, I still have no clue what that pain was.

Just so happened that a few weeks later I tweaked my back setting up a booth at a show. I’ve had back spasms since I was 14, but this was different. It lasted longer. It hurt a little different.

Then it just so happened that I was doing some yard work and got poison ivy…bad. My back hurt. I was itchy. So I broke down.

And it just so happened that there is a doctor who lives down the street from me. So I called to see if he was taking patients and scheduled an appointment.

And it just so happened that during the in-processing physical, my liver enzymes were a little off. To find out why, my new doctor ordered an ultrasound of my liver. (My liver is fine, turns out.)

Then it just so happens that during the ultrasound of my liver, the tech happens to see something she didn’t like on my kidney. After a CT scan, I get a phone call telling me I likely have renal cell carcinoma.

I have no symptoms. I feel great. But it just so happens that a phantom pain in my calf, a back spasm, poison ivy, and the encouragement of my wife led to the discovery of a 1.5cm tumor. And it just so happens that tomorrow morning, one of the best surgeons is going to perform a surgery that couldn’t be done a few years ago.

As I think about what is going to happen tomorrow, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.

I don’t believe in ‘just so happened.’ I believe that the hand of God orchestrated these events to produce a desired outcome. This type of cancer is the kind that grows silently until it is too late.

The truth is, there are very few times in my life where I have been able to see God working in the moment. I can often look back, slap myself on the forehead, and see what He was up to. Rarely, though, have I been able to notice His work as He’s doing it.

That is the power of this story for me. I believe that God is at work, for our good, all the time.

So here is what I’ve learned. God has given me a great gift. He allowed me to have cancer so He could demonstrate His power for me to see. Awesome.

He also reminded me, again, that I need to listen to my wife!

The last couple of weeks has been crazy, and I’m sure the next few will be as well. I may be more sporadic than normal with my posts. Or, if the hospital has wi-fi, I may be cranking them out.

I appreciate you all, and I’ll be back soon.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sending you prayers for a quick recovery Bo. I knew you were awful quiet lately and I will be thinking of you and wishing you comfort. I am so glad you listened to your wife. Please send her my thanks for getting you to listen!

    • I’ll do it Linda! Thanks so much for your friendship and the prayers!

  • David Monroe

    Your in my family’s thoughts and prayers Bo and it sounds like your in great hands, not just the docs. I guess I need to start listening to my wife more.

  • Kris Krisco

    Your are in our office, my family and my own prayers. Don’t need to have met you in person to understand the type of man you are. An honest, loyal, warm-hearted person – a rare breed in this day and age. Excited to hear when you are back on your feet in a couple weeks and feeling well. Call if we can help you out with anything!!

    • Thanks Kris – the feeling is mutual. Give my best to all my Buildout friends!

  • Heartfelt post, Bo. All the best to you and your family, and looking forward to seeing your future posts once things normalize!

  • Steve Critchfield

    Bo, after two bouts of throat cancer I truly understand your feelings. Although my outcome was not as certain as yours, next month I will get my 5 yr check up and clean bill of health (God Willing). We were lucky to get cancer as I thought I knew what was around every corner and I was in charge. Even today I have to remind my self of those dark days during treatment that I am not. Cancer certainly makes it easier to admit it…..and don’t forget to hug your wife, believe me she is going through more than you are. Good luck and God Bless.

    • Thank you for sharing that Steve. I definitely need to remember that this greatly impacts her as well. I pray you get the clean bill of health!

  • Jeff Rowlett

    Bo, my thoughts and prayers are with you and the hands of your surgeon. Thank you for being so bold to share your story and faith! Wishing you a full and quick recovery. God Bless.

  • ClientLook

    Good luck Bo. I’m sure everything will go great. We look forward to reconnecting after you’ve made your full recovery.

    • As do I! I’m ready for some more webinars! Thank you my friends!

  • CREOutsider

    I believe signs like this are all around us – we just have to remember to listen. So glad you did…and that you took the time to remind us all. Prayers for a speedy recovery and best to you and your family.

  • abuchanan

    INDEED! God works with all things for the good. Wow. I am so happy that you didn’t ignore the little “signs” and sought help. Praise the Lord! My prayers are with you brother. You have so much to live for and we expect to see you back in no time!

    • Alan, my friend! Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. It means a lot. Let’s talk soon!

  • Limor

    Amazing story – and you are not alone. That is the story of my life too! I’m trying hard to remember that everything happens not just for a reason, but for the best. I’m glad you are going to be okay. Your job is to inspire people and so I know you have a long road ahead to keep doing just that! I wish you a speedy recovery!

  • Wayne Riley

    Bo…I didn’t know about your ailment. But, I do believe that your assessment of God’s hands at work are spot on (no pun intended) My prayers will be with you my friend….Since God opened your eyes to this situation…..I feel quite certain that His plan is already in motion for your complete and forever recovery…..

  • Dee Hunter

    Bo – Get well quick. Cant keep a Marine down. Please contact me when you are well – 202-321-4529 dhunter@thennncrowd.com

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you my brother. Show him how a US Marine gets it done!

  • SDuncan

    “He sent forth His Word and healed them.” God doesn’t cause the rogue cells, but he was surely at work to stop what was trying to harm you. Someone was praying for you. Get well real soon, Bo.

  • Carol Cousins

    Sending you good thoughts and my prayers from sunny South Africa. Get well soon Bo.

  • Vicky

    I so appreciate your perspective, Bo. I love all that God has done and is doing though your life. Praying for you today. Blessings dear brother, Vicky