My CaringBridge posts may be infrequent for some time as I go through radiation and the deep tiredness that follows. My tumor is now making more and more choices for me. Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement. Please keep Ruth and the girls in your prayers. I have a new website where I will also be adding additional items in the coming weeks: www.pastorhogenson.com Love to you all. John.
Two weeks ago Tuesday was a hard night in the Hogenson household. While we had hoped that my rare and usual tumor would magically disappear, we had learned that it was doing just the opposite. It was growing and at an alarming rate. I scheduled radiation for the next morning.
What does one do before they start radiation? Why they get their hair cut of course! As we were about to enter the salon a couple approached us. I was sure that they were pan handling and were about to ask us for money instead something very different happened something wonderful. Instead of asking us for money, they asked if they could pray with us. This was a God moment. They asked me if I had any prayer requests. I told them that I had a rare and malignant brain tumor and was again given a very short time to live. To say they were surprised by my comment was an understatement. On the sidewalk in front of a hair Salon at Knollwood Mall we prayed. To say that this was a holy moment does not adequately describe the experience. After the prayer I told the young couple, who were part of a new mission church in the Uptown area, I was a Pastor and they were exactly what I needed at the moment. We shed more mutual tears, thanked each other and departed into the night. The experience still touches me deeply.
Can you pray? Then pray! Pray for you, for me and for people you don’t know. Pray for people that you love and people that you don’t like. Pray with someone. Someone once said, “God doesn’t need our prayers. We are the ones who need to pray”. I believe that is true.
I was glad to experience another Thanksgiving holiday. When people ask me how I am feeling, I always answer with the words grateful and sick which pretty much describes things. While I used to feel like someone recovering from a stroke who also had a tumor, the descriptors have reversed. I now feel like a person who has cancer and is recovering from a stroke. I will continue radiation through November and then may start a new infusion medication .
A blessing to me the last time that I had radiation was that I was too sick to understand how sick I was. Now I understand how sick I am. This round of radiation is taking all of my physical and spiritual energy. When I used to be a Chaplain I would teach seminars on grief, death and dying. Now that I am living the experience I am learning that the hardest part of this process is not the physical pain but the emotional pain of saying goodbye to people you love.
I hope that you had a great Thanksgiving and will have a happy advent and Christmas season. Let’s look upward, travel onward and be not afraid.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and for reading this. I love you.