Monday, January 12, 2009

Mike Dellosso: From the Valley, Part I


Before we get to today's post, a quick link regarding Liz and Katy. Romance author Gemma Halliday is holding an auction on her site, with all benefits going to Liz and Katy. The auction includes items such as autographed books, as well as services such as writing critiques. Go here to read about the auction and donate an item/service to it. The auction will be held Jan. 19-26 on the Romantic Inks website.
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It's a suspense author's personal nightmare--and it comes in the midst of one of most exciting times of his life. He's thirty-five years old. A husband and father. His first novel is about to be released. Then the news from his doctor hits: "You have colon cancer."

Mike Dellosso tells the story of his journey through cancer on his web site. As Mike fought the cancer his debut novel, The Hunted, was released. Now he looks forward to March 2009 and the release of his second novel, Scream.

Today and tomorrow, Mike will tell us about his frightening experience and what he has learned from it.
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Part I

March 17th, 2008 was a day that changed the way I saw life, the way I viewed God, the way I looked at suffering. It was a day that changed me.

I was at work, doing my thing, when I received a phone call . . . the phone call: “Michael, I’m very sorry, but you have colon cancer.”

So, no big deal, right? The surgeon can just go on up there with his little scalpel and cut the tumor out, right? Then I can get on with my life, right?

Right?

A week later I was sitting in the surgeon’s office and he was telling me he was going to make a twelve-inch incision in my abdomen and remove a portion of my colon, I’d be off work for six weeks, go through seven months of chemotherapy, and deal with an ileostomy that whole time then undergo another surgery to reverse the ostomy.

I left there feeling like I’d been sucker-punched in the gut. And my heart ached for my wife and three little girls who would have to go through this with me.

Um, Lord, I don’t remember signing up for this. I think you made a mistake.

And the kicker was that all this was happening just weeks before the release of my debut novel, The Hunted. Bummer. Talk about poor timing.
But of all the things I would learn over the course of the next nine months, I would learn that God doesn’t make mistakes and that His timing is always perfect. Always.

Three weeks after that initial visit with the surgeon, I was going under the knife. And if I thought recovering from the surgery was hard, getting used to the ostomy was even harder . . . but the chemo topped it all.

You know what, though? As I look back on my journey through the valley, I now see it as the gift it was. Strange, I know, to think cancer and all it’s trimmings a gift. But consider this: I’ve experienced something that few my age or in my stage of life get to experience. I’ve seen God’s faithfulness up close and personal, I’ve had a front row seat to His comfort and love, His promises are more real to me now than they’ve ever been, I’ve felt His arms around me when I couldn’t stand on my own and heard His voice in my ear when I wanted to give up.

It’s not the kind of gift I would ever ask for, but it’s what I got and I’m thankful for it.

Here’s a few other lessons I’ve learned from the valley...

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Tomorrow--Part II

7 comments:

Susan Skitt said...

Thanks so much for sharing what God is doing in Mike's life. His life and story has touched me deeply. I pray that our Lord will continue to meet his needs and those of his family according to His riches in glory.

I've experienced too that our Lord is truly with us through the valley of the shadow of death. However dark it may get, it is just a shadow, but praise God, He is our light and walks with us!

I've found that familiar passage of Psalm 23 takes on a whole new meaning when we face troubled times. Praise God for the promises in His Word and the work of the Spirit, whispering in our ear, "I am with you always, my child."

In Jesus' love,
Susan

Tracy said...

Thank you, Brandilyn, for sharing this with us. What a show of spiritual maturity, to see this extreme difficulty as a gift. While we all (I think) prefer the mountaintop, it is in the valley that we experience our best growth. Powerful testimony! Blessings!

lynnrush said...

Amen. Thanks for this. Looking forward to tomorrow's part II.

M. C. Pearson said...

Thanks for sharing this, Brandilyn. Mike is a neat guy, I've only just met him via email. Praying for him!

Jason said...

Mike, thanks for sharing with the readers here. What a great attitude, but more importantly, what a great testimony of God's goodness and faithfulness that you've earned. You wouldn't necessarily have that if not for what you went through.

I know it isn't as easy as it seems in writing about it now. But you're giving people hope, so thanks again. God bless in your continued healing.

Pam Halter said...

Amazing testimony. Thanks for sharing, Mike, and I'm looking forward to part 2!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Amazing how we can walk through such trials and say, "I wouldn't want to do it again, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!"

I've been in that valley before, and we're in another one now with our daughter, who had a brain tumor and is now undergoing radiation treatment.

God is so good. He's so faithful. And I'm so in awe of how he uses these stories to bring hope to others.

Looking forward to reading part two, Mike! Thank you for sharing your story.