My best friend is dying.
Quite the opening sentence, I know. Imagine how he feels. But, in all seriousness, as I sit in front of my cozy fire and write this, Trevor is in the fight for his life, as the returning cancer kills him and every round of chemo "treatment" feels like it's killing him faster.
Before I go further, let me go back. Trevor had been working for my husband, Buddy when we started dating in 2003. I always knew Trevor was an easygoing, creative and all-around great guy, but didn't fully get to appreciate him until I began working for Buddy, and Trevor and I began working together.
He's an amazing person, and exactly the guy you want when times get tough. Trev and I love to reference the movie Braveheart and other heroic films, so humor me when I write that he is a true warrior and exactly the comrade you want with you on the battlefield (should you be in an actual battle, otherwise, you still want him around). At our former company we experienced good times, great times and times where we wondered if we would survive. I can remember nights where Trevor and I would pour over spreadsheets and statistics, prepare fun sales contests for the next day, and agonize over what we could do to make things improve. During the greatest "slump" we'd experienced, Trevor and I, along with our team, put all of our energy and effort into achieving what became a major turnaround and to watch the company grow beyond any previous records, and begin to thrive again. It was a great professional and personal triumph that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and we couldn't have done it without Trev.
In addition to Trevor being a great co-worker and employee, Trevor is an amazing friend and human being. He's a professional photographer and has donated countless hours to the Make-A-Wish Foundation (ironic right), military family portraits, church events and more. He attended our "destination" wedding, has photographed countless Christmas cards for my family, maternity shots and more. He even spent hours hanging out with my husband and me, while cheering on my 42 hour labor with my first child. Lest I forget, he snuck champagne into my recovery room after the birth of our second child and snapped his very first professional photo. Needless to say, Trevor has been there for many of our family's milestones and is a big part of our lives.
Trevor has taught me more about loyalty than any one person I've ever met. I used to joke with Buddy that Trevor is so loyal to him, that he'd bury a body for Buddy (albeit crying the whole time) and ask questions later. In a time of need, we can always rely on Trevor.
Trevor is 36 years old, is the husband to a beautiful and loving wife, and father to two precious children for whom he adores. Knowing what they're going through, is possibly the hardest thing of all. I lost my dad when I was 3 and the grandfather who filled the role as my dad passed away 3 days before my first child was born. I've lost people that I've loved before, but I have never been so close to someone so young and watched as they battled such a mammoth feat, with so many odds stacked against them. His battle has been arduous, and would take too long to detail. Let me just say that when we found out that his cancer was in remission last year, we rejoiced with a glee that is indescribable (we even announced it on our Christmas card). During the year of his remission, he had a difficult time finding his "new normal", as doctors referred to it. The surgery to remove the cancer completely changed his anatomy rendering him dependent upon a feeding tube for nearly a year, life on a liquid diet, constant pain, vomiting and more. In lieu of all that, he remained grateful to be cancer-free, and alive for his family and tried to focus on his many blessings. All the while he was staring down the barrel of a 5-year finish line that he was 50% likely not to make and if he did, then the odds would be in his favor to live to a "ripe old age". If the cancer returned within 5 years, it was a whole other ball game (I'll spare you the prognosis statistics).
A few months ago, they found some nodules on his lungs, a few months later the biopsy confirmed that it was cancer. And now, we're back to the beginning of this wonderfully uplifting blog, where one of my most favorite people is fighting for his life. The statement, "My best friend is dying," is raw, I know, and yet real, so forgive me for not apologizing. He needs a miracle. Without one, his situation is grim.
In his first round with cancer, my faith was strong, my prayer life devoted and my outlook hopeful and confident. This time, I've felt angry, rejected, disconnected and so confused. Through it all, and with the encouragement of my husband and friends, I've continued with my prayer-life and conversations with God. I'm not exactly sure what to do with these emotions, except to continue to fellowship with Him. I do believe that He is in this. He has to be. I know that regardless of the prognosis, I will continue to stand in the gap with my prayers and belief in a miracle healing for Trevor.
In my heart, I believe Trevor will get his miracle. At lunch yesterday, I asked a friend what God's purpose could be for Trevor's young life and his answer brought comfort to me beyond words. He said, Trevor's purpose is the same as all of our purpose, to reflect the Son. Regardless of our situation, we have a choice each and every day, to reflect God's joy and that cancer could steal Trevor's health, but it could not steal his light, or his testimony. That is up to Trevor. We don't know the whole story of how Trevor's testimony will be told. Only God does, but there's peace and joy in knowing that while Trevor doesn't have control over his health, he does get to choose what his testimony will be and how he will influence his children, family, friends and strangers with his life (I pray to God it be a long and beautiful one) and legacy.
I believe my friend and brother, Trevor will get his miracle. Each day, we helplessly standby as his body reacts to the different stages of his treatment, and it breaks my heart. Daily, we ask for a miracle healing, a cure, a clinical trial, so he can get away from the chemo and every day, I wait along with his family and friends around the world who are praying for him. I pray for more than just a cure, I pray for a spiritual healing and a revival in my sweet friend, and in me.
As I bring this post to a close, I'm conflicted about how to configure something clever to wrap up with. I will, of course, ask Trevor to read and approve this blog, prior to publishing it. I've written this over and over in my head and never reached a proper ending, something profound or witty. Perhaps something to make him smile. But, I got nothing...so I suppose I end with this:
As I watch you fight Trevor, I promise, I will NEVER stop believing. I know miracles are real, and damn it my friend, you deserve one! Please don't lose your faith. Don't give up on Him. And, when you feel weak, sick, defeated and broken, don't ever stop believing in yourself. He made you so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You just gotta keep looking at your beautiful family and find a way to find your fight. I wouldn't be me, and we wouldn't be us, if I didn't add some Gladiator language here, so here goes: You are a Warrior! Be Strong and Courageous...for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Oh ya, and, Winter is Your Season! So, STEP UP and Shake 'n Bake!
And, at the end of the day, keep your face toward the Son.
We're a family who loves living life to the full. We try to live each day with intention in an effort to find gratitude, seek wonder, show love and a experience a ton of laughter.