Saturday, June 16, 2018

Fathers Day Thoughts From a Prostate Cancer Survivor

As a prostate cancer survivor of seven years, I don’t take reaching any milestone or holiday for granted.Therefore, my first thought and feeling is a profound sense of gratitude that I’m alive to celebrate another Father's Day. Prior to my diagnosis of prostate cancer, I never considered living to celebrate another Father's Day was an achievement to celebrate.

As a dad, whether I like it or not, I've influenced my children in both positive and negative ways. From my perspective, one of the worst things I've passed on to my sons is a greater likelihood they'll one day hear the awful news they have prostate cancer.

I don't know why, but on Father's Day this reality becomes a heavier burden:
"Family history is the strongest risk factor for prostate cancer. A man with one close relative with prostate cancer – for example, a father or a brother – is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as a man with no family history of the disease."

No father wants his son(s) diagnosed with prostate cancer. I deal with my greatest fear with useless worry. I worry whether my sons will insist on prostate cancer screening on a regular basis. I worry whether their physicians will take their increased risk seriously enough to insist on regular screening. I could write pages about the futility of worry, but thousands of articles are available to address this issue. 

When I get stuck in the worry muck, I turn to two Bible Verses. In the first Bible verse Jesus asks:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? (Luke 12:25)

It's a powerful question and a good reminder that all my time spent worrying is a waste of time. So if worry is a waste of time what do I do with the very real concerns I have? The second Bible verse gives me a positive alternative to worry:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippines 4:6-7)

An important aspect of my Father's Day is spending time praying for each of my four children, their wives, and my grandchildren.

Prayer is a wonderful reminder I'm not the only Father involved in the life of my children. They have a Heavenly Father who loves them more than me! As I grab hold of that reality, my worry fades away. This enables me to enjoy the day with a heart filled with gratitude that I'm alive to celebrate another Father's Day.

There's one more prayer that's easily neglected or forgotten. I pray that my wife and I, two broken and imperfect parents, receive wisdom from above to become the best parents we can be. We rely on this amazing promise:
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
I shutter to think of my parenting without wisdom from above.

There's one more important Father's Day reflection. I think back to my dad. I sort out the positive memories and experiencs and the negative ones as well. There are valuable life lessons contained in these memoires. Joyful things to do and share, as well as very negative, careless and abusive things I want to avoid, rather than pass on to my family.

If there's conflict and divisiveness, Father's Day is a reminder to do everything possible to be a peacemaker in order to resolve family tensions. The Bible says this about those efforts:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.(Mathew 5:9)

I wish everyone who is a father, or who had a father, a Happy Father's Day. Whether  your father was absent or present, kind and loving, or abusive, alive or dead, there are important life lessons for you to know and grow.

For those who long for a Father's love, you have a Heavenly Father who promises never to forget, leave, or forsake you. It's my prayer you'll experience your Heavenly Father's love for you this Father's Day weekend.

Rick Redner and his wife Brenda Redner wrote two award winning books. The first:
provides men and couples with information and support before, during and after prostate surgery.

Their second book was written for couples living with!erectile dysfunction. After living with erectile dysfunction for four years, Rick chose penile implant surgery. The couple share how implant surgery changed their lives and relationship.
The title of their book is:

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