This is the fifth day Rob has been on the road. Over and over again I think, “This reminds me of Christina’s journey through brain cancer.”
Of course, no one asks for brain cancer. And yet, Rob is entering into suffering willingly to stand with those who had no choice in their suffering.
I watch. I wonder. I am overwhelmed.
Rob has asked for his community to help him, support him, surround him in good times and hard times. When Rob got off his bike last night, he had to be helped to bed, and the community surrounded. Nurse Kim, massage therapist Darla, faithful friends, listening, loving, and laughing. I sat there thinking how often we sat around Christina’s bed when she was spent—too much pain after surgery, or too weak to move. Her community surrounded her in exactly the same way. It brought hope, joy, help and the way through.
The fight to go on—even when you don’t feel like it. That is Rob. That was Christina. She worked hard to have a normal life in spite of all that was happening to her. She started a non-profit, she married, she had a baby. It would have been easy for her to quit and just watch TV and eat ice cream. But she persevered through every breath. And that is what Rob is doing. After the intensive treatment in the hotel last night, he got back on the bike in 1 ½ hours and headed down the road—at 10:30 P.M.
Christina prayed and worked to keep her mind engaged until her dying day. She was not a fan of dying of brain cancer. She prayed and prayed for her mind to stay focused. At one point she said, “Tell everyone I am working really hard, it may not look like it but I am.” It looked like she was laying in bed unable to see but her sweet little tumor infested brain was working overtime to stay alert. On the last day of her earthly life, she tried to sing along with me as I sang one of her childhood songs. Yesterday, I told Rob that he needed to work that hard to focus—even when his brain feels foggy, his eyes want to close, and he feels discouraged. And, oh my, he is working!
Rob asks over and over for prayer. He knows that God is sustaining and carrying him. He felt physically pushed up the hill last night. Christina also leaned hard into the arms of her Savior and He met her in unusually powerful ways. This is the part of life that cannot be predicted, the hand of God intervening for those who call on His name. Hope in the hard.
Christina did not choose brain cancer but she chose to live, love, give selflessly to those around her, and let joy and peace be the main expression of her life.
Rob chose this RAAM suffering but he is choosing to live, love, give selflessly to those around, and let joy and peace be the main expression of his life. Today he rode by and said, “Hi Luke. Good job, Jo Dee.” Wait. We are trying to encourage Rob and he is encouraging us.
Rob’s niece, Madisyn, is reading all the encouragements from the donation page. Rob said it helps him power on. This also, was like Christina. When her eyes weren’t working well and she was experiencing pain or weakness or despair she would ask for “storytime”. We would read encouraging notes sent to her. It was relief for her aching heart.
As you give here and encourage, know that you are bringing strength to Rob and hope and encouragement for all whose lives are touched by brain cancer.
Thank you for following, loving, giving and encouraging.
Jo Dee Ahmann