Monday, January 23, 2012
Thank you for (not) Smoking!
Now let me just say...I loved cigars alot! Whether with friends in Hong Kong or sitting on my back porch in Boulder Colorado with a view of the Rocky Mountains there were few things more relaxing to me or that I enjoyed more.
So why did I give them up?...Well 5 years ago this month I was also diagnosed with tongue cancer.
It started when I had developed a small, very painful sore on the side of my tongue. I thought it was just a mouth sore that you get from time to time...but this one didn't go away. I convinced myself it was a tooth cutting my tongue and went to see a dentist. He took one look at it and sent me to an oral surgeon that day.
I still wasn't worried!
The oral surgeon took a biopsy and then a few days later called and asked me to come in for a consultation. When I asked if they could just give me the diagnosis over the phone the nurse responded, "No Mr. Hackman, the doctor needs to see you."
I froze...my heart pounded! I didn't tell Tammy yet and just headed off to the doctor. When I arrived the doctor stated, "Mr. Hackman, the biopsy confirmed the sore is cancerous."
He had said it. The "C" word! My face began heating up and I was barely taking in what the doctor said after that. I had been aware of a couple aqauintances who died of tongue cancer. I started thinking if something happened to me, what would happen to Tammy and Gabriel??
What began then was a 3 month journey of tests (and prayer), surgery (and prayer), and recovery (and prayer). The details are perhaps best left for another time (It was quite a ride). But I stand here 5 years out from that diagnosis and am now "clear" in medical terms.
God is so very faithful and took mine and my families hand throughout this entire ordeal.
But I can say that 2 days before the diagnosis on a crisp Colorado January afternoon I was standing on my front porch with a cigar in my hand not realizing then it was the last cigar I would ever smoke. I love my cigars...but I realized I love my tongue even more!