Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thank you for (not) Smoking!

It's been 5 years this month since I smoked a cigar.

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 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!


Andrew said...

I never got into cigars, but I loved those clove cigarettes... been off em for years... damn shame... loved em; but like ya said, I prefer more years. Mr. Hitchens would probably still be with us had he kicked the habit.

Steve H. said...

Yeah Hitch was really tempting fate with his alcohol and smoking. My ENT told me that each is a factor in cancer of the mouth but together they are a factor of 10

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.I don't smoke cigars but smoke cigareetes.ugh!!My husband just lost the battle of lung cancer and i am still smoking.What's wrong with me.I need a supernatural divine intervention.Although one time in church they called for people who smoked and i felt Gods presense and sat there like a lump.How dumb is that.I know God doesn't do 3 strikes and your out.I need His grace.Oh yea,when I sat there I was concerned what others. thought.Yikes.

Steve H. said...

Thanks for sharing Anonymous and I'm sorry for the loss of your husband. I pray you have the Grace to quit before its too late.

God Bless!