Everyone Needs Compassion: End of Chemo Cycle 8

Got a chance to finally celebrate my “Second Birthday” with friends and family at the in”famous” Buca Di Beppo. The family style restaurant was the perfect setting for the celebration of a year of life since the diagnosis. At the celebration many that came reflected upon the last year and what they’ve gained through their experience in dealing with My diagnosis. That really struck me, because I often forget that Amy and I aren’t the only ones that have been directly effected by it. There were 20 people (counting one in a belly) there (that’s obviously not counting the numerous more that have been impacted) that will never think of Brain Cancer the same again because of this last year. People mentioned that they won’t take life or time on this earth for granted because of it. They also said that because of the way I’ve dealt with it, they have an example of how to approach any dire diagnosis that any of them may have to face in the future. That meant a lot to me because as I’ve learned a lot about “Will power” this past year, I’ve discovered that knowing that I’m making a positive impact on others is a big source of motivation for me and feedback like that helps hold me accountable and keep on track.

With most of the celebration crowd…so humbled.

By choosing to celebrate in a public place like Beppo’s, opened the door to opportunities for us to tell strangers why we were celebrating. What was cool was that so many people in the restaurant had their own experiences of dealing with Cancer (either themselves or with a close family member or friend) and they were all so encouraged by what we were doing. In fact, I had a good convo with someone that had lost their mother to Brain Cancer. She told me that she was grateful to meet me and that just by talking with me gave her a moment of feeling understood and the compassion she felt was desperately needed at the time. The opportunity to share fellow “battle” stories with strangers filled the loud and rambunctious restaurant with a glowing light of compassion, solidarity, and community.

The experience in Beppos was a good reminder of what God has taught Amy and I this year. There is a worship song (“Mighty to Save”) that has been on constant repeat in our home, I-Phones, and cars. The day I was told that I still had live tumor in my head (even after a surgery) and wasn’t sure if it would even be operable, I had no idea what to do, so we just listened to that song on repeat. I picked a couple of my favorite verses from it that have resonated with me this year and posted them below.

Everyone needs compassion 
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me (all of us)

So take me as You find me
All my fears & failures
Fill my life again

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Celebrating My Second Birthday “Beppo” style.

Good Peeps:

With my good buddy Mike.

With my good friend, Amy’s bestest friend, and Mike’s wife, Rebecca

Mucho Love,

Alex

P.S. Chemo Cycle was a little rough…it’s hard to say if it was just the Chemo though because I pushed myself pretty hard in the couple weeks leading up to it. The best part is that I slept a lot…which was AWESOME!!!

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