We are close in age. Both men. Both fighting the same enemy.
He was famous for portraying Spartacus, a solider condemned to fight as a gladiator. We both fight the same opponent in real life: cancer (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma). He lost. I’m still in the ring.
Lots of news yesterday on the death of actor Andy Whitfield. I had never heard of him until reading the news stories. As a stage IV cancer survivor, when I read of someone dying of the same cancer I have, it jars me awake.
Andy Whitfield was diagnosed in the spring of last year. I was diagnosed in the spring of 2009. He came out of remission only two months after being declared cancer free. I came out of remission only eight months after being declared cancer free.
After surgery, I remain in remission 29 months after my diagnosis. Andy Whitfield made it only 18 months after diagnosis.
I live my life as a dead man walking. I know this cancer is still inside me. I fight it with all I have, through further treatments, eating right, exercising and managing stress.
But I have hope. It’s not just about living longer. It really comes down to my faith in God.
God says the hairs on my head are numbered. Still, I get a small wave of fear when I read how fast the cancer I have can overtake me. But, I soon get over it. I’ve been living with death for two years now.
God will keep me alive according to his perfect plan. In an amazing story in the Bible, Hezekiah was told that his number was up. He would die.
But he prayed that God would keep him alive. And God gave him 15 more years.
I read that story while undergoing chemotherapy in 2009 and it gives me hope. Hope that I can pray to live longer and maybe influence YOU. You who are reading this. Maybe you will realize that we all will die some day.
You have to make a choice now. Do you believe in God? Are you ready to face God when you die? Jesus offers a great choice: you may die but you can have eternal life. You will live forever.
I challenge you to buy a Bible today and read it. You might be surprised at what you find. That’s my challenge from this dead man walking!