We Surrender!

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We are tired & feeling a smidge rundown. We have had long days and nights full of Clorox and clean ups. This road is so foreign and baffling that our expectations are all over the place & with that, disappointments are inevitable. There are many days we expect to be good and those typically turn out to be the worst. When will we learn? We have no control.

As a self-proclaimed control freak, you can imagine the toll these last 2 months have taken on me. Scratch that- the last 6 months. Andrew and I began our life as a married couple in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. He had just graduated from Butler University one week prior to our wedding day, and we were unsure of what his professional basketball career was to entail of.  We attempted to resume a “normal” married life, but let’s be honest, nothing about our lives have been normal. I worked hard as a full-time nanny 55 hours a week while Andrew went to 4 hours of basketball training each morning on the days that he wasn’t flying off for an NBA tryout. Each day, we (not so patiently) awaited a call from our agent letting us know where we were headed. Calls came and went, but we never felt good about the offers. Our prayer was to go where the Lord needed us, and we didn’t feel like any of the places calling checked that box. We went through this state of limbo for 3 months. Teams begin the first weeks of September, and we were still empty handed in the last weeks of August. Panic began to ensue. Again, we were reminded that we have no control.

Fast-forward to mid-December and all we knew was that Andrew had a swollen lymph node and that the doctors didn’t speak a lick of English. Through many trial and error with scans and tests and failed attempts with translators, we gathered it was time to go home. In the moment, there wasn’t a sadness to leave because we were too busy being panicked by the news of a tumor in Andrew’s chest. But now that we are removed from the situation and full-blown in the midst of an entirely different one, we do have our moments of realization that our dreams have changed drastically & that our lives will never be the same. Admittedly, that saddens me. We had such big dreams and hopes of invigorating escapades overseas, but we now realize that it will be years before we can claim victory over this disease and, well, we aren’t sure we’re sold on doing maintenance and treatments in a foreign country. Needless to say, we don’t have a clue what the future holds. But then I realize, we never have and never will. We thought we had our lives planned out, but then this mountain called “cancer” planted itself in the middle of that course. We were shocked, but God wasn’t. Why? Because HE is in control, not us. As much as I kick, scream, and fight Him for it He isn’t relenting control, and I am learning that is a wonderful thing. What in the world could I possibly do in the face of cancer? Nothing.  Even in doing things that feel like control to me, (taking care of Andrew) it doesn’t change his physical state. No matter how many Gatorades I hand him or a how many times I take the trash out after a meal doesn’t sit well, he still feels terrible.

Just like with life, we have to let this run its course. Does this mean we plan to roll over and let this thing kick our butts? Absolutely not. Andrew is a fighter through and through. He is already leaps and bounds beyond where our doctor expected him to be. But, we do have to remind ourselves daily that we can only pray and control our attitudes in the face of this; everything else is out of our hands.

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul, I will replenish.” (Jeremiah 31:25)

Note of Thanks…

From the bottom of our hearts, we just want to say thank you. Thank you for all of the love, prayers, and support we have received over the past two weeks. The outpouring kindness and compassion has been such a blessing to Andrew, myself, and our families. Please keep the prayers coming- the big guy needs them!

13 thoughts on “We Surrender!

  1. I met you both a few weeks ago at the hospital. My mother was there getting her round of chemo. I’m happy to report she just finished her last round of chemo! YOU will feel that joy as well. As a Butler grad and cancer survivor, I just want to extend my encouragement and love to you and your family. Reach out to those reaching out to you and WILL get through it. There WILL be many blessing along the way. Stay Strong!
    Sincerely,
    Rhea Newman
    Class of ’81

  2. you are in control, the love you have for each other and the faith in God is what gives you the control to fight this cancer!!! You both will beat this and we are so proud of you both. This is what unconditional love is all about and God knows your love for each other and it will make you both strong and be a victor in the end…….

  3. Thank you for your faithful witness. God is good. This world can be a yucky place, but if we keep praising and thanking Him for all that is right and good we can make it through. I continue to pray for you. God bless you both! Colossians 3:15.

  4. Sam and Andrew,
    Is there an address available to send cards?
    Thank you so much for sharing your intimate journey with us. Even in the middle of this battle, Andrew inspires.
    Prayers for you both, every day.
    Kara Post ’86
    Naomi ’23 and Nadia ’25

    1. If you get an address, I would also like to send Andrew a card. I have been where he is! The cards and prayers mean so much and I want to do my part – even though they do not know me. Thanks for sharing!
      cmealy@swu.edu
      Chuck

  5. “What day is it?” asked Winnie the Pooh
    “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
    “My favorite day,” said Pooh”

    Ah, the wisdom from Pooh. He echoes Matthew 6:34. Let your love fill your day. Let His love hold you strong. Let this day be enough and give tomorrow to God.
    Praying for you. Love your posts.
    Momma O 🙂

  6. Approximately, 4 months after my husband, Jason, and I got married (at the ripe old ages of 23 and 22, respectively), he was diagnosed with a brain tumor called “meningioma.” Thankfully, his tumor was benign, but it has brought about countless craniotomies, radiation treatments, and other “up-keep” surgeries over the past 13.5 years of marriage.

    We read John 9:3 at some point during our journey and it truly, truly spoke to us. We weren’t sure why Jason was given such a rough road at such a young age (and that rough road still continues to this day!), but after reading John 9:3, we felt we understood God’s reasons. This passage states: 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” God can take the not-so-great stuff that happens and use it to show His goodness to others. I firmly believe your story will touch others and minister to them — just as Jason’s journey has.

    I remember being a young bride and struggling to stay positive and uplifting for my husband. It’s a hard load to carry, but you can do it! I will be praying for the both of you!

  7. Continuing to pray for Andrew and your family as you surrender your control to God and ask Him to please give Andrew complete healing.

    God Bless,

    Janet

  8. Matthew 17:20 for that mountain.
    Joshua 1:9 for strength and courage.

    Old school Kirk Franklin & God’s Property STOMP for anything Satan tries to throw your Find a battle song that gets you going. I listened to this daily during my battle with non-Hodgkins. Really, I did. 🙂 –

  9. When Rob was diagnosed with cancer, we read Job multiple times. Then we decided to read Psalms. We were struck by how David prayed. No mealy mouth pathetic whining but directly addressing the problem and stating exactly what what David wanted God to do. Rob lost his fight with cancer; it was not detected early enough, but he never lost his faith. When when I see people who knew Rob, they remark about his faith. “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in Heaven”

    1. Rose, Rob did not lose his battle with cancer. Sure, his body was temporarily put down by the horrible disease. But based on your testimony, he is quite victorious. He lived his life for the moment he was moved to the presence of Glory with his completely healed body. At 52, my father made that same transformation after his battle with bone cancer. I also battled the evil non-Hodgkins opponent 16 years ago. The fact that I am here does not make my any more of a victor than Rob or my dad. Matter of fact, I have faith that their current environment is much better than this one. 🙂 A believer in a life and death battle can’t lose. It really a life and life battle. The only loser is Satan. Christ already fought it for us. Blessings! ~ Roc

  10. All my love and lots of prayers. You have a lot of people here for you! You will be a stronger people both in life and in love when this is over!! God has great things planned for you both! Love, cousin Gretchen

  11. wishing you the best Mr. Smith. I’m a Butler alum and huge basketball fan. You did a fantastic job improving over the years as a player and I hope your situation improves just as quickly. Take care

    Chris Bray
    Class of 2007

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