This post probably should have been done a few months ago but I couldn't make myself do it then. I guess I will start from the very beginning. Back in October both of my parents had several different health screenings. I didn't think anything of it at the time. When they got the results back from all of their screenings everything was fine with my mom but not with my dad. My dad's prostate screening had come back a little questionable. He was referred to see a urologist. I really didn't think much of it because his PSA really wasn't all that high...like a 4. Which wasn't ridiculously high but of a little concern. PSA is prostate specific antigen and it is a protein produced by the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. So he met with a urologist in December and they decided to do a biopsy. At this point, I am a little nervous. I started to talk to my friends and asked them for their prayers. To most of my friends this was a shock because I hadn't even mentioned anything was going on. I really didn't want to make a big deal about it until we knew something. So he had his biopsy after Christmas and we waited and waited for the results. In the back of my mind I thought it could be cancer, I wasn't trying to think negatively but maybe it was God trying to prepare me for the results. We got the results in late January and it was cancer. I completely fell apart..my heart is racing as I type this. I cried and cried and cried. My mom handled it so well but I on the other hand lost it. I could not believe it! The doctor had taken 12 samples and 5 of those were cancerous. We were all in shock! The cancer was in the early stages so that was a huge blessing! He met with the doctor a little later and they discussed options. He decided to do the Robotic surgery. It seemed like the best option and it just took the prostate out completely. The surgery was scheduled for the beginning of April. I, of course, was a nervous wreck waiting and waiting for that day to finally come. This was the first serious medical scare we had ever had in my family. This may have been the first time that I realized I had to rely and trust in God completely...I found comfort in reading my Bible and a book called Calm My Anxious Heart. I held this verse close to my heart..Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God. I just kept praying this prayer over and over. It was a very difficult time for me. My emotions were all over the place and I didn't really know what to do with them. There were several times I would just cry at home, in my car, or at school. I'm sure my kids thought I was crazy with all the crying I did. April 5, 2011 was the day we had all been anticipating, and dreading at the same time. Dad's surgery was a little over 3 hours. We waited and waited and waited...which by far was the hardest part. We had our little support group taking up seats in the waiting room. That in itself was comforting to know that all of these people were here for my dad and our family. My friend had mentioned creating a box for my dad while he was in surgery and writing texts, visitors, or phone calls that we received while he was in surgery. I jumped on this idea..thinking this would be a great way to help keep my mind off of the surgery and it was very therapeutic for me! As soon as they took him back, I immediately started working on his box. It helped me get through the day so much better! Dad got out of surgery and we were able to see him around 5. We had been there since 8 and he went back for surgery around 12. So it was good to finally get to see him. He, of course, looked groggy and slept a lot but I just felt so relieved and had a peace that it was over. He had to get up and walk around that night several times. He got to go home the next day around noon. He took a few weeks off of work and tried to heal and rest. If you know my dad, staying on the couch and not being able to do something is extremely hard. Needless to say, he did it anyway. It has been almost 4 months since the surgery and he is doing so well. He goes back this week for his checkup to make sure he is still cancer free. I am praying that he is! So...why am I writing about all of this now? I think I finally have a peace and know that everything is going to be fine. I never doubted that it wouldn't be fine I just had a hard time dealing with the reality of him having cancer. He is so young and healthy so it threw me for a loop! At church on Sunday we were reading in Psalm 73. This psalm is about Asaph questioning God and why all of the ungodly people were prospering and he wasn't. He realized that he needed to turn to God for help. When he did turn to God he realized how selfish and wrong he was to question God. He apologized to God and stays near to him. This passage is a model for what we should do when we lack an understanding in life. I truly understood this and wish I would have heard it sooner. Everything happens for a reason whether we understand what that reason is or not. I don't know why my dad got cancer but I know it was meant to happen and that God was watching over him and protecting him throughout. I just need to stay near to God! I know I'm not the first person to have a parent deal with cancer but I hope that me telling my story will help someone else.
I'm Hayley. I have lived in Northwest Arkansas my entire life. I am a 3rd grade teacher at John Tyson Elementary in Springdale. I recently married my best friend, Andy Pruitt. We met at one of my friends wedding. We dated for a year were engaged for a year and we have almost been married for a year. Marriage is awesome! He is a wonderful Christan man who loves God wholeheartedly. I couldn't have asked for anyone better. He is a civil engineer for Garver Engineers in Fayetteville. We bought a house in Fayetteville and have one dog, RJ. Life is good!!