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 froze…my 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!
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