One year ago today Amos went to the hospital for abdominal pain and was told by the on call ER doctor that he most likely had cancer. Our first miracle was that the ER doctor was a family friend, Sean Barney. Amos had been his home teacher just before we moved to Florence. We felt strongly that another doctor may not have been led to the correct diagnosis so quickly. In such a late stage of cancer, every moment was important for Amos.
Since then, many miracles have come and none of us have been left the same. It has been a year of unity in our family, amazing spiritual growth, increased faith and an incredible outpouring of love and support from our Father in Heaven and people everywhere.
In spite of a 5% chance of survival, Amos has been able to stay in his prison psychology work where he is on a unit with about 700 inmates, and he has been able to continue as bishop caring for a congregation of over 400 members.
As I have witnessed him serve all these people and serve his family, I have seen his focus transfer from his own suffering to the well being of others. These opportunities to serve have become a secret to his survival.
He has endured a massive surgery that left him with an ostomy and internal bleeding. The surgery subdued the immediate threat to his life, but did not remove the tumors. He then endured well for 22 rounds of chemotherapy that have left him without feeling in his hands or feet without diminishing the deadly cancer that had already spread to both sides of his liver.
Last night Amos quietly whispered to me, “I want to be healed now. Is that bad?”
On this day of remembering our trials and our blessings, I will share the advice Amos gave the prisoner who had become depressed because his buddy got released from prison while he was still there. Maybe this will help Amos answer his own question.
He told the inmate to learn to value things that can’t be taken away. They began by making a list of everything he valued and then having him cross off the things that could possibly be taken away and rewriting them as things that can not be taken away.
my family my ability to be a good family member love my ability to love freedom my freedom of thought peace my inner peace respect self respect money/ job/ my ability to work hard car/ house/ possessions health my healthy habits power self control
When we place the most value on what we put in to our lives like our faith, our sense of gratitude, our ability to feel compassion for others and our character instead of what we expect from others, then we don’t lose the ground beneath our feet when things go wrong and we can be pleased with our efforts no matter the circumstances.