The C-Word

I thought long and hard about whether to post an entry about this. Truth be told, there’s a part of me that still doesn’t want to. The problem with that is that I have no good reason for keeping it to myself, especially when there are people out there whom I know would want to know. This isn’t because I did anything wrong. Much as Type-1 diabetes picked my wife at age sixteen, this decided to pick me at thirty-one. So here goes.

This  past Tuesday, I got a phone call from my doctor informing me that I had cancer.

Before this goes any further, I feel like I have to say something. Whenever people see or hear that word, they immediately think the worst. Allow me to assure you: I am not going to die. The particular cancer I have is called mycosis fungoides, and it’s a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. It is extremely rare, only affecting five in every million people (for those who keep up with me on Facebook, my “I’m five in a million!” post will now make sense – that was typed literally as I was leaving the doctor’s office). Despite its name, mycosis fungoides is not fungal. It does, however, have some of the physical characteristics of a fungal infection, hence the name. I did put a link to its wikipedia page up there, but take my advice and resist the urge to look it up too in-depthly, because all it’s going to do is make you think, “Bull crap, Lee, you are going to die!” I’m not. The pictures of mycosis fungoides you’ll find on the internet are nothing – let me repeat, nothing – like what I have. I have several small patches that don’t look anything like the massive sores and lesions you’ll find if you look on Google images. I was fortunate enough to catch this very early, still in its infant stage. Typically, mycosis fungoides is incurable (but manageable), however we may have even discovered it early enough to wipe out entirely. That’s the prayer.

I took my first dose of pill-based chemotherapy on Wednesday, addition to being prescribed two potent steroid creams specifically geared toward this type of condition, which is strictly surface-based (in other words, this isn’t in my organs). In two weeks I have a follow-up, at which point I’ll know a lot more about how well the treatments are working. I believe they’ll work well, as I’ve already seen signs of significant improvement in less than a week of utilizing these creams. And obviously, the chemo will do its thing, too. For those wondering, no, I won’t be losing any hair. The only side effect I’ve felt to this point has been a headache that came the day after the pills, which are once-a-week pills.

There’s a chance, being what it is, that I may have to deal with this for the rest of my life. Though it can go into remission for 10+ years, unless it can be wiped out completely at the outset, it’s always there. Lurking. Waiting. Like a necrilid in the dark.

I put that last little bit in there for a reason. I’m still me. Is this depressing? Yeah. Is it stressful? Heck yeah. I feel about like you would if your doctor told you that you had cancer. But all things happen for a reason, and all things work for the glory of God. I have no clue what will happen, here. As confident as everyone is that this will be wiped out, there’s always a chance it won’t be. That’s life. But I was never in control of life, anyway. As a writer, I can put Scott Remington, and Svetlana, and Jayden, and Esther through terrible things. I can pretty much wreck their lives. But I can do this because I, unlike them, know what the next pages hold. I know chapters that are books away that they can’t even begin to see in the midst of their crisis. And I know, because I love them, that they’re going to be okay. That trials will make them better. That though none of them are guaranteed smooth sailing or even survival, I will never forsake them, because they are mine. If I, the wretched sinner than I am, can feel this way about characters I made up, how much vastly greater is God’s love for me, one of his children? It can’t even be compared.

In the meantime, please just say a prayer for me. That’s the best way anyone can help. Forgive me if I’m occasionally a little “blah,” and if you happen to be an Epic fan, good gravy, please talk to me about Epic. Escaping to the world of Novosibirsk, and Room-14, and Bakmas, and E-35s is like, the greatest therapy in the world right now. It’s like medicine.

And that’s it. I don’t plan on harping on this topic, but I will keep people posted as things develop. Hopefully I won’t need to for much longer!


(because I’m cured, not dead)



  1. Praying for you pal.

  2. Prayer list updated. Every morning Lee, you will be covered.

    Show strength
    Hold God
    Speak Life

  3. Dude… so sorry that you have to face the monster. Know that the monster can be beaten. If not from my experience, than from my brother’s. He was given a 9 month life expectancy nearly 5 years ago.

    Believe. Be you. God will take care of you and we will be here to assist in anyway possible.

  4. Scott & Mary Brown says:

    Lee, you are in our prayers daily. It is so true that trials are put in our lives to strengthen us and draw us closer to our Father. Hold on to the promise that HE will be with you in whatever you must go through in this earthly life. He loves you and your precious family and will bring about ALL things for your good because you love Him so much.

  5. Thank you all so much for the words and encouragement and for your prayers – those are the things that will help make this journey easier. I’m excited for the day I get to use the “R” word – Remission.

  6. Praying for you, Lee. The best therapy, I believe, is to keep on focusing on the blessings of wife, son, and dog. And I’m sure a little Novosibirsk in the mix will be just what the doctor ordered, too, of course.

    This, my friend, is the dress rehearsal. God is preparing us for the real show. And when the curtain goes up, it’s gonna be GLORIOUS! Meanwhile, let’s assemble as large a cast as possible, to enjoy it with us. Your Novosibirsk and my Watchmaker are icebreaker tools in that process, leading us to the real treasures – God and His people – as many of the 7+ some odd billion of them as possible.

    Meanwhile, enjoy every moment with your family. Novosibirsk will come, as a by-product. Praying…


  7. Janet Hebert says:

    You have always been in my thoughts and prayers, but will be even more so now! I have loved you since your Mom & Dad announced your eminent arrival! Love, Aunt Janet

  8. Lee, with God all things are possible, Me and Uncle Ed will be praying for you , and I still do believe that God performs miracles, and I feel like you are a very strong man of faith, Keep your chin up and never give up , we love you and we will be praying……..and please tell Lindsey to email me or text me your phone numbers. Ive lost all my phone numbers because my phone reset back to factory, thanks a bunch!!!!!

  9. My wife and I will add you to our prayer list.

    You’ll get through it, bro. With God.

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