“…the sea’s only gifts are harsh blows and, occasionally, the chance to feel strong. Now, I don’t know much about the sea, but I do know that that’s the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”
– Primo Levi (July 31, 1919 – April 11, 1987)
Meet Glen D. Kirkpatrick, Jr. who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 1991. He has now successfully defeated cancer and is now an author. He has written a book on his cancer survivorship – ‘Overcome: A Story of Intervention, Rescue, and Redemption’.
“In 1987, I discovered a lump in my neck. Lab work and biopsy results showed I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Radiation therapy brought the cancer into remission the same year. Two years later I saw my oncologist due to lingering fatigue. I was once again diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chemotherapy brought remission by the end of the year. In 1991, I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocyte leukemia, and five years later the cancer went into remission.”
“Six years into our marriage, my wife Debbie and I received the shocking news that I had cancer. I was thirty years old, and our son Russell was only two. Radiation therapy brought remission that same year. Debbie and I celebrated with a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Two years later, we were distressed when the lymphoma returned. This second battle with cancer became more challenging as I was diagnosed with drug resistant depression. Chemotherapy brought the cancer into remission. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) lifted the depression.
Over the years, radiation, and chemotherapy has done damage to several of my organs, including heart and lungs. In 2011, treatment late effects forced me to retire early from my law enforcement career. Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue (CFS) limits my daily activity most. For me living with chronic illness is a physical, psychological, and spiritual struggle. I need God’s help to overcome daily. He provided me support by showing me that focusing on my identity in Christ was central.
Holding fast to my sonship has made all the difference in my spirit and my life. Long-term cancer journey has taught me the importance of finding joy in each day, and the significance of living in the moment. In 2018, Debbie and I released our book, “Overcome: A Story of Intervention, Rescue, and Redemption; Our Cancer Survivorship Journey.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/194692041X/”
“Daily living with late effects/chronic illness including: heart, lung, and kidney disease; chronic fatigue; cognitive impairment.”
Motivation to fight cancer
“My wife Debbie, children, and grandchildren.”
Message to other fighters
“Reach out to God, family, and friends. Be kind, and patient with yourself (I’m still learning this one.) Practice physical, and emotional self-care. Continue to involve yourself in the things that bring you fulfillment. (For me it’s writing, listening to music, walking, and spending time with family and friends).”