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The Next Thing… (And There is Always A Next Thing)

October.3.2014

In the past week through numerous conversations I have discovered that there is no real quality way to deliver bad news, so here goes:

I have cancer.

We got the first call early Thursday morning last week. I had been through multiple biopsies, so many blood tests, CT scans and ultrasounds and finally they were able to tell me what all the nurses and doctors had been hinting around at: the tumor that had shown up on my neck was malignant. Then yesterday we found out more details – It had spread through my body and is fairly aggressive.

Allison and I had discussed this as a possibility but we had also held out hope that God would heal and that it would just be a weird lump and we would all shrug and laugh and be all, “that was crazy, right? Oh well, enjoy your completely healthy life” and we would go on our merry way. But alas, it’s cancer and it’s aggressive. And there are few things that can prepare you for what’s next. I barely remember that first phone call over a week ago other than the words “malignant” and “chemo” and I don’t remember a lot about yesterday’s appointment but “aggressive” and “chemo starts Monday.”

Here is a quick run down of how this all happened (complete with pictures!):

Day one: get home from church and unbutton my shirt and have Allison ask “what’s wrong with your neck” to which I scoffed at because nothing is wrong with my neck, but then I touched my neck and was thought “hmmm. Something is definitely wrong with my neck.” Literally out of nowhere, this had appeared:

Is it noticeable?

Is it noticeable?

So we called the doctor and he was out of town. So I got to see a different guy on Tuesday. From there we went through the aforementioned blood tests, ultrasounds, and multiple biopsies. The first biopsy they let me stay awake for when they shoved a big needle in my neck and took some tissue out. That was a great day and no cuss words were said at all. The second biopsy they put me under and gave me a badass scar.

cool scar (4)

Told you it was badass.

That brings us to where we are today. Scared. Anxious. Ready to beat this. This place is going to be an important part of lives going forward.

sc center light flare

I start chemo on Monday. And we go from there. We know very little and we still have a lot of questions. But here is what I do know:

Allison is strong and loving and there aren’t enough words to express how incredible she has been through this. She has juggled her dynamic career and huge opportunities at work with being with me for appointments and hospital visits and she has thrived at loving me so very well. I’m so very grateful for her. There aren’t enough words for her. She and I process differently and we both will do our best to keep you updated on our blogs. You can find her’s here

We know that we have some incredible people in our lives both near and far who surround us and have loved us well. Whether it’s been wine showing up on our porch or a care package for surgery or people who let us come over and not make us talk about anything deep, or drop everything because we need a distraction so we aren’t stuck at home in our own thoughts, random texts or a self-appointed chair of our fun committee – we have amazing people who love us well. And chances are you are a part of that. So thank you.

We know that God is faithful. We know that His Word is true and it’s deep and it resonates and we believe fully in the words of Isaiah that God is my healer. And he will heal. He may use chemo and some surgery but healing is healing.

We know we are going to need your encouragement as we go forward. We need stories of hope and healing. We need verses to cling to in dark moments. We need game nights and and funny movies when we don’t even mention cancer. We need distractions and we need people to engage in the hard times as well – people who sit with us when we are grieving or in pain. We need people to help mow the lawn and sit with me in the hospital or who take my wife out for a girls night. We need books and netflix recommendations and things to keep our minds distracted and going.

We know that you can treat us like we are still Adam & Allison. We still have personalities and the world didn’t shift it’s rotation to swirl around us during this time. Please tell us what’s going on with you – what are you finding joy in right now, what you are frustrated with at work, what you find funny, what you are reading, listening to, all that stuff. This isn’t our defining story, it’s merely a part of our story so please let us know how we can be praying for you, how we can be encouraging and serving and loving on you. We need our own outlets in the midst of this. We are still the same people and we don’t need pity, we need community. And Sour Patch Kids. 

I know that I don’t want you to shave your head. Several people have already offered to join me, but the truth is, that’s silly. We will all discover just how lumpy and ugly my head is, so if you have hair, flaunt the hell out of your glorious mane and we will compare conditioners when mine returns.

We know this is a season. We know we are praying a lot and we are finding so much to be thankful for so please please please let us know what we can be praying for you for as well.

We know we don’t want you making assumptions. If you have ideas or want to ask, go ahead. But be graceful with us in how fast we respond. We don’t want people to think “oh, someone already thought of that for them” or “I don’t know what to even do so I’ll just let someone else.” We want this to be like every other aspect of our lives – full of the people and community who mean so much to us so please engage with us. Some friends have asked us to create lists – amazon wish lists and other ways to help out and if you are interested in seeing those lists, be sure to ask and we will get them to you.

We know we don’t need to hear stories of those you have lost to cancer. We are emotionally on edge and no matter how well-meaning the stories, we are looking to be surrounded by stories of hope and joy. We are not blinding ourselves to the reality of cancer and to the toll it has effected on almost every one of us. We refuse to bury our heads ostrich style to the realities of this world, but we also know what we need during this time. Cancer has won a lot of battles, but this will not be one of them.

We know this is a hard way to find out for a lot of you. We are sorry we couldn’t have conversations with each of you, but we found out the details yesterday and while I wish we could all sit on our back deck under the lights with a glass of wine, we aren’t afforded the time. Monday is coming quick. But I know I am grateful for whatever role you have played in our story so far.

We know that we have no idea what we are getting ready to engage in, but we know that we have a faithful God and a dynamic community so we will walk faithfully forward. This has been an incredibly hard month and a half and it feels like we are facing a steep, uphill climb. But we know that a lot of you love us and love us well. So thank you.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for being our friends. Thank you.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. Walter Stephens permalink
    October.3.2014 9:09 am

    I have already shaved my head, but I will not shave my back.

  2. Karen permalink
    October.3.2014 9:39 am

    You are brave and surrounded by love…and more importantly, held by a God who loves you more deeply and intimately than any of us can. LET’S FIGHT THIS, BUZARD!

  3. andrew thetford permalink
    October.3.2014 9:46 am

    HA! first comment…. We all know what that means right?
    Well, me neither.

    Love you Adam. To think of the new stories you’ll have to tell from this crazy season. Allison and you will be a huge part of my thoughts and prayers for a while to come.
    And with all the healthy organic things you guys grew in the garden, you’ll be killing the cancer in no time!
    I have all the faith in the world in you buddy.

    • October.5.2014 9:51 am

      Thanks friend, that means the world to me and to Allison. looking forward to that one juice with two straws.

  4. October.3.2014 10:00 am

    Adam, I can’t put this in my head and begin to comprehend any of it. I know I shouldn’t ask why this has happened to such an incredible human being, but the friend in me needs an adequate answer. However, I know I will never get that elusive answer. My best friend from childhood is in the same situation and my heart aches because there is nothing i can do to fix the situation. All I can do is offer you and Allison my loving support and prayers. Together we will take cancer down, kick its ass and tell it to be gone forever. Love you Adam. Allison you are an even more incredible wife, partner and friend to my buddy. You be strong because he needs you more than he will ever admit to; you know how men are. Sending God’s serenity and grace your way, Raquel

    • October.5.2014 9:55 am

      Thanks so much Raquel. I greatly appreciate your friendship and caring and I am sorry that cancer has affected so many in your life right now. Thank you for your kind words the mean the world to us in this time.

  5. Hannah Parker permalink
    October.3.2014 10:29 am

    Beautifully expressed, Adam. Interceding for you and Allison from Knoxville. Running to the Father with the same reckless abandon one might use to say…. run off the deck with a hose wrapped around his waist. 🙂

    Hugs,
    Hannah

    • October.5.2014 9:56 am

      That might be one of my favorite comments ever. Thanks Hannah. We greatly appreciate your prayers.

  6. October.3.2014 10:46 am

    I know you from Nikole’s class. I feel like I would know you better if I could ever breath long enough to chat. 🙂 Please know that you have another prayer warrior on your side. I am humbled and inspired by your faith. I will be praying as God carries you through this journey. Hold tight to each other! If you don’t already have it, please consider getting the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It has spoken directly to my heart through difficult times.

    Here is today’s devo. I hope it speaks to you.

    ” WHEN MANY THINGS SEEM to be going wrong, trust Me. When your life feels increasingly out of control, thank Me. These are supernatural responses, and they can lift you above your circumstances. If you do what comes naturally in the face of difficulties, you may fall prey to negativism. Even a few complaints can set you on a path that is a downward spiral, by darkening your perspective and mind-set. With this attitude controlling you, complaints flow more and more readily from your mouth. Each one moves you steadily down the slippery spiral. The lower you go, the faster you slide; but it is still possible to apply brakes. Cry out to Me in My Name! Affirm your trust in Me, regardless of how you feel. Thank Me for everything, though this seems unnatural — even irrational. Gradually you will begin to ascend, recovering your lost ground. When you are back on ground level, you can face your circumstances from a humble perspective. If you choose supernatural responses this time — trusting and thanking Me — you will experience My unfathomable Peace.”

    • October.5.2014 10:17 am

      Thank you so much Regina. It means the world to Allison and I that you would be joining us and praying during this time. There aren’t enough words. And than you for sharing from Jesus Calling. It’s a tremendous book and that is a particular poignant reminder to trust. Thank you for sharing.

  7. October.3.2014 10:47 am

    Sending you all the cherry coke in all the land with a whopping side of oranges. Love from belfast, precious friends.

  8. October.3.2014 11:32 am

    Crying out to the Lord this morning as I read your blog.

    Psalm 107:19-21
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.

    • October.5.2014 9:57 am

      So so appreciate your prayers and that Psalm. Thanks Dan, grateful for you.

  9. October.3.2014 12:09 pm

    Adam- I’m a friend of your parent’s up in Virginia. I’m following your journey closely. So grateful for the grace I see already, and the journey’s just beginning! A passage that comes to mind is 2 Cor. 12:9 where Paul records the words God spoke to him about his struggle with a physical issue- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    May you and Allison enjoy an overflowing, overwhelming, fill-the-room-whereever-you-are kind of grace through His presence and the presence of those who love you!

    Praying for healing with you and your family.

    John Stroud

    • October.5.2014 9:59 am

      Thanks for your kind words John. Thank you for sharing verses and your support and prayers. Thanks for walking with my parents through this as well.

  10. Mariana Avalos-Feehan permalink
    October.3.2014 4:28 pm

    You are in my thoughts & prayers. Went up Garapata this morning, took in all the beauty God has given us and remembered our journey. A young couple came by Monterey years ago and left so many gifts-you and Allison touched so many of us. I know we are all praying for you both! God give you strength & courage.

    • October.5.2014 10:00 am

      Thank you so much Mariana. We love you and your family and are so grateful for your prayers, especially during this time.

  11. Betsy Hiemstra permalink
    October.3.2014 4:32 pm

    We are praying with you!!!

    • October.5.2014 10:01 am

      Thanks so much Betsy! We greatly appreciate your prayers during this season.

  12. Sherri permalink
    October.3.2014 6:59 pm

    Dearest Adam and Allison…I’ve always admired your love for each other and how you use your love to spread to others. You guys are the DOPEST (in my 90’s voice) and I look forward to sharing some bad ass music, silly videos, and the most inspirational quotes I can find. P.s….search for the Prince and Kendrick Lamar live colab…..it’s the bomb.com! Love you guys and stay wonderfully blessed! ~Sherri

    • October.5.2014 10:05 am

      Thanks so much Sherri and you know that we read it in that 90s voice. Thanks friend.

  13. Kim Peterson permalink
    October.3.2014 9:23 pm

    Adam, you will be in our prayers. I am so sorry you have to go through all of this. We will be praying for God’s healing upon your body, that He will sustain you through the treatments and the ups and downs, and that you will feel His presence surrounding you deeply. Sending our love to you and Alison. Kim & Brian

    • October.5.2014 10:07 am

      Thanks Kim. Allison and I greatly appreciate your prayers during this season.

  14. Maegan permalink
    October.3.2014 11:55 pm

    This is the first I have come in contact with you. I followed a link from a friend on Facebook. I want you to know I will pray for you and for your wife. God is reaching out through your networks to other believers in the big body of Christ. We are here for you.

    • October.5.2014 10:10 am

      Thank you so much Maegan for following our story and for praying for us. It means so much to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

  15. October.4.2014 2:33 pm

    I am lifting you both up in prayer and claiming healing over this. My heart is heavy for you both in this season.

  16. Matt and Sandy Boyd permalink
    October.4.2014 8:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing. We are praying for you. God is the Great Physician. He is faithful!

  17. Chuck Stewart permalink
    October.5.2014 3:30 pm

    Adam — just heard the news. It’s times like these that you get to know how loved & appreciated your are. Know that we’ve ‘got your back’ in prayer.

    Chuck & Barbara Stewart

    • October.5.2014 4:07 pm

      Thanks so much Chuck. We greatly need and appreciate your prayers

  18. tyler thompson permalink
    October.5.2014 6:39 pm

    Wow Adam, so sorry to hear this and yet so amazed at the positive attitude conveyed above. I stand with you my friend.

    • October.5.2014 8:15 pm

      Honored to have you standing with me Tyler. Thanks friend. My love to your fam.

  19. Rose permalink
    October.6.2014 3:07 pm

    Adam! Haven’t seen or talked to you or Allison in a long time but that didn’t stop my tears when reading your blogs. The beauty of your spirits is so moving even through this crazy time. I believe 100% that this will be your testimony… That one day you will be encouraging people to press through and giving hope to people that feel like they don’t have any. Praying for amazing strength for Allison as well.. You guys got this!

    Xoxoxo
    Rose

  20. October.6.2014 4:51 pm

    My dad has been battling Stage IV lung for the last 17 months. You sound a lot like him when he was first diagnosed (ok, and he still sounds the same way). He likes to say that he’s “punching cancer in the face”. I found you through Annie Downs’ Instagram and thought I’d just offer some encouragement from a family who is also in the thick of it: God is faithful. He is a healer. We are believing for my dad’s complete healing and we believe that He has the power to overcome all. That hopeful and optimistic attitude will take you far. Praying for your family. (And I know we’ve never met, but if you ever want to talk to someone who is going through it and is incredibly positive, I would be happy to connect you with my dad…)

  21. Amanda Welch permalink
    October.8.2014 2:50 pm

    Adam and Allison,
    Stay strong, pray together lots and laugh together! I am praying for you too Allison, it is not easy for either of you. I can’t wait to see you two come out of this stronger and closer! Adam, my prayers are going out daily for you and the nurses and doctors who will be taking good care of you.

  22. October.9.2014 1:37 pm

    Praying…

  23. October.9.2014 4:28 pm

    I have spent the last 10 minutes trying to figure out if you’re THE Adam that I think you are! I saw a picture that Annie Downs tagged you in on Instagram. There aren’t very many Adam Buzards I’ve heard of, but I couldn’t imagine the Adam I used to know having cancer. I had to investigate and finally figured it out. So, aha! I have tracked you down! But I’m sad to find confirmation that it is THE Adam and that yes, you do have cancer. In a word, that just BITES. I say that knowing you probably won’t remember me. That’s okay! I knew you long ago when I volunteered with you at The Crossing. I’m glad to have found you again, and to know that Annie is the reason I found you! I will be praying as you attack the cancer, leave it smoldering on the ground, and jump into life with both feet!

  24. Jen Skaggs permalink
    October.9.2014 4:47 pm

    Just saw this – please know that I’m praying for you and Allison-I’m not sure what else I can do from across the world in Egypt – except to let you know (with time zone differences) on the nights that you are sleeping well and on the nights that you aren’t sleeping at all-you will be covered in prayer.

  25. October.13.2014 2:20 pm

    Hey Adam
    I heard about what’s going on and I wish you the best! My prayers go out to you and your family. Miss you guys and I wish I could go out there to see you. You introduced me to God in a whole different way. You will always have a special place in my heart. I pray that all goes well.

    Brandon

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