It was June when we bought this domain (“anextramile.org”). We stayed up late one Sunday night talking with great enthusiasm and inspiration about what we could do with the name and how we hoped to inspire others to “go an extra mile” in service of others. Earlier that day, I had taken Andrew to his second service at Flatirons Community Church with hopes that he would feel as connected and moved as I had in my previous visits. He did. And thus ensued our conversation to move our lives more to service of others and to humbly work towards this by buying a silly website domain name. We bought a two year subscription knowing full well that it would take us ample time to get anything going. Or to make any changes in our current life.
Little did we know that we were buying the domain name to document a more personal experience of going the extra mile.
Andrew was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer just over a week ago (adenocarcinoma in situ). His cancer was found “incidentally” after a mountain bike accident and subsequent right ribs X-ray. His ribs checked out fine, yet his urgent care radiologist went his extra mile that day and called that evening with a report of a “suspicious” spot on his left lung. Andrew’s bike crash and his radiologist that afternoon may very well be what ends up saving his life. There are no coincidences. Of that I am clear. I have no doubt that Andrew was “pushed” off his bike that afternoon so that his cancer would be found. Its the kind of cancer that starts very small, like a sapling, and can grow slowly, yet ultimately becomes a mighty oak. The sapling can be removed. The mighty oak is usually untreatable. So, we are beyond fortunate to have incidentally caught Andrew’s lung cancer at this early stage. I have no doubt that we have been called to this experience for reasons that we may never understand. And I feel clear, that we have walked this path together in various ways to bring us to this present moment, so that we can stand beside each other in love and in strength and we can beat this cancer, together. And we can learn, and we can grow and we can not only go the extra mile ourselves, yet be constantly moved by others going the extra mile each and every day.
Our brief journey with cancer, thus far, has shown us people who are going an extra mile each and every day in their own lives. Its inspiring and beautiful and we are so grateful for this gift. In fact, there is so much we are grateful for. In such a short time, we have been overwhelmed by the love of our family and friends. Our family from afar, and our friends close by, who are also our family. We are humbled and we are overflowing with deep gratitude. We are emotional. We are holding each other more closely. We feel clear, despite much that is still unknown. And again, we are grateful.