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What if...

Posted by Mimspicker on Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What if…

this were your last Christmas? How would you act and would things be any different?

As most of you know I have cancer. From the beginning I had been diagnosed Stage IV as the cancer had already spread to the bone. Generally, esophageal cancer with metastatic bone cancer has a low survival rate. Six to eighteen months is typical. I am now working on 21 months. My Doctors are amazed at my strength and will to carry on.

I don’t know what the next year will bring. Last year at Christmas time I had to attend the funeral of my 100 year old grandmother. I was asked by the family, my Aunts and Uncles to deliver the eulogy. After going through a round of treatments and being gone it was a hurried Christmas. I was still feeling pretty good. God allowed me another year to spend with my family.

After a pretty rough summer (read my previous blogs) things had somewhat settled. However the symptoms for bone cancer indicate that the disease is spreading. It also appears to be in some lymph nodes.

Basically what I am facing is that there is a real possibility that this could be my last Christmas. This past year, especially since October, the upcoming Christmas Season has brought on a special meaning to me. I am blessed to have the opportunity everyday to tell my wife and kids that I love them. As a side note, after church on Sunday we went to eat. Our 21 year old son joined us for lunch. After lunch was over and as we were about to leave, he came over and gave me a hug, something his Mom didn’t even get! How special is that gift!

I realize that each one of us is here only for a short time. In late October, a co-worker in my office was shot and killed by a live-in boyfriend. She was here and then she was gone. She left two daughters, 10 & 13, that she never had the chance to say goodbye or I love you. After this I had it really got me thinking more than ever.

I treasure this time I have to spend with my family. My strength in the Lord Jesus Christ is as strong as ever. I don’t want to see the end, but I am ready for whatever will happen. This Christmas Season has brought special meaning to me and my family.

So my question or challenge is: What are you doing to make this Christmas special for your family?  It doesn’t have to be material goods, a hug, a kiss, an I love you will go a long way.

I want to wish each of you a Very Merry Christmas and please remember the Reason for the Season, without Christ there is no Christmas.

God Bless each and every one here at the Banjo Hangout and my thanks for each prayer, thought, word of encouragement, e-mails, posts and calls from each of you.  You have been there for me each step of this journey and I appreciate your heartfelt blessings.

Warmest Regards


16 comments on “What if...”

Nancy Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @4:24:17 PM

Hi Bill. First let me wish you and your family the Best and Most Joyful Christmas ever!

     You are a stong man, and a good man. Keep up the fight, and just maybe you will see a miracle. One never knows when a miracle will happen. Here's my wish: A Miracle for You at this Holy time of Christmas.




fisher Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @4:34:41 PM

Dear Bill, I dont know what to say,except I think you  have a pretty good grasp on your situation.We are all born to die,its just a matter of time,but we are all going out the way we came in,head first.I came close to losing both my sons the last two years ,and realized one thing. We are all in Gods hands. What ever we get ,is not up to us.We live and love and do the best we can. Love is the big one,with out love,we have nothing. God Bless  youand your family this Christmas season. Warm Regards Jerry

Graypeddler Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @5:16:48 PM

Hi Bill, I learned something when my daughter died at age 23 that there is nothing more important than telling those you love I love you every day. The last thing I said to my daughter was I love you. That way if something happens we had our good byes. You are in a very good position because you know more than most of us your time may be near. So Give Love out like candy it is what will last into eternity. I pray you will have a good Christmas and new year with you loved ones. This life is not all there is like the catapiller that changes to the butterfly so do we in God;s own time. Blessings to you and your family.

banjotef Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @5:24:41 PM

We're facing the same thing with my father this year.  He has melanoma that has started to advance.  I have an idea of what you are going through.   And yes, all of us are saying "I love you"  more often.   I'll be praying for you, certainly. 

Shipwash Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @5:59:47 PM


backtothefuture Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @6:50:57 PM

"...a hug, a kiss, an I love you will go a long way..." 

And I've been saying this....not just this time of the year, too, but every day of our lives.  

We never know when our time is up....and we want our loved ones to know they ARE our loved ones....each and every day.

Merry Christmas Bill, to you and your family, and thank you for being part of my BHO family. 

Jammer Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @7:03:16 PM

Bill, one thing I have learned after watching my own mother win over medical battles that were against the odds, is that one never should can never be sure when a person is going to "check out". I know medical facts and doctors can all point toward one thing, but I have seen a person win out time after time in medical matters that should of killed the person for sure.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that is smart to plan and brace for the worse, but to never give up hope or your faith that maybe you will have more time on this earth than you may think.

God Bless and Merry Christmas,


Jammer Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @7:10:09 PM

' sorry for my typos above. I can't locate a method to edit them.

Banjoman Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @7:12:23 PM

Bill, I plan on seeing what you'll add to this blog for Christmas 2009.


beeliner Says:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008 @8:20:36 PM

Bill, The bible says,"precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" [Ps 116:15 ][KJV]. After reading your blog it tells me for sure that you are one of the Lord's saints. I sincerely hope you completely recover from your illness and live many more years with your family. But if it's the Lord's will that he take you home, you have a home that Jesus Christ has prepared for you, [John 14:1-3][KJV]. A home where there is no more sickness, heart ache, trouble, or death anymore. Only peace, joy and happyness. Knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour is the only thing in this life that really matters when it comes time to die. Bill, I wish you the best. May god bless you and your dear family.
Kind regards, Revis

kentr Says:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @6:11:22 AM


While I do not know how long we may be here on earth, I do know it will be good

to have one more believin' banjo picker to say "howdy" to a little later on in eternity.

So, Howdy Bill, God Bless, and Merry Christmas.

Cottonmouth Says:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @6:41:49 AM

Bill, I admire your courage to continue the good fight. Let's just take one year at a time and pray that you are with us for Christmas next year! Ken

frailin Says:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @7:58:11 AM

You're an inspiration, Bill.  I'm proud of you.  I'm happier for the truths and joys you've discovered through this experience.  You are truly blessed, you know.

Merry Christmas. 


PS - I second Hugh's comment. 

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @8:47:36 AM

I'm grateful to know you through the Banjo Hangout, Bill.  Your words are authoritative because of your experiences, and your insights are buttressed by the timeless truths found in God's Word.  As the Apostle Paul wrote, For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which will be revealed in us.  We can look forward to one day receiving a glorified body that will be able to minister in the heavens on God's behalf, a body that will not succumb to any illnesses EVER.  I rejoice at your being who you are in Him who loved us first and gave Himself for us.  Appreciatively yours in Him,

FiddlerFaddler Michael

jfb Says:
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 @10:20:33 AM


As Nancy said, keep up the fight, and as Hugh said, we will look to see what you add next Christmas, healing prayers and hope for you in the future.  We will all walk the same path someday, most will not walk it with the strength you have shown us..take care

nashvillebanjo Says:
Monday, January 19, 2009 @9:07:40 AM

Bill keep fighting my friend you are and have always been one of my best friends and like family to me and you know what I have also been dealing with the past 4 years as well with my terminal muscle disorder, I will not give up, and you will not as well you are a fighter and we know that the lord can take it all away and make it better, I love you my friend and we got a lot of things to do remember that talk to you soon.


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