Dorsa

I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks now as I have found it moves me quite a lot to think about it, even weeks later.

By the end of the first week/mid second week of Erbitux infusions I was in considerable discomfort thanks to the rash and acne on my head. It was near unbearable. I tried to escape it but it followed me everywhere. Rachel suggested I go to the pharmacy for some anti-histamine tablets so I jumped in the car and headed off right away. The weather has been nice and cool here in Sydney the past few weeks and I found myself driving with the window down, the cool breeze passing over my burning head and relieving some of my discomfort.

I arrived at the pharmacy and as I am standing in line a young woman approached me and, with an accent, proceeded to very timidly ask if I was “from Oprah”. I told her that I was and she smiled an enormous smile. She told me she had multiple sclerosis and that for a long time she had been battling serious depression. She told me that after seeing our story on the Oprah show she was so deeply moved and encouraged… and her depression left her. She then thanked me for my courage and for helping her… told me that without me she would still be suffering depression.

And I’m just standing there, conscious of the other customers watching us out of the corner of my eye, desperately trying not to cry, so humbled. Standing there being told by a complete stranger that my own fight is helping them with theirs.

She reached out and shook my hand, we exchanged pleasantries and then she went back into the doctor’s office next door to wait with her sister.

On my way home I had to pull the car over to the side of the road as I was overcome with emotion, the scene playing out in my mind again and again. I began to weep. There was such an overpowering feeling that I had been a part of a very sacred transaction. All of this… the cancer, the fight, the pain, the discomfort, the not knowing… all of it…. it’s not for me, not for my benefit.

It’s for others.

I truly had my eyes opened to a very small but powerful reality that night. I don’t know how to explain it but I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to glimpse just a piece of it. Seeing how God can use something as awful as my cancer to release others is just… overwhelming.

In so many ways cancer is just the most awful experience… but at times like this it feels like such a gift.

Please pray for this young lady. Her name is Dorsa. She’s from Persia and couldn’t be more than 25 years old.

She’s far too young to be facing a life battling MS.

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~ by Kristian Anderson on March 17, 2011.

31 Responses to “Dorsa”

  1. I have been following your story since I saw your beautiful video for your wife and I have admired your courage and determination. Until January I lived with my partner who had MS. We broke up just after Christmas because I could no longer fight his battle for him. Reading your message tonight hit home. I totally understood where that young lady was coming from. If you can face your battle with cancer with such courage, then how could she give up. It was this message I always wished my partner could realise. On the flip side though how can you face this when your future is filled with so much hardship. You truly are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your battle. We are all the better for your bravery.

  2. Hey Dorsa & Kristian,

    Things happen in our lives for a reason. God has a mysterious way for working and bringing people together.. You shall be in our prayers..especially now in fasting period.. Good Luck & god bless

  3. It’s too bad that we rarely know how we touch the lives of others. It is wonderful to tell someone, even a stranger, that they have made a difference in your life. Everyone needs to know that they matter.

  4. Thank you for sharing your Dorsa experience. My Mom suffered with M.S. for over 20 years. I pray you and Dorsa stay strong

  5. Hey man, you have hit the nail on the head with that one. That is exactly why I do what I do with my diagnosis. I have had so many stories like that, and it is incredibly humbling to see how God has used my cancer to change peoples lives. It is incredibly surreal.

    Keep fighting, and keep building God’s kingdom. 🙂

    Jared.

  6. Things do happen for a reason and following your story over the last few months has had a humbling affect on me. You have an amazing tenacity for life.
    So yes, your story does inspire me.
    I shall be keeping Dorsa in my thoughts too.

  7. Jo has just said everything I wanted to … Kia kaha, Glennie x

  8. And this is the light getting in!!! The crack you didn’t ask for or the light you didn’t ask for but you are now the conduit for this light, His Light, around the world and in as you’ve shared, your own ‘backyard.’ Your story and today’s update just made us all stronger people because of it. Thank you Kristian. Continued hope and support.

  9. I agree with Tod! Spread God’s light -He is using you!
    Our love, Bill & Kari

  10. You have touched far more people than you will ever realize. Dorsa is one of many people who admire you for your strength. You have shown how in the darkest of times, there is a light that shines showing the way.

  11. Great reflection mate – loved reading it – finding the gold in this ugliness is a wonderful thing. I have prayed for you a lot lately esp as I was going thru a colonoscopy. I was annoyed at the inconvenience, but reminded that this is ‘life’ for you and 4 other freinds who suffer similarly

  12. Thank God I am not suffering any illnesses. You have inspired me. Dorsa is in my prayers. You continue to be in my prayers.
    Love & Hugs
    Maureen

  13. What a privilege it is to “know” you through this blog. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  14. Hi Kristian & family, My Mum & I met you at Manly Hosp. last week, she was having her first treatment. We had no idea you were ” the video guy”! I saw a clip from Oprah show & recognized you. Your story & site here is truly inspirational. You have so much courage & lot to motivate you with such a beautiful family. We hope all your hopes & dreams come true & wish you all the best for your future. If we don’t bump into you again we will be following your site & will vote for you one day! Regards Vanessa & Janet & family

  15. As always Kristian your testimony has touched yet another life God does things for a reason and we do not know what that reason is. Your cancer has brought about a voice that is spreading the good news of Jesus to the entire world. I think Dorsa’s fight and meeting you was God giving you encouragement. Keep believing in Christ as I know you do, for your reward in heaven is going to be bountiful with riches. Many souls are being saved by your story and I am proud to know you as a friend.
    All the best Kristian in Christ Jesus
    Brett Harvey

  16. Faith is trusting God with your burdens, knowing that your prayers are already answered (Isaiah 65:24). It’s being persuaded that God has the power to do what He has promised (Romans 4:21). It is knowing that all things work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). It’s being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
    Take Him at His word today.

  17. Hi Kristian! Once again, thank you for your courageous and inspiring post. I’ve been following you for many months now and I’ve even linked your page to my own. I was diagnosed with MS in December of 2009 (when I was 26), and that illness came just as I was fully recovering from a total colectomy due to Hirschprungs Disease and while I was still in recovery from an eating disorder. This seems unnatural to most people, but I have such an attitude of gratitude for all of my past, present and future struggles with health and disease. The knowledge and compassion I am gaining is preparing me for a life of service, reaching out to others in their darkest hour, and providing a little light. That is your journey, too. It’s not always easy, but it is important. God will continue to bless you as he helps you through this trial and will be waiting to show you a brand new direction after you have been declared victorious! The “burden” of illness is made lighter by sharing the small triumphs of health, wellness and optimism with others. May you continue to reach out & offer comfort (and also, may you ask and receive it when you need it). Lots of light love to you and your family, Kristian.

  18. I continue to lift you up in prayer…..Dorsa will go on the list. May God grant both of you continued peace that goes beyond all understanding.
    The Grandma with non hodgkins lymphoma in America

  19. Kristian, you are just amazing and have that fabulous talent of being able to write what you feel. I have followed your blog for a few months now and I find that you have such amazing power and light even though I can’t SEE you. Keep the fight, keep the faith and keep the path that you must follow. Hugs Dianne.♥

  20. Hi Kristian,

    I am glad that you have such a sacred encounter with Dorsa.

    Believe that you are doing God’s work, serving as an inspiration to others. You are touching their lives, even if you do not know it. You are doing it through this blog that reaches many people around the world.

    I know some times it is difficult to recognize this in the midst of your sufferings. You tend to focus only on yourself and go inside into yourself. You think that your sufferings have no meaning because you do not understand what God is doing. It is at such times that He will send you signs and “supernatural” encounters that will enlighten you to His true purpose.

    So, smile at your heart and be grateful. Give thanks every day for all the blessings that you have received and the blessings that you are giving other people. Go be God’s warrior and be crazy-brave as you carry on with your battle.

    Take care and keep your spirits up. Fill your life with beautiful music. Be happy and be compassionate …

    I am holding Dorsa in my prayers too… And many others who are quietly suffering in their own ways…

    Blessings!!

  21. I have watched your video several times and have followed your blog. I am so touched by the love you have for each other, that is something so rare and precious these days. All of us are born with a gift and sometimes life intervenes or derails us and we lose what we were supposed to be and sometimes adversity clarifies our purpose and what truly matters… it is the love we allow into our lives, the love we share and kindness to others. It is that our actions, behaviors, words become not only our own memories but become a part of the memories of those around us. It is important to make sure that the memories we leave in our wake, the words, behaviors and actions are good ones. Thank you for being part of mine. Thank you for inspiring so many.
    W.Va., USA

  22. Hi Kristian,
    Like a million others i started reading this after your vid to Rachal.
    I suffer Osteo Genesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), a condition i was born with. I have had several hundred broken bones, many requiring surgery to repair. I am confined to a wheelchair & suffer constant pain, in fact many friends struggle with a statement i once made about never having a day in my life (I’m 39) without pain.
    At 24 i met & married my soul partner…a chance meeting with a stranger. My husband is fit, healthly & had never known “illness” before meeting me!
    I consider myself lucky. I know you will ask what many do. Why?
    Because I have always known that God gave me my disease because i can handle it. Yeah i have days where i hate myself & the world, but when people ask me how i can live with a constant smile, or when my hubby sighs in utter frustration at another broken bone…i just remind them that God has given this to me because i can handle it! If another person suffered the pain i do, they wouldn’t handle it… see i’m lucky that i have known this as long as i can remember. I hope that you too Kristian will now cope with much ease… i don’t pray much, but i’m sending you my strength

    • Hi Joanne… Thanks for writing.

      I’d like to leave you with something to think about. I don’t think God gave you the disease…. his word says his plans for us are not to harm us.

      Jeremian 29:11 says;

      For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

      I don’t know why we get sick and have to battle these things but I know that even in the darkest of places God can and does use our struggles and pain to release others from theirs. Like Jesus died on the cross as a ransom for all humankind, one life for all lives, I believe our own sacrifices can be used by him to save others too.

      He’s doing that with you.

      Romans 8:28 says;

      “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

      Be encouraged. I don’t believe your condition (or mine) is God-given, but I most certainly believe, and am living proof, that he can use bad stuff for good.

      Thank you for praying for us…. it means a great deal.

      Kris.

      • Hi Kristian,

        So glad to read your reply to Joanne. You are really awaken to God’s purpose for you. Yes, He will not harm you but when you are ill, He will hold you in His arms. Continue to be the shining light and living proof of His grace.

        Blessings!

  23. Wow, I have been reading your blog for some time this post was close to home for me!

    I am also an MS patient and had a recent encounter with cancer. I believe that everything happens for a reason, your blog has helped me and thus inspired me to create my own blog.

    Thank you for being an inspiration!

  24. I have spent the past 2 days at work unable to do anything besides read your blogs. I started at the very first one, and just now have finished with this. It is hard to catch my breath. I am in such awe of your strength, it is uncomprehensible to me. You are the most inspirational person I’ve ever encountered, second to only one person- my nephew Mitch. He passed in 2003 from bone cancer, a 9 year old who only cared about helping others. He charged his hospital visitors money for kisses, and then one night took that money and slid it under the doors of other cancer kids. He wanted them to have his money, to feel some joy. His family spoke with him often about going to see Jesus, and how he would always be taken care of up in heaven. Mitchell was such a strong boy, rarely complained, and had a smile until the end. His fight lasted under a year. You remind me so much of him, your constant positive attitude, love for your family and Jesus; that the cancer has a purpose other than it’s ugly nature, it’s intent is to help others overcome, to help them see the light. Mitch now has a foundation in his name that helps the families of children with terminal cancer.
    Your boys are so lucky to have you as a role model, and Rachel is married to such a wonderful man. She must be so proud to call you her husband.
    There won’t be a day in the future where I don’t think of you and your family, or a morning that I won’t race to the computer to see if you have good news to report. You will forever be in my prayers.

  25. dear kristian,

    i first learned of you, rachel and the challenges you have faced, when you visited with oprah. at that time i was touched by your story, but have been absolutely blown away by learning a little more about “what makes kristian tick” through your blog. as a nurse, rarely have i seen such wisdom, grace, strength, perspective, faith, courage and love, as well as the ability to express it all so eloquently in writing…all wrapped up in one person. the insight that you have into people, situations and yourself is remarkable. i am yet one more that has been blessed by your heart and the path you are travelling. i pray for your constant and continued improvement…be well!

    peggy

  26. Kristian
    I have just found your blog after googling Erbitux. My husband has advanced colorectal cancer which has spread to his liver and his Oncologist just started him on Erbitux yesterday.
    Thank you for such an honest dialogue, it almost mirrors my husbands experience.
    My blessings to your family, I will be following your story from here on in.
    Jenny

  27. Cher Kristian,

    I woke up this morning thinking of you and came to my computer to check on you.

    Everytime I’m on your blog, my daughter, AbigaĂ«l, is asking “How he is doing?”. We are praying for you and I can only say that you are an incredible man, husband, father and a tremendous testimony to all of us.

    Reading and following you from Switzerland. With love,

    Catherine, Jamie and Abigaël Mackenzie

  28. Stopping by to check in and say hello and let you know you (and Dorsa) are in my prayers. I pray that you will experience healing and health. My best to you and your family.

  29. Nos pensĂ©es vont souvent vers vous…Notre fils de 13 ans a combattu une leucĂ©mie agressive l’an dernier et grâce Ă  une greffe de moelle osseuse, il est en rĂ©mission. La science est Ă©tonnante…le corps humain aussi….

    Des milliers de bonnes ondes du Québec.

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