Faith, hope, and love

Cindy Rod Cruise
Looking back through my blog this morning I saw a post that I wrote last year on the day before Easter. It was focused on our twins, Abby and Amelia, and the commitment that they were about to make as an expression of their belief and faith in Jesus Christ.

The focus of my post was that five letter word - "faith" - and how much we rely on it to get through so much of our lives. Faith and trust are key components of what give us hope.

Now, a full year later, I'm once again thinking about faith, trust and hope. This year it's very personal. 

The love of my life, my wife Cindy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. We're fortunate in some ways, because despite not being identified in her annual mammogram, enough suspicion existed that a series of five or six additional tests and examinations were conducted that made the diagnosis clear and certain. I'm very thankful for that, even though I was praying for it to be a big mistake. I must admit that there was a brief time when I was about to give up on the praying. Having someone tell you that your wife has breast cancer after weeks of praying for a different outcome can cause that to happen. Until I was reminded that finding such a small tumor was in and of itself a bit of a miracle. Of course, that's the right way to think of it. 

Breast Cancer FHL

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13

This Easter weekend the girls are away at college and Cindy and I will spend our time doing what needs to be done to be ready for her surgery on Tuesday. We've met with all the doctors and support staff. We've done the research and read the material we've been given. We've talked through all the options and the decisions have been made. Now, once again, it's time to have faith in the medical team and trust in their skill. It's time to say another prayer of hope. Join me if you will. I love you Cindy!

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  • Kristy Bolsinger
    Apr. 16, 2012
    Rod - we chatted briefly on Twitter the day of Cindy's surgery. I was with my cousin in recovery while you were waiting for your beloved. I couldn't know exactly what was going through your head but I sure had an idea. I'm so glad you shared your story with me and everyone here. Cancer does not limit itself as you wisely said in your comment on my recent post: It affects us all. While it's absolutely maddening that so many people have been impacted by this disease - there's beauty in us being able to connect and finding ourselves far less alone than all feel during that initial moment. I wish you and your beloved nothing but the best and hope that the bulk of your battle is complete. Will keep your entire family in my prayers. Thank you again for sharing!!
  • David Kopetzky
    Apr. 15, 2012
    Rod and Cindy. Our prayers go out to you both in this challenging time. Stay strong!
  • Annelise
    Apr. 10, 2012
    Rod, it was great to meet you yesterday! How amazing that you could spend your day with us before your wife's surgery! I'll be sending positive thoughts to your wife and I wish her the best in recovery!
  • Eric Hansen
    Apr. 10, 2012

    Kelly and I are thinking about you and your family today.
  • Erin Davidson
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Praying for you & for your wife, Rod.
  • Angela
    Apr. 9, 2012
    I'm sending positive thoughts your way, Rod. I'm so glad your wife and her care givers pushed for additional tests. I had those tests myself earlier this year, and although the results were different, the takeaway was the same: Do whatever is required to know what you're dealing with and fight it! If you don’t mind me sharing, I wrote a post about what I learned from my first mammogram ( and the follow-up tests ( in the hopes that it would help make the process less scary for people who need to do this, but are confused or afraid. Early detection is so important, everyone!
  • Patrick Galvin
    Apr. 9, 2012
    I'm sending healthy thoughts and praying for your wife's recovery from surgery. A good friend of mine was diagnosed with an advanced stage of breast cancer seven years ago, and she's doing well today with her cancer in full of remission. It's amazing what faith, medicine, and a positive attitude can accomplish.
  • Veronica
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Rod and Cindy -- Sending positive thoughts and healing vibes to you. Will be thinking of you both on Tuesday.
  • Laura Levitan
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Rod - My thoughts and prayers are with you and Cindy....
  • Steve
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Like I told my wife, not knowing it's there doesn't mean it's not there. Finding it early and treating it early are the best medial things you can do. However, the word you used, faith, is even better spiritual medicine. No one knows what God's plan is for us, nor why we get diseases such as cancer. We DO know He loves us and will never leave our side.

    In my case having cancer certainly wasn't good, but there have been many blessings that have resulted from my diagnosis; my love for God growing much stronger is certainly one of them.

    I thank God for your love for each other, your love for God, and your strong wills, great attitudes, and faith (there's that word again).

    Prayers coming at you. May His healing and protection surround you always.
  • Tina Munro
    Apr. 8, 2012
    A reminder of the importance of love and faith! Thank you for sharing! Sending healing energy to Cindy and peace to you.

    Happy Easter!

  • Tarah B
    Apr. 7, 2012

    Words cannot express how sad this news has made me. I'm crying right now as I type this. I am praying for you, your wife and your family. I hope for a safe and successful surgery and a quick recovery as well as a full bill of clean health and healing.

    I'll be rooting for Cindy on Tuesday and keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

    Best wishes,

  • Janet McDaniel
    Apr. 7, 2012
    My prayers are with you and Cindy at this difficult time, I recall the diagnosis like it was yesterday because it changed my life. Cancer has many lessons to teach some of endurance, faith, strength, how family is the single most important thing in your life, compassion for others who are not as fortunate as us. We experiened many miracles , gifts and generousity from people we knew and those who we did not know but people who reached out and touched our lives at t time when I was extremely vunerable. The past 5 years have brought a personal clairty to my life that would have never happened without the experience. I am thankful for the way I love life as it has been given to me, one day at a time with small opportunities to give back to others. Cindy will be in my prayers on Tuesday, I am sending you all my love and support.
  • Lisa Jensen
    Apr. 7, 2012
    My prayers are with you and Cindy for the best possible outcomes and that you will be encouraged and comforted. I will especially think of the two of you on Tuesday. My mom is a breast cancer survivor for 15 years now. Keep the faith--I know you will be an invaluable support to her and to your whole family. God bless and keep you!

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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