Treatment 4

Well, it’s been about a month since there was an update at this site, and I’ll be surprised if anyone is checking it very regularly at this point!

Basically, there hasn’t been too much to report.

Less than a week after I had the last chemo treatment, things were pretty much back to life as usual. I had no real symptoms to speak of. Also, I had pushed my next treatment back by a week so that I could go to PDI Ministries’ (soon to be Sovereign Grace Ministries’) worship conference in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
That was a wonderful time, and I’m glad the doctors were agreeable to postponing one of my treatments.

This treatment included a visit to my oncologist. He checked me over and asked how the last intravenous treatment went, etc., etc.

He then outlined what will be happening next. In around one month I’ll have another endoscopy so that they can get to the cancer cells first hand (they’ll do a biopsy). My oncologist suspects that at that time they won’t find any cancer. However, if things go as we had planned them at the start, I’ll still have two more chemotherapy treatments after that. Apparently, this particular combination of drug (cytoxan) and dosage (1500mg) is done on a six treatment basis to be sure that the cancer is killed. So even if the next biopsy comes up clean, I’ll still likely have two more treatments to go.

I’d like to say a big “Thank You” again to all who have been praying for my recovery. God has been so good to me in regards to this illness (actually He has been very good to me, period!). I’ve been able to see and have a new understanding on so many passages of scripture (1 Peter being one book in particular), and I get to have this new perspective without my life really being in danger. This cancer has affected so many areas of my life positively (particularly my spiritual walk with God). Every song we sing in church that has anything to do with God’s sovereign control, or even just mentions life and/or death really has deeper meaning to me. I’m certain that I will come out of this illness changed for the better.

An interesting conversation

While at the oncologist’s office this time, I had a couple books with me (of course). One of them was titled Extreme Righteousness by Tom Hovestol. It is a book about the Pharisees in the New Testament, and is quite good. I’m reading it for a second time, because I thought it was so challenging the first time through. It makes the case that we as evangelical Christians probably are working with a caricature of what the Pharisees were really like, and that we (people to take the Word of God seriously) are probably the most likely people to get caught by Pharisaical tendencies.

Anyway, the title caught my doctor’s attention and he asked about the book. I told him the basic subject matter and he chuckled a bit. I think he immediately felt bad about his reaction, because later in the conversation he made a point of telling me that he thought it was good that I was “religious”. He told me about having been an altar boy as a child, and that he had seen many things that made him turn his back on organized religion.

Well, I’d like to report that I was able to share my faith with him in no uncertain terms, but I didn’t feel that it was appropriate at the time. I was only one of many patients he had to see that day. I just tried to make it clear that I take my relationship with God seriously and that I’m not just running to my faith as a crutch to help me deal with the cancer.