Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Disconnected. For a week I was disconnected from the cyberworld where I share my life with anyone who cares to read. Last night I came home to find more than 350 e-mails waiting for a response or a quick review and delete.

With chemotherapy, there is a regular disconnection from normal brain function. I am sure that others may explain it better, but not all my neurons seem to be firing properly. Because of it, there is a periodic disconnect from my family. I'm not all there. Or all here.

And I am feeling a sense of disconnect from my church family. I miss the regular fellowship. Sharing life together. Although I am praying for others and I know that they are praying for me - and I cannot stress enough the importance of mutual prayer and encouragement - there is something special about being together.

Thankfully, in all this (the cancer "stuff") there has never been a disconnect from God. He has remained close to me as I have continued, by His grace, to draw near to Him. He has given me strength, courage, wisdom, and the resolve to glorify Him by submitting to His will in all of this.

Things have been going relatively smoothly this summer. I am on track to begin teaching again in a few weeks and to carry on my duties (privileges, really) as assistant pastor. By God's grace. With much support from my wife, pastor and principal. And with a little help from my friends. Insert smiley face here.

Every step of the way, God has given us reminders that He is with us and that He is providing for us.

Things were very smooth until a few weeks ago when I started having high fevers and severe pain in my upper left arm/shoulder and in both hips and thighs. At times, the pain was so severe that I could not walk. On July 29, I was admitted to Lehigh Valley Hospital for blood transfusions and tests. My five-day chemotherapy was delayed a week so that my body would have an opportunity to recuperate. On Wednesday, August 6, I began my five-day treatment. While in the hospital, I had a CAT scan, bone scan, and MRI of the three areas mentioned. I stayed an extra night to accomodate the testing.

There was enough "suspicious activity" in these bones to warrant a visit to the orthopedic oncologist. On Monday afternoon, my wife and I drove to Lancaster and found a room for the night.

Although it was less than 24 hours, that time together was very special. In the midst of great uncertainty about my health (Has the cancer recurred in these other areas during treatment?),
we talked, cried together, speculated some (What if . . .?), but ultimately were reminded of God's faithfulness and were able to focus our minds on what is true. We renewed our resolve to glorify God and allow Him to use us for His perfect purposes. We acknowledged our dependence upon Him and thanked Him for His provision of life in His Son Jesus Christ, for supportive friends and family, and our for our daily needs.

We enjoyed simple pleasures like sitting on a bench under a butternut tree, and closing our eyes and pretending that the traffic in front of our motel was the roar of the ocean.

It was a great time to reconnect with my wife, my best friend, the one who bears the burden (although she never makes me feel like I am a burden) of caring for me.

We met with the orthopedic oncologist on Tuesday morning. Based on his experience, he does not think that the MRI is showing a recurrence of cancer. But just to be sure . . . he has scheduled me to have a biopy of my right femur.

Next Wednesday, in the OR at Lancaster Regional Hospital, while I am under heavy sedation, he will remove a core sample from my upper right femur, about the diameter of a pencil and about 4 or 5 inches long. He will also place a screw in my femur to help support it and help prevent a fracture. Sounds painful. I'll keep you posted.


MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

Lord bless you and keep you as you go through this procedure. Will you guys still be going to A-Day? In a much smaller way, I can relate to your thoughts in light of my recent broken foot. Stay well and strong in Jesus.

Scooter aka Cindy

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