Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
One of my biggest struggles right now is fearing the future. It is so easy to worry about tomorrow and all the millions of combinations of things that could happen in the future. I guess before I had cancer I didn't worry that much about the future because I just assumed that I was young and everything would work out just fine. Then when I got cancer last year I was crushed because I realized for the first time my life was completely out of my control (you can read the blog "Sideswiped by the news of cancer" from Jan 2007). After consulting with so many doctors and doing all the most aggressive treatments last year we were so hopeful because the doctors were so hopeful. This year, none of the doctors are as hopeful for a cure to my disease. In some ways this is a blessing in disguise. God has shown us from our experiences last year that you can't trust in doctors or technology to save us. We had one of the best surgeons in the world and did all the additional treatments that we were supposed to do, and the cancer still came back. This time we're left with little confidence that surgery, radiation and chemotherapy will work because my cancer has proven resistant to them. So instead, we are forced to cling to the One who can and wants to heal sicknesses, Jesus Christ. Jesus ministry on earth was full of compassion for the sick and dying and He went around healing people everywhere He went. Here is a great sermon that my brother-in-law, Bob, preached the week before my surgery on healing.
I remember Dr. Steve Lawson preaching on Psalm 90 when I was in college. At the time I really didn't understand it. To a 21 year old college student learning to number my days meant that there were too many to count so why bother. I just assumed that I had a lot of life ahead of me. I didn't really think about the inevitable end, or even the imminent return of Christ. But now that I have had to face the fact that life can end at any time I see life so differently. My days are numbered just as everybody else's is. It is so proud and presumptuous to assume that I am in control of my life, and that I will live for a long time. It is foolish to presume that there will be air for me to breath my next breath. To gain a heart of wisdom is to live today as if it was my last. Jesus commands me not to worry about tomorrow, but to focus on today's trouble in Matthew 6:34. Surely tomorrow will be trouble, but God has not yet provided the grace to handle tomorrow's trouble. So please pray for me that I would not waste any more time worrying about the future, but that I would by God's grace live each individual day to its fullest. Praise God that I am slowly improving in this area but I still have a long way to go. Praise God also that He is healing me even now, as my health is improving and I am getting a little stronger each day.
Here's the update on my treatment:
I'm planning on doing radiation and chemotherapy at the same time just as we did last year. The doctors at the University of MN are planning on giving me about the same amount of radiation as last year, another 6000 rads, which will about put me close to double what is considered a safe lifetime limit. I'll also be taking a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, Taxol, Carboplatin, and maybe Erbitux as well during radiation treatment which is planned to start around April 30th. We have not found any other clinically proven alternative treatments that are less toxic so far (perhaps the Mayo Clinic will say something different when we meet with them next week). If God can create a universe out of nothing, surely he can spare my body from damage due to radiation and chemotherapy. We're going to go through the treatments, but I'm not banking on them healing me. If God chooses, He will heal me. We beg of God to have mercy on me and my family by healing me and restoring my health, that His name might be vindicated as the all powerful God.