There's More Than One Kind......
Of Miracle, that is.
My PSA test was first abnormal in November of 2007; it was 3.9. Now, 4,0 is where they get upset and all, so my family doctor said to come back in 6 months. Which I did. Results in May 2008: 5.1.
Time to see the urologist, which I also did. Took biopsies and found cancer in 2 of 12 samples. So we scheduled surgery for 6/19, and I said bye-bye to my prostate and associated internals. And when the pathology came back, it showed 60% involvement, whereas only 2 of 12 biopsies showed cancer. When I remarked, to the doctor, that those 2 could as easily have missed it, he said indeed they could have.
Miracle #1. I posted about that, here.
Fast forward to July 28 and I went beck for the routine post-surgery followup PSA test. We got those results last Thursday.
The doctor was frankly puzzled; my profile and my case history was so crashingly typical that he just couldn't believe that the samples hadn't been switched, so he called me back in last Friday for another test. He just called with the results.
SO. What's that mean? One of two scenarios.
- First .. the cancer might have spread to the surrounding tissue before surgery, in which case the answer will be to have radiation treatments on the area.
- Second .. the cancer might have metastasized to other parts of the body. That's another story, and while there are treatments which prolong the lifespan, like hormone therapy, it's treatable but not curable. NOT the preferred alternative.
I'll be hearing from the hospital to get a bone scan and a CAT scan, shortly. I'll report back here with the results.
But I need to share some thoughts that have been chasing around my mind ever since the somewhat-perplexed doctor called me Thursday.
First of all, as my new favorite buzz-phrase says, "Life is a death sentence". None of us gets out of it alive. But, as the second half of the phrase says, "Death is a life sentence".
God said some similar things, and some even more pointed things in the Bible. Consider this:
Job 14:1-5: "Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure. Do you fix your eye on such a one? Will you bring him before you for judgment? Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. (NIV)
Near as I can tell, that say that my days were decreed by God. I want all I can get, but that's not up to me.
Hebrews 9:27: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (I like the KJV of this verse, as it speaks of an appointment, which seems accurate. And also well understood in this culture.)
Looking at those two passages, I conclude that no disease is going to determine the date of my death. My Heavenly Father's already done that. And while diseases seem to hate us, my Heavenly Father loves me. And He's already said His plans weren't to curse us, but to bless us.
Amen to that.
As I mentioned to my SS class yesterday, perhaps the ones who are truly blessed in this life are those who are sovereignly called upon by God to live what they believe. For too many of my years, being a church member didn't really call on me to do anything out of the ordinary for a modern American family man. But now, facing whatever's lurking "in the corn" [HT Jerry Grace} has made it even more important that I live what I've believed and have been teaching. I told them that, if I couldn't do that now, I had no right to be teaching them anything.
Said the same thing at CB Scott's church, in the "Spiritual Gifts" class I'm leading there, last night.
In case anyone thinks this is some form of "punishment" for something, I'm firmly convinced Jesus took all that a long, long time ago. So I don't buy any of that.
Seems to me that a miracle is a supernatural intervention by God, into what we see as the "natural order" of things. A zero PSA was the only thing the doctor could see as the natural order following my surgery. So I'm thinking that my 4.1 is precisely what God had in mind for me. And that, as part of blessing me, not cursing me.
So, if Mr. Cancer thinks he's set the date for my ultimate earthly demise, I have news for him.
God already beat him to it.
***UPDATE*** I'm scheduled for an abdominal CAT scan, and a whole-body bone scan, this Thursday. Stay tuned for the news......
***AND YET ANOTHER UPDATE*** The tests were, frankly, easier than I expected, particularly for a test that I'm hoping to fail in one way or another (if they don't find anything, well .....). The doctor's office just called and I have an appointment at 2:30 Monday to go over the results. Another one of those weekends, I guess.