Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: There's More Than One Kind......

Monday, August 04, 2008

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.



At 6:24 PM, August 05, 2008, Blogger Kevin Bussey said...


I'll be praying for you .

At 9:26 PM, August 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As will I.

At 10:22 PM, August 05, 2008, Blogger Bishop said...


I really enjoy reading your blog. Please be assured of my prayers this week.


At 10:28 PM, August 05, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Kevin, Debbie, Barry,

Thanks so much for the kind words and the prayers.

At 8:59 AM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Emily said...

Mr. Bob,
I'll be praying for you today and this week...
~Emily Price

At 12:56 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Miss Emily.

At 1:22 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Wayne Smith said...

I like you know when the last Chapter on our Life on earth is finished; we take on the Glorified Bodies promised by Jesus Christ. Thank God for placing our Names in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the Foundation of the World.(Eph 1: 4-5) Since we don’t know when that Homecoming will be, I will continue to Lift Up You and Peg in our Daily Prayers. As CB Scott says, we are Old Coots for the Lord.
Wayne and Irene Smith

At 1:27 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Wayne Smith said...

Bob, my morning Devotional,
Charles H. Spurgeon
August 7 Morning

“The upright love thee”
- Son_1:4
Believers love Jesus with a deeper affection then they dare to give to any other being. They would sooner lose father and mother then part with Christ. They hold all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carry him fast locked in their bosoms. They voluntarily deny themselves for his sake, but they are not to be driven to deny him. It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up; the true believer’s love is a deeper stream than this. Men have laboured to divide the faithful from their Master, but their attempts have been fruitless in every age. Neither crowns of honour, now frowns of anger, have untied this more than Gordian knot. This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may at length dissolve. Neither man nor devil have found a key which opens this lock. Never has the craft of Satan been more at fault than when he has exercised it in seeking to rend in sunder this union of two divinely welded hearts. It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love thee.” The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not so much to be judged by what it appears as by what the upright long for. It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough. Would that our hearts were capable of holding more, and reaching further. Like Samuel Rutherford, we sigh and cry, “Oh, for as much love as would go round about the earth, and over heaven-yea, the heaven of heavens, and ten thousand worlds-that I might let all out upon fair, fair, only fair Christ.” Alas! our longest reach is but a span of love, and our affection is but as a drop of a bucket compared with his deserts. Measure our love by our intentions, and it is high indeed; ‘tis thus, we trust, our Lord doth judge of it. Oh, that we could give all the love in all hearts in one great mass, a gathering together of all loves to him who is altogether lovely!


At 2:10 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Wayne, from one old coot to another, thanks and Amen.

(I actually prefer curmudgeon).

At 7:26 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Ken Hearn said...

Kinda reminds me of the time Paul was shipwrecked and a viper attached itself to Paul. (everyone around him thought he would surely perish due to some bad deed he must have commited). What did Paul do? He just got up, shook it off in the fire, and continued on with his day.
My prayers are with you Bob.

At 7:33 PM, August 07, 2008, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Ken.

I like the analogy and I thank you for your prayers.

At 4:34 PM, August 09, 2008, Anonymous PJ said...

Praying for a good result on your tests, capable doctors to treat the matter, however it may turn out, and strength for you and your wife to handle it.

At 6:27 PM, August 09, 2008, Blogger Scotte Hodel said...

Hi Bob - I just got back home for the weekend from the radiation clinic and saw your post. This last week I was reminded of Don Piper's experience he wrote about in the poorly titled 90 Minutes In Heaven. God granted him the miracle - to live again - but for some reason let him go through the "normal" course of treatment for his orthopedic injuries. I can only hang on the that last phrase in the Great Commission: "I am with you always ..."

At 3:26 PM, August 10, 2008, Blogger dlyn said...

Praying for you Bob.


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