Many of you have heard my latest news by now, but in case you haven't, I received the results of my MRI and x-rays today. It appears that the cancer has metastasized to my right hip. There is a golf-ball-sized tumor on the socket (acetabulum). Of course, there is always the possibility that this is another primary cancer, but that is highly unlikely. At this point, I haven't had any additional scans, so I cannot tell you if there has been spreading to other areas. What I can tell you is that I am scheduled to have surgery on the hip this Thursday at Vanderbilt. I will be admitted tomorrow for some pre-operative work, and I will probably have some additional scanning at that point. Most additional scanning, however, will be reserved for after I have recovered from hip surgery since it is the most emergent concern.
Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Swartz (the orthopedic surgeon) both stressed that this is not a curative surgery. The goal is pain control and prevention of fracture, which would be almost inevitable if something isn't done very soon.
Dr. Gilbert also stressed that our goal with my treatment in general has now shifted from cure to giving me the best quality of life for the remainder of my life - however long that may be. She does not attempt to give me a time frame, because no human can do that at this point. Medically speaking, I could have weeks, months, even years. No one, but our Great God can give us an answer to that question. As the song Healer says, "He holds my world in His hands."
Indeed, He does hold my world, your world ... the entire world in His loving-kind hands. Of course, there is no adjective that describes adequately what it feels like to be told that
you are dying. There are plenty, however, to describe the God I attempt to serve, and I would prefer to focus on Him. Loving-kind is one of my favorites. It just has a special ring to it, and it is so true of God's character. There is one who never doubted the goodness of God in the most perilous of times. Job pointed out several things that I have discussed before, but I think it is time to revisit them ...
Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. -Job 14:5
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him. -Job 13:15
I know that you can do all things. No plan of yours can be thwarted. -Job 42:2
I would love to write more, and I hope to be able to do that soon, but I need rest now. I do want to leave you with some important thoughts, though.
God is my doctor.
God is not frightened by cancer.
God decided how many days I have, and he has known since Before There Was Time (a great song by Caedmon's Call).
God remains undisturbed in the face of news that can rock us to the core.
GOD IS IN CONTROL.
I love you all - even those of you whom I have never met. I love you, because Jesus Christ loved you and me first. We have talked a lot about a personal relationshp with Christ. Because of that relationship, death (though not preferred) represents gain. In death, those of us who have trusted Christ for forgiveness through His sacrifice on the cross, gain the joy of being in His presence! In life, we have the joy of resting (if we will) in communion with Him every day. As I have asked before, if you don't understand this relationship that He offers, please talk with someone who can lead you to a better understanding of Him. Life is too short to wait. We have no guarantee of tomorrow.
Make no mistake, God is cabable of healing me if He so chooses, and I will continue to pray that He heal me if it is in His will. If He chooses otherwise, He is still my loving-kind Father, and I hope, if you haven't already, that you will make Him yours.
Back to tomorrow ... as one of my favorite old hymns says (and, I may be repeating myself), I don't know about tomorrow, but I know who holds my hand.