Thursday, September 4, 2008

God is STILL my doctor

It's been a while since we've talked, and I've missed you. Brother always does an immaculate job, though, and I was a touch busy as you know.

For those of you wondering, I am doing well where the hip is concerned. It is sore, of course, but I am walking very well with walker or crutches. Sometimes, I almost forget that I need them, so I expect to be back to my normal self where that is concerned very soon.

My most notable physical ailments at the time are my mouth sores and mucus. I know this will seem unbelievable to those of you who visited me in the hospital as I probably talked you into the floor below us. You must understand, however, that I had been given a medicine during surgery to decrease my mucus (a medicine that apparently is available only in IV form) which was very successful. Also, I was on fluids constantly, which tends to help. Finally, I just think God gave us that time together - the most important variable. Since getting home from the hospital, things have changed dramatically. My mouth is flooded with mucus and hammered by sores. I am 4 weeks out of radiation today. The radiation oncologist told me I would be much better in 6 weeks - I really hope he is correct. Right now, I am back to writing notes or typing them on computer. Talking just seems to make the sores hurt worse, and the mucus makes it very difficult, as well.

I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Gilbert, my oncologist, yesterday. As you will recall, she explained before the hip surgery that with the metastasis, our strategy would have to change from curative to increasing the quality of and prolonging my life. My chances of cure from a medical standpoint went from 40% to 0%. Yesterday, she offered a time frame. She stated that if my cancer "follows the book, and it never has," I could expect to be here about 6-9 months. Of course, since my cancer has been much more aggressive than expected at every turn, that could be a much smaller number.

We then discussed the new treatment plan. I will need focused radiation to the right hip to avoid tumor return there and for pain relief (about 2-3 weeks of treatment). As soon as my energy and strength are improved, I will begin another chemotherapy regimen designed to keep would-be tumors at bay. If these drugs are unsuccessful, there are clinical trials available, as well. Dr. Gilbert stated she has seen these drugs have no effect, but she has also seen them give a patient in my shoes 2 years. If at any time during treatment, the treatment becomes worse than the cancer, we will stop it and do something else. She made it very clear that I would be in control of the process.

She also ordered CT scans of my head, chest, and abdomen yesterday to search for further metastasis.

What I want you to remember is that we already knew the earthly prognosis was this grim. We knew it as soon as we found out about the metastasis. Having a number does not change anything, because no one but God can guarantee a number anyway. Also, while the medical world tells us there's no hope, I'm reminded that with God there is always hope. Remember an earlier post where a friend had pointed out to me that God is my doctor? God is still my doctor! He is unimpressed by the cancer book.

My family and I have not given up hope on our miracle. We know that if God so chooses, He has more than enough power to heal me, and we continue to ask Him for complete healing. We do acknowledge, though, that healing may not be His will. Whatever His plan, know that it is perfect. It may not fit our idea of perfect, but perfect it remains. His glorification matters most. May He be glorified in my life or in my death.

Requests:

1. My friend Robert is in surgery now (9/4). Pray! Wife's name is Kim. 2 sons. Same cancer as me - caught earlier we hope.
2. Mr. Carroll - battling oral cancer.
3. Relief from mouth sores and mucus - I want to eat real food with family and friends again!
4. Continued hip healing and success with walking.
5. To get to go back to work on some level as soon as possible.
6. To bring glory to the Father each day.
7. Unwavering faith and trust in the One who is mighty to save.

Praises:
1. God, our Papa, is beautiful, strong, good, and constant!
2. Remember that song, "Oh, How I Love Jesus?" Oh, how I love Jesus!!!
3. God doesn't sleep.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. -Matthew 6:34

12 comments:

jennifer said...

Daniel,
We LOVE YOU so much!! I enjoyed our time together Sunday more than words can express. Please know we are praying for your miracle, comfort, and peace. Remember this- The Great Physician now is near, the sympathizing Jesus!
With Love,
Jennifer & Clan

Rachel McRae said...

Yes, you were Chatty Cathy pulling his own string last week! But it was a joy to see you visiting with family and friends. I'm so glad to hear the hip is coming along nicely and will continue to pray for a quick recovery from that. I continue to trust that the Holy Spirit will lift you up to the Father when I run out of my own simple words. I know that Jesus is fully interceding for you to the Father.
Love,
Rachel

Tiffany Madish said...

Daniel, thank you for letting us know how you're doing. Thank you for your courage, your strength, and your endless pursuit in showing that God is ultimately in control, and that we need to trust in Him through everything. I think of you daily and pray for healing, relief, and for your constant ability to remain faithful during this difficult time for you. I will also continue to pray for your friends and others who are going through this experience.
In Him,
Tiffany Madish

XieXie said...

Daniel,
I continue to pray with the same fervency and expectancy trusting that God has a mighty plan for your life. God reminded me of his faith and love last night through Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." God is faithful, good and in control even when our feeble minds think he is screwing up badly.

Selfishly I'd love to see you sometime if your health and spirits permit. Until then I continue to call on our God who loves us more than we could ever know. I love you. Shay

Jo said...

Daniel, I'm at lost for words. Just want to let you know that everyone here in Alpine ask about you daily. Your in everyones prayers. I think and pray for you & your family daily. You lift me every time I read your messages.
Jogenna

Adrian Fortenberry said...

Hi Daniel!!

I hate that I was I was not there to visit w/ you last week- I wish I could have been there but I'm so glad Scott got to see you. I don't have anything especially eloquent to say or offer you other than you are thought of and prayed for daily. I was telling Scott that even though you and I did not get to hang out alot, I feel that from the few times we have been in the same room, I totally got who you are and what you're all about. You're infectious and everyone knows it! What a blessing! Your faith just screams that you've got God in your corner and what an inspiration that is to so many who don't know him. Wow.
Let us know if you need anything and we hope to visit you sometime when you feel up to it-let us know when ok? Much love and continued prayer,
Adrian Fortenberry

ashley said...

Our choir song for this coming Sunday is I Love Him (Clint Brown). It goes into, Oh, How I Love Jesus! I love HIm more and more each day and I am STILL thanking Him for your miracle of healing! I BELIEVE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Daniel,
Your beautiful spirit and light contine to reach out to others. Know that you are loved my brother. It is so hard to understand God's plan during this time, but I remind myself it is not for us to explain. You reminded me with your eloquent words that His ways are perfect. Please know that I would love to see you when you feel better. Sending prayers of love, peace, and healing comfort your way. With Love, Heather, Sam & the 3 B Boys :-)

Sandy Webster said...

Daniel,
It was so wonderful to see you last week! Our time with Randy was great, too. It was almost as if we all just picked up where we had left off years ago. I feel so blessed to know you and call you my friend. Maybe next time we can get good old Clifty in on the reunion!! Keep your spirits up. We are all still praying.
love and prayers,
Sandy Webster

Anonymous said...

My good friend Daniel,I miss you sooo much. The Bible says that we put our faith in the things that are not seen. It is the things that are not seen, that are eternal, and the things that we do see that are subject to change. Cancer and medical reports are subject to change.I truely am believing that God wants you to be healed. In the natural, things may seem gloomy, but our Father is supernatural. I love you, and I look forward to seeing you working sometime in the near future.

Jennifer Scott Class of 1992

AshleyNichole85 said...

Daniel,

I Love You & Miss You so much! :) I keep you in my prayers day and night. You're such a positive influence to me dear cousin.

Love,
Nikki

Biter said...

Daniel,
SO relieved that your hip is healing and you've been up and walking! SO not happy about the pain, and will eagerly pray for the easing of it for you. That's what keeps you on my mind when I got to sleep and night, and when I wake up in the moring.
I enjoyed visiting with My Daniel last week so much. I loved sitting and talking with you, and could have just kept on sitting there with you for hours, like always.
And on the subject of "Acceptance": I don't think a life spent on Earth would ever be worth living a day without Hope. "Peace for Today and bright Hope for Tomorrow." So I wouldn't worry about "not accepting" anything less.
Can't wait for our next visit/chat session. Love you,
Amy