I often pray for many with cancer. In recent years or months, some well-known people from quite diverse backgrounds have been diagnosed: Tom Brokaw, Alex Trabek, John Lewis, Rush Limbaugh… I also know many friends, young and old, who are dealing with the disease. With frequent trips to Emory, I have met dozens of people from all races, ages, and religions who have recently received bad news. I know what they are going through and feel I can pray with insight… and occasionally I get to pass on a word of encouragement.
People sometimes ask what is happening with me, so here is a little update. I was one of two groups of twelve people on a CAR T-cell trial at Emory to fight multiple myeloma. Doctors continue using the treatment, but it did not turn out to be the cure some predicted. Of the twenty-four, I am the only one still cancer-free nineteen months out from the procedure.
I’ve gotten platelet infusions each week for the past year and a half and blood infusions at least once a month. My doctor knows there are drawbacks to such a pattern, so last week he sent me to a doctor who specializes in non-cancer, blood-related challenges. I’ve been placed on a steroid that accompanied most of the chemotherapies I’ve had in the past to try to jump-start blood cell production in my bone marrow, or to give my caregivers a hint of other measures to take.
Susan and I are so thankful for all who have prayed for us these many years. We are also thankful for the doctors, assistants, and nurses who have helped us. We have become quite good friends with many. God works in mysterious ways and I have tried to learn to keep my hands open, simply remaining in His love, knowing He is in control. He is a faithful Father who gives us His comforting Spirit, as we live in the Body of our Lord Jesus — who understands perfectly what we encounter on this earth.
By the end of the school year, I’ll try to give another update… though you know this is not my favorite writing topic. Jesus gives us everything we need for life and godliness. God hears our prayers and allows us to fulfill His purposes in us as we trust Him. Thanks for being a part of our lives.
“Therefore, since we have a Great High Priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” II Peter 1:3