Friday, April 24, 2009
RELAX - I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT MY HEALTH!
It may be a little unusual to post such personal health information on my blog, but I believe that this is probably the best way to get the word out to the hundreds of friends who have told me they’re praying for me and are interested in the results of my prostate biopsy. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about let me give you a little background.
As you can tell by reading the blog “Who moved the Stone?” below, I had the wonderful privilege of having a kidney stone in January. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise (Romans 8:28) because it led to (or was the result of, who knows?) a urinary infection which in turn led my doctor to recommend that I undergo a TUR surgery (Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate). As part of the TUR surgery, a small amount of tissue removed from the prostate is routinely sent to a pathology lab. The pathology report revealed the presence of a low grade/early stage cancer of the prostate (only about 3% of the cells were cancerous).
Any time you hear the “C” word, it’s a little scary. But I never was scared or worried. And since I firmly believe in the power of prayer, I shared this information with our congregation and many other friends. I didn’t want to keep it private because I wanted as much prayer cover as possible. Over the past six weeks, I’ve been humbled and overwhelmed by the many expressions of love and the promises of prayer from people in Green Acres, Tyler, and around the nation. (Even if there were some weird rumors going around like I had colon cancer and was resigning from Green Acres!)
Six weeks after the TUR surgery my doctor had scheduled a prostate biopsy. I had that done on April 14. My doctor removed twelve cores of tissue from my prostate (another fun day), and these were sent to the pathology lab. I met with my doctor earlier today (April 23) to discuss the results of the biopsy and the report was WONDERFUL! I left his office praising the Lord.
Of the 12 samples, only one showed any misshapen cells that could be considered cancerous, and they are the same early stage/low grade cells that were found from the TUR surgery. So, the worst case would have been if they found more advanced, wider-spread cancer in the prostate, but instead, there is only a small presence (which we already knew from the TUR results).
For those who understand the medical numbers, my PSA is 2.9, The focal area on the one core showed low-grade adenocarcinoma with Gleason score 6 (3+3). Using the TNM staging scale, the cancer stage is T1a.
So, I am praising God for this good report! It just “happened” by “coincidence” that the passage I’ve been studying and preparing to teach on this Sunday is Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life ….Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Of course the word “coincidence” isn’t in God’s vocabulary! And I can honestly say that I haven’t been worried about what the results of the biopsy would show. And I’m not worried about the future.
I’m not naïve enough to believe Bobby McFerrin’s song, “Don’t worry, be happy!” Instead, the song I’m singing is:
“God is good all the time;
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine.
God is good all the time;
through the darkest night, His light will shine.
God is good; He’s so good; All the time!”
As far as treatment options, I’m going to be discussing these with a couple of other doctors (including my daughter and son-in-law, who are both physicians). I’m a good candidate for the “expectant management” treatment, which means that my doctor watches my PSA and performs another biopsy in a year to see if there is any change. Another option would be to undergo radiation therapy, which I am also investigating. As I consider my options, I covet your prayers and any advice from those of you who have walked in my shoes.
For your information, I feel great and am only able to play golf about six days a week now.
Basically, I want you to know how much I appreciate your prayers and support. It means more to me than you’ll ever know. I agree with the sentiment of the Apostle Paul who wrote these words to the brothers and sisters in Phillipi, “For I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (Philippians 1:19)
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