June 2016 Health & Cancer update
This entry was posted on May 30, 2016.
For Karin and others asking about my cancer history and wanting an update:
Written May 27, 2016 -
In 2014, on Sept. 7th, just after I’d completed production on the last of my DVD series, Wide Is The Gate: The Emerging New Christianity, and had coincidentally ended my last speaking engagement of the year at Calvary Chapel, Appleton, Wisc, I had a devastating near fatal bicycle accident in Lake Mills, Wisc. Many speculate the trauma of the bike accident may have exacerbated any existing cancer In my body. Who knows? Cancer is such an unknown which has certainly challenged my investigative proclivities and forced me to do much research into my own type of Cancer and its metastasis. The injuries I sustained from the downhill bike accident (probably at a speed of about 20 mph) were plentiful especially in my cranial area: head wounds and fractures on the left side of my face underwent surgery. Left side of my body had massive gravel burn, nerve damage, heavy damage to my lower back (a bulged couple of discs), a torn left knee meniscus and excruciating and ongoing pain (for over a year and a half) in my lower left groin area and left gluteus maximus muscles probably due to a pinched nerve in lower back.
(I wrote about my amazing cure of nerve pain in my last writing through my daily use of TENS therapy) All this, to draw attention to the fact that pain, stress and little sleep feeds cancer. At the time, my very weakened immune system wasn't able to stave off any spreading cancer. A strong immune system is vital in the battle against growing and spreading cancer. Over the last year and a half I've been much encouraged by the strengthening of my immune system as I've daily downed abundant supplements and herbs, changed my diet (moving from acidic foods to alkaline) and involved myself in plenty of exercise. Of course, I believe, lots of fresh veg and no red meat, fish, chicken or dairy products has contributed in my fight with cancer - however the diet has been the most challenging discipline for me, I've always loved eating varieties of food including cheeses, pasta and plenty of rich creamy desserts! Sweet sugary stuff feeds cancer so sadly, those days are gone, no more rich creamy creme brûlée for me! Anyway, I ran ahead of myself!
In December of 2014, three months to the day after my bike accident, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. The cancer surgeon wanted me to immediately have both breasts removed. I fought the procedure because I felt my immune system was already weakened by too much surgery, antibiotics and pain meds from my bike accident and I wanted to buy time and grow myself healthy again. Coming up against strong conventional medical opinions, I was to find out, is an uphill battle especially if the doctors get family members involved, and on the side of traditional medical protocol, and fan their fear of urgency. In those early days, the pressure of “urgency” was very confusing and forced me to recall, from a Biblical perspective, where confusion comes from? Not from my God of Order! And where does panic and fear come from, not from my God of Peace, and where does doubt come from, not from my God in Whom I can trust! I remember being pushed hard to pray through the darkness of confliction and unsureness until I could lie down still and in peace in My Shepherd’s green pastures of calm. Over the next few weeks, learning about cancer became important to me, as did learning about the effects of surgery, chemo, radiation and other pharmaceutical options. And, learning about alternative natural medications and remedies also. My head and emotions were swirling with conflicting theories and opinions. I interviewed over a dozen women who'd had breast removals, reconstruction, chemo etc.
I joined the local cancer support group to become better informed and equip myself with first hand knowledge. But, I soon realized, there are as many opinions as there are different degrees and types of cancer and all have complexities - there's no simple solution to the battle against cancer, it's a very personal journey! As weeks marched on, pressure from doctors pressed in for speedy removal of both breasts. I still stalled because I’d found no peace or assurance with answers to questions I had about surgery and its follow up. A month later I had a serious bout of chronic pneumonia and was rushed to hospital with a high fever. I had no idea how serious this new phase was, but the Lord did! He used this incident to bring to the forefront my cancer was stage 4, a predicament also known as metastasis, when the cancer has spread far away from the origin into other organs of the body and is no longer curable with localized surgery and radiotherapy. Through the pneumonia emergency God brought me a new team of doctors with new cutting edge solutions. In hindsight, what a relief to know my Protector had His Hand on me all through the various processes and didn't allow breast surgery, as being under the surgical knife would have killed me. The cancer had already, unbeknownst to the surgeons spread through the lymph nodes into the blood. Surgery at that point would have been fatal. By the time I had pneumonia, the cancer had already spread to my lungs, and future PET scans, MRIs, CTs, and a plethora of blood tests and results would show the cancer metastasized into my bones and now more recently has spread to my liver.
My emotions through the various phases and results from doctor visits over the months has been similar to a roller coaster ride, but like King David’s writings in The Psalms I find myself ultimately coming to rest in The Lord as my only Assurance, my Bulwark, my Rock, my Fortress in time of my need. Even when the doctor gave me six months to live last May, God sustained my life for another five months to November. Then, more recently with the liver tumor diagnosis I was given three months of life! Who knows? But through all the predictions God’s been my Faithful Companion reassuring me that only He holds the Key of my Life, only He knows the numbers of days for my life, only He knows the hair count on my head, even as my hair drops out with cancer meds, He knows the diminishing number! His thoughts towards me number more than the grains of sand on beaches across the globe!
What a comforting and amazing promise! I'm learning how to have a deeper trust in Him, an invaluable lesson as only He knows the beginning from the end. I'm deeply grateful for His gift of life to me, giving me the opportunity to solemnize my son’s wedding this month and be in good health for it, and be able to be with family and friends. I so appreciate being able to spend precious time with my children and their children and enjoy living with them, talking to them, laughing at them! I won't stop relying on and leaning on Him and His Promises and appreciating all He offers me through friends like you. Please keep showering me with your prayers and encouragement and pass on any advice and insights, much of which have already kept me going thus far!
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.