Unremarkable, my butt!

Posted on October 16th, 2007 by Cam.
Categories: Let's talk.

I think I have turned a corner. The day we received the report claiming my pelvis was unremarkable (no evidence of cancer), was the same day I was instructed to come off the crutches and walking frame. So I have been off them since Thursday.
This means I am now walking unassisted, finished radiotherapy, I don’t have cancer in my pelvis, I am pretty much over my chest infection and I am feeling relatively good. The biggest pain I have has been dealing with a sore rib that occurred during a coughing fit with the chest infection, but even that has been feeling better in the last day or so.

The good news for us is slowly sinking in. It seems to take a few days for us to adjust from a negative prognosis to hearing good news. It is tainted I suppose by the fact we have been through this a couple of times before, and there is great difficulty in knowing if the cancer is indeed contained locally in my sternum. For now, it has been enough to get us thinking about being able to take a break when I am physically able.

What is amazing is how I have been given this diagnosis in the light of what seemed to be a certainty. All the doctors were gearing me up for chemotherapy because the cancer seemed to be present in my pelvis. Everyone was pretty sure of this. I was put on a special diet while in hospital to fatten me up for chemo, we were sent to the fertility clinic to prepare for infertility due to my nurries being fried through chemo, I was even measured up based on where the cancer was in my pelvis to have it radiated before chemo- I have the tattoo to prove it! Elizabeth and I spent 45 minutes looking at the X-rays, bone scans and CT scans with the Oncologist looking at the images that indicated cancer in the pelvis. Everything was pointing toward Multiple Myeloma due to my pelvis. Now, it ain’t there.

What I can say is this: For those of you that are pretty keen on putting all this down to coincidence, then add it to the ever-growing list. For those that have been praying, I am very thankful to you all. I have never doubted the reality of prayer. It is the way that God answers or chooses to respond that sometimes leaves me wondering. While I am sitting here, contemplating going on holidays, someone else is waiting for a life-saving kidney, or is not winning the battle with cancer, or is grieving the loss of a child. This does not take away from my gratefulness to God, but it certainly makes me wonder what he is up to.

A mentor friend of mine was over the other day and we were chatting about this. He has decided that he is not going spend any more time trying to justify God’s actions. We have both grown up hearing people whipping out comments like ‘It is part of God’s greater plan’, or ‘Things will work out in the end for the greater good’, or how about ‘We may not understand why God has allowed this to happen, but we will see that it will work out for the best’. I believe this has the potential to be quite offensive to people that have lost loved ones tragically, or are going through sickness, or are going through some major difficulties where it seems God has left the building. When my friend is expected to explain why God has done this or that, or allowed suffering in situations, his response may be as simple and as honest as, ‘I don’t know’. No justification, no explanation, no clichés. How refreshing.

There are many stories of God healing miraculously, and rightly so – God does it often. There are many times though when tragic things happen and God didn’t come to the rescue as we wanted him to. We don’t often hear these examples given when people try to convey the character of God. Sometimes, if this subject comes up, the natural reaction is to try to justify why God may have responded in a way that didn’t bring us joy. I believe that we may be missing out on understanding a significant aspect of God’s nature when we decide to not process the tragic events that happen in our lives in favour of thinking up excuses for God’s apparent absence.

I know, however, that God never leaves the building. When we try to justify God’s actions or inaction, I think we are in dreadful danger of denying a greater understanding of God’s character. The more we apply our human thinking to explaining the reasons why God did this or didn’t do that, the closer we are to turning a sovereign Creator into the bloke next door.

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