Sorrowful yet rejoicing
Who knew you could cut out a large part of your brain and wake up functioning fairly well. My surgeon made the call to remove my right frontal lobe. Two weeks later I was able to shoot around and celebrate the holiday having much to give thanks for.
Although surgery was a success, my pathology revealed aggressive cancer still lurks and repeating the “standard of care” would likely only buy a short amount of time before I'd find myself in a similar situation.
Our prayers for results to show inflammation or the tumor to miraculously disappear seem unanswered. With such heavy news, I’ve wondered if I can live as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10).
Sorrow comes easily when I fixate on the circumstances. Joy, however, has been hard to find despite my diligent search through anticancer material. C.S. Lewis’ insight rings loud and clear how the Lord has reorienting purposes in pain.
“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
- C.S. Lewis - The Problem of Pain
I thought I was attune to the existential questions of life, but as the Lord has limited my abilities and made clear how short life is, he’s brought a greater focus on the things that are eternal: God himself, his word, and people made in his image. I’m grateful for the opportunity to slow down and reprioritize.
While uncertainties remain, there’s been plenty of promise coming from the medical world. In December, I began traveling to Northwell Health in Long Island once a month to start a novel, non-invasive clinical trial.
I’ve been advised that, in addition to this clinical trial, if at all possible, the optimal treatment remains immunotherapy through a revamped vaccine. As a result, and with encouragement from many, we’ve decided to reopen our GoFundMe with a new target to offset the private costs (~$200,000) of this type of precision medicine not yet allowed to be administered in the United States. The goal is to start a new immunotherapy routine, Lord willing, by March after completing the 4 doses of the trial.
My body has been resilient the past few months and I've been able to return to normal activity. It's been a joy to spend extended time with family over the holidays, to reconnect with many, and keep busy volunteering in various capacities with The Provenance Foundation, Revitalized Health with Patrice and Dr. Mary Jo Dimilla. Check out their patient-centered work!
11. You make known to me the path of life;in your presence there is fullness of joy;at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
- Psalm 16:11