Yesterday I got confirmation of something I suspected for the couple of weeks. There has been a recurrence of oral cancer, this time on the right side. Fortunately it is only stage II but surgery is indicated along with chemo. No radiation, thank you God. My ENT does not feel that the Northern Arizona Healthcare system has a surgeon with the necessary skills to tackle this complex operation. He suggested the same doctor at the Mayo Clinic that I used before, but our experience there was less than satisfactory. My recent experience at UC Davis Hospital in Sacramento does offer a possible alternative, but I am also exploring the idea that a surgeon in Detroit has the necessary skills. That would save us a lot of money, and it would be wonderful to be near my friends during this. More to the point, I am concerned about what this means to Charlotte. She suffered a great deal during my first bout with this disease, and nothing saddens me more than the realization that her life will be just as afflicted as mine this time around. Being in Detroit would be a great aid to her, I think. So I am trying to push for having the surgery there. This remains to be seen.
The prognosis for a full recovery is good, so you will be stuck with me for a long time. But it is definitely going to affect (perhaps destroy) my ability to speak. That means that blogging and posting to Facebook will become my primary means of staying in touch. I will also be using email when appropriate.
It would be quite inaccurate to say that this is not distressing. But I am ready to face whatever challenges are ahead, strengthened by God’s Word.
Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses…and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ II Corinthians 12:7-10
There is no doubt in my mind that God will use this for His greater glory, and that is perhaps the basis for this “peace that passes all understanding.” If there is anything I need from you, my beloved friends, it is encouragement and humor. Your love means everything. Empathy and support are the antidotes for pity, self- or otherwise.
If you have any long comments, I would prefer to get them here rather than on Facebook, but either is fine. But any contact will be a blessing.
My love goes out to all.