No Sign of Cancer

. . . for now. My recent PET scan came back clear, which officially puts me in remission! Having been there before in my cancer journey I know it can be a temporary condition. But then, all life is a temporary condition and I’m thankful for every day I get.

I’m on a cycle of Rituxan chemo every six months, with the next round coming up in January. I ascribe my improvement to the drug and a healthier diet. I suspect prayer plays a part and I appreciate all I can get. I still can’t pray for myself very well: My head gets in the way of my heart.

In The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce has the following definition: “Pray – to ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.” This strikes me as accurate, as far as it goes. Cause and effect are hard-wired into creation (never mind quantum mechanics) and can’t be short-circuited.

What makes prayer work—when it does—is the act of God being God. Who is to tell him what he can and can’t do? Still, I doubt he tinkers nearly as often as we think, which makes me reluctant to ask.

What do you think?


8 thoughts on “No Sign of Cancer

  1. Mike

    You and I were first diagnosed with DLBC lymphoma within a month of each other. Two years later, we are still here and thriving as best we can. I have never been a very religious person but rather a spiritual one. However, I have learned to say some prayers now, and I attribute those and a good doctor to my recovery. Thanks for keeping your blog going. It has been a source of inspiration!

  2. Mike: I just want to congratulate you on your great news from your recent scan. My husband is also still in remission. Personally, I think it has more to do with the miracles of modern medicine than with prayer but my husband says that he’ll take all the help he can get: Positive vibes, Rituxan, supportive friends, loving family, good wishes, and prayer. ^__^
    Here’s to continued good health for all of us.

  3. I have felt very much about prayer as you describe. It has been a hard season for my wife and I. For years, we have had such a deep, long-suffering faith, but recently, I have that same perspective on prayer that you describe. I don’t want it, but it is there. I feel like God has some bigger picture to orchestrate (there is that word again) and that he is more about illustrating some grand picture of love than actually responding to my cries.

    I am glad for your story. There is hope in it for more than just you. Glad to hear about the season of remission.

    1. The hand of God in our affairs is hard to discern, either because of its transcendence or immanence.

      “Season” is a good word to use with remission (and life) as it isn’t a permanent thing.


  4. Hey, Mike —
    I (think I) know what you mean about prayer… I have similar struggles…
    I was thinking about your words regarding God’s ‘tinkering.’ I would ask for a definition of that term, but I think I know what you mean. I do wonder, though, whether it’s the right image. It seems to be asking to just what degree the deistic view of God is correct, and I prefer to say that those guys are wrong big-time!
    I think I like the idea of God as orchestrating (rather than tinkering with) things with a level of wisdom, power and love that goes far beyond our imaginations — such that He can even incorporate into His plans the involvement of us and our prayers, yet without any kind of fatal determinism.
    Not entirely satisfactory, I know — especially in the crucible of pain — but it scratches my itch better.
    With continued appreciation for your spiritual candor,
    — KC

  5. what do I think? you asked – my husband and I play dominoes every evening – I have been winning. When I think I’ll win, I start singing “Victory ahead. Victory ahead – Through the blood of Jesus, Victory ahead.” My husband tried to sing like this, but it was too difficult because he is too analytical about how many 3’s are out, etc.

    I am studying Ecclesiastes. Today I read (vs. 11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (vs. 12) I know that there is nothing better for them than to be glad and to get and do good as long as they live; (vs 13) And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor – it is the gift of God.”

    This is to be our attitude – be glad and do good.

    We don’t know how big God is, but He is big! Mt. 10:29-30 Are not 2 little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.

    We were recently in your beautiful city. We took our daughter to school out there, visited my uncle in Cripple Creek and then went to Leadville and back home to MO. Such a wonderful, beautiful restful vacation!!

    1. Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books. I concur with its concluding advice, 11:13, 14. And my approach to life–and dominoes– is akin to your husband’s.

      Glad you enjoyed Colorado. It’s a beautiful place to live.

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