Mike Rogers and I have a lot in common. Both of us are Christians who have moved away from fundamentalist roots in our quest for a deeper understanding of God. Both of us have lymphoma and have gone through similar chemo regimes and relapses.
On June 25, 2010, Mike commented on my blog:
Mike, I’m sympathetic. I’m in the hospital for 5 days right now getting some more chemo because my lymphoma has come back with a vengeance. I’m having R- EPOCH, and talking of having the radioimmunotherapy drug Bexxar following. Have been and will continue to pray for you.
Subsequently we both underwent stem cell transplants about a month apart. We were kindred spirits and took similar attitudes toward our suffering:
It’s been a long ride and I’ve stayed pretty even keeled spiritually and emotionally. I realized a long time ago not much of this is in my hands, though a pleasant and hopeful attitude is no doubt helpful. I pretty much just do what I need to day after day and wait on the Lord’s will.
Praying for you.
Mike sent me an encouraging note on October 12, 2010. Then on January 10, 2011, I heard from his wife:
This is from Deb, Mike’s wife. My Mike is now free from his lymphoma having passed from this life on 12/25/2010 at 12:25 a.m. We were able on the 15th of December to return to Colorado, and he delighted in the care and bosom of our family for the last 10 days.
What a courageous soul he was, and never a single “why me!” We miss him greatly, but are so happy he is at last free. Only one year ago he was recovering from his stem cell transplant. I know he’d want me to let you know. We followed your transplant story here, just ahead of his. Praise God for your clean scan.
With so much in common — positive attitudes, quality medical care, loving families, passionate prayers — why was the outcome different for us? The odds of long-term survival after a stem cell transplant are about 50/50.
Which side of the “/” we end up on is a matter of genes and God. Genes encode the mechanism of life and death; God gives meaning to both. A meaning that is seldom explained this side of the grave.
In the absence of answers we are left with faith and hope.
Posted from the chemo clinic.