Two Mikes

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.

One thought on “Two Mikes

  1. Thank you Mike. Yes, we had high hopes for my Mike’s stem cell transplant, but God had other plans. God allowed me 40 wonderful years with him, and my life on this earth will never be the same. God has however given us peace, and the knowledge that eternity, is indeed, a wonderful prospect! Thank you for bringing today’s blog to my attention, and yes, I will continue to use this email account. Praying God will continue to use your blog to encourage others. At some point along the way, perhaps you and your wife would like to join me for coffee. I will be residing here in Pueblo for the forseeable future. Blessings on all yours.

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