The last couple of postings have seen me musing about 'sermony' (and I have more to write!) But in the last few days my life has abruptly shifted gear. A biopsy for prostate cancer last week found fairly aggressive cancer (Gleason level 7) throughout my prostate. Surgery for radical removal of the prostate plus lymph glands will occur as soon as I have healed from the biopsy - probably in late January 2012. Noone can say whether the cancer is contained until after surgery so our prayers are obvously focused on a removal of all the cancer at this next surgery.
How suddenly we can be catapulted from our usual lives (like grading papers and thinking about sermony) into a frightening world of the BIG C. Several of my friends have been there before me - often with positive outcomes. Honestly, I am still trying to come to terms with it. I am optimistic in outlook and was sure the biopsy would be clear. My PSA was still relatively low and the doctor said 70% of these tests prove OK. So, the bad news jolted me with a swift unwelcome lesson about my vulnerability. (Actually, Carol was much more pessimistic and expressed much less surprise. And her successful action on my behalf in pursuing subsequent medical attention would take several postings to relate!)
Since hearing the news, Carol and I have been overwhelmed by the love and care of friends, expressed in emails and calls. Many of you have promised prayers and spoken of God's promised gifts of peace and healing. Already, we are aware of powerfully tangible spiritual support reminding us that faith in Jesus Christ is for grown-up living that matures through bad as well as good news. That truly believes that God has the last word and it is a word of hope.
Throughout my ministry I have often been involved with 'old boys' and their prostate problems, but now I am one of them! This is a wake-up call about how precious life is, and how God wants us to live with daily trust in him. And I seek to live victoriously in Christ, the Lord being my healer and my helper.