PSA level is ZERO, which is the news we were hoping and praying for! Good news! Exhale and a fist bump from Tim!
Now, as Dr. Trinh did, let me back up and unpack this a bit. Back at diagnosis in December, Dad was presented with basically two options: treat with hormone therapy or have a total prostatectomy. After weighing the pros and cons of each and praying for wisdom, he elected the surgery. It seemed logical- if the prostate is full of cancer, then get it out!
On February 23rd he had the surgery. The doctor was very optimistic that day about things 'looking good' and initial pathology yielded good margins. The date was set for April 10th to recheck PSA levels via bloodwork. We were told that zero was the goal. Anything more than zero would require further action to be taken by means of hormone therapy.
I know this has been a burden for Dad, after all, it's cancer. And cancer is no respecter of persons. It doesn't matter your age, gender, ethnicity, religion, creed, socioeconomic status, or even if you're a good, bad, healthy, or unhealthy person. It doesn't even matter if you are a pastor. It's terrible! But since surgery day, I had confidence that he'd be ok.
Last night, we had our 2nd of 5 performances of "The Passion of the King" at my church. During the performance, today's appointment weighed on my heart and I began to grow anxious about the pending results. But then I watched the "whipping scene", and thought, "He took those lashes, those stripes for Dad." Then during the crucifixion scene, as they dragged Jesus to the cross, Isaiah began to prophecy,
But he was pierced through for our transgressions
He was crushed for our iniquities
Our sins and transgressions fell upon Him
And by His stripes we are healed.
As the scene finishes, above the thunder and lightning and building music, Jesus screams three words.
It is FINISHED.
I didn't hear the audible voice of God, but He spoke to my spirit, "It is finished." I burst into tears. He took it ALL upon himself- sin, sickness, shame. The work was complete.
So, we rejoice today! PSA level is ZERO. Dad walked out of the office like he was 10 years younger and 100 pound weights had shed from him. Tim, Dad, and I went to lunch to celebrate. (Christina was home sick.) When he told the server his good news she literally danced for him. Twirled and threw her arms up in victory and then threw them around Dad's neck and hugged him. And then she danced again. She did on the outside what I was feeling on the inside.
So now it is our responsibility to grow from this, to learn from this, and to give God glory through it.
Dad still has a ways to go in recovery. Pray for him. He's still experiencing some pain and other side effects, all of which the doctor assures us is 'normal' and should be resolving in the coming weeks. Good thing because he's anxious to get back on his bike! They will monitor him closely for a while to be sure nothing else creeps in.
It's unbelievable to think that our immediate family was touched by this twice in the last couple of years. We are incredibly grateful for those of you who have loved us so well. Thank you for the cards, visits, for standing with us, for meals, for filling the gaps, and mostly- for the prayers.
At the cross the work was finished
You were buried in the ground
But the grave could not contain You
For You wear the Victor's crown