Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down."

 The steps of a good man verse from Psalm 37 is a wonderful promise. It gives us hope that the Lord is our safety net when things get out of hand, when things get out of control.  There is never a hint of a promise that everything will go perfectly, or that we will never make a mistake or slip. The promise is that we are not destroyed or wiped out when trouble does come because we have the Lord to turn to.
 I had been feeling so good after the prostate surgery 13 weeks before! I had gotten back to riding my bike and doing just about everything I did before, just a little slower and a little bit more calculating. So last Thursday I decided to take some tools up to the church and fix a leaky toilet.  As I was carrying my shop-vac down the rain-soaked wooden steps on the back of our house my foot suddenly slipped and I fell down seven steps. The pain was incredible on my entire left side, but especially in the flank area. After a short time Christina asked if I wanted  to go have an x-ray. I gladly agreed!
At the hospital they did not find anything broken but told me I was just bruised and sent me home with some medicine  for pain.  Since they said nothing was broken I figured my left kidney must be bruised, because that is where the pain was. Thankfully I did not hit my head, and I wasn't bleeding.
Since I was still a world of hurt, two days later we went to a walk-in urgent care facility near our house. They did more X-rays, and discovered I had three fractured ribs. Somehow my pain felt more justified, but the treatment was the same; wait six weeks until they heal. I wonder if they could wrap me in bubble wrap until everything is all set?
Anyway, I have been so aware of God's presence. All the calls, prayers, emails, and other expressions of compassion are deeply appreciated. Though my foot slipped, I know my steps are still ordered by the Lord, and He has a purpose in all this. I am not down for the count. I will rise again, because my Lord upholds me with His hand! I will be able to attend our grandson's (C4's) graduation on June 1. I will get better and be pain-free in the next few weeks.
I hope to meet many of you who have read the blog, followed my ordeal and prayed for us. Prayer has gotten us through. But if we should happen to meet sometime, somewhere, I do have a request. Please don't squeeze too hard.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Yesterday was a cold, drizzly day in contrast to some very warm days we had last week. Christina and I went to Foxborough to have my blood drawn to check the PSA. I had to take a number. It was 13. I'm not superstious, but when they called 13 it was not the number I wanted to hear!
Later in the day we heard the wonderful number that we did want to hear. We expected it and my surgeon expected it, but it was sweet to hear anyway. 0. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Gone. As Amy had written earlier; it is finished.
Anyone who has been infected by the cancer of sin (that's everybody!) can hear that too. Our sin can be gone by the grace of God, through the blood of Jesus. God, the righteous judge, declares us clean and sin-free if we ask for forgiveness and cleansing.  Gone. 0. Ancient history! "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness." I John 1:9  Ask God for your number.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Well, here it is six weeks after that wonderful day in April when we heard those wonderful words, "Well, the PSA is zero." My feeling that day was that, as good as that news was, I really wanted to be past the pain. About three weeks ago it was as though I turned the corner and the pain faded out to nearly nothing. What a relief!
Though it was short rides at first, I have been getting back on the Rockhopper. It is like my old buddy. I call it my aluminum steed. I/we have ridden over 45 miles in May. I know it isn't much, but it represents a lot to me. I ought to be ready for a cross country ride by October. Don't believe me? Ok, how about a 20 mile ride by then?
But I have to do tomorrow first. Tomorrow will be very similar to the April 10 visit. Except this time I am able to get around with no pain and I'll just be looking to know the score. I'll put up the numbers after that visit.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Don't Miss the Journey

Back on April 10, as I prepared to go to Boston and the appointment to see what the PSA was doing, I was eager to know what the next step would be. I just wanted to be finished with this cancer business. Perhaps I was doing what many people and groups like sports teams before me have done; looking too far ahead and missing something. As I told several people, in the words credited to Roberto Duran, "No mas!"  Sometimes you just get tired of the fight.

So when my doctor came into the room and said, "Well, the PSA is zero," I wasn't prepared for how great it would be to hear those words. My mind was thinking of the next step...but there was no next step. As I later processed and thought about it, I believe the pain level was much less right away and I felt stronger, just knowing the cancer was gone. Now I know the 'Other details' is the periodic checking to make sure everything is still going well.

It is now three weeks since that wonderful appointment. The pain is less and I am doing most of the things I did before, just more slowly and for not as long.  I am so thankful for the incredible, competent care I have gotten from the medical staff of Dana Farber and Brigham and Women's.

I have slowly accelerated to nearly the speed I was going prior to surgery; 2 Bible Studies and 3 sermons each week and ministering in the Pierce Home as well as church. I haven't quite gotten all the way back, but almost. Yesterday, May 1, was another milestone. I rode my bike up the road and back for a total of 4/10 mile. In that microscopically short ride I proved to myself that I was nearly recovered, that it didn't feel too bad (without a special seat), and that I could begin building strength in my body that has been lying around most of the last 2 1/2 months. It was sort of an iconic return to living instead of just trying to find a position that was somewhat comfortable!

I see God's faithfulness every day. It is a joy to be alive. Praise His holy name!

His mercies are new every morning.
 Three Sky Pilots
 Ah, the life; watching others work!