Thursday, February 9, 2017

Two Appointments

I was interviewed today for an article about my Christian beliefs, and how they relate to my cancer, and the current political climate in the U.S.A. It was held at the home of a friend, and was constantly interrupted by her cat acting out because he wasn't the center of attention. So the interview experience was deep, thought provoking, challenging and hilarious all at once. I'm sure the recording will crack my friend up when she listens to it. But the lasting impact for me was a personal challenge I wasn't expecting.

My interviewer friend is not a Christian. Her spiritual beliefs are very different from mine. I prayed before I went there that I'd say what God would want me to say. I think I did that, and I was able to share some things that I've kept inside for a very long time. It was very therapeutic, which is fitting, since she's a therapist. Not my therapist, just a friend who happens to be one.

When we talk, our conversations tend to run long. A couple of hours at least. I joked with her that it's a good thing she's not my therapist, because if she said our time was up after fifty minutes, that wouldn't work for me. This interview was cut short after 90 minutes, because I had another appointment to get to, and another of my favorite people to see. But I'm getting ahead of myself, as I often do.

I won't go into the details of the interview. I don't want to steal her thunder. But I left feeling challenged that maybe I need to figure out a way to be more active in trying to use whatever platform I have to try to help the movement to which I've belonged since birth to conform more closely to the image of Christ, at least as I perceive it. That will take some thought and prayer.

My job was not to try to evangelize my friend during an interview, but to try to explain what I believe in a way that a non-believer can understand. Not an easy task. If you've ever tried it, you know what I mean. But I think it went very well. Except for the cat constantly interrupting.

My second appointment of the day was going to get my next Xgeva shot to strengthen my bones. It's been a while since I've had any treatment news in this blog, but I have a little today. Nothing earth shattering, but important.

The best part of going in to get a shot was that I got to see my favorite nurse, the famous Melanie. With her expert touch, I didn't even feel the shot, as usual. And with her sense of humor, the visit was a delight. I'm so blessed to have people like her on my team. That's how I see my doctors, nurses, assistants and staff. They are my team, and I'm so thankful for them. They're keeping me alive, for one thing. And they always make me feel welcome and cared for. I consider myself very blessed to have them.

Melanie and me

While I was there, I told Melanie that I didn't want to get the six month version of the Lupron shot anymore. It makes me lose my appetite, and as a result, I'm struggling to keep my weight up again for the first time in almost a year. So we'll go back to the four month shot from now on. My next Lupron shot isn't until April. I get the Xgeva shots every month.

I was supposed to be scheduled for a bone density scan, but no one had called me to set it up once it had been approved by my insurance. So they gave me the number to call, and it's set for tomorrow. The purpose of it is to see if I've lost any bone mass from Lupron. I hope not, but it's a strong possibility. Between that and the cancer in my spine and ribs, I'm concerned about the strength of my bones. Hopefully, all will be well. Of course, I'll let you know all of it when I know. Right after I call my parents. Tell your mom before you tell the world, that's what I have to keep reminding myself.

While I'm updating you on treatment, I should also tell you that I'm in the third month of my 90 day cannabis oil suppository program, which I describe in my post Tiny Popsicles. I gotta tell ya, it was pretty weird putting those things in my octogenarian, evangelical parents' freezer and taking them out to put one in twice a day while I was visiting my family last week. I never thought I'd be doing that. But they were very understanding, and open to the idea that it might be helping with my cancer. If nothing else, it helps me sleep, which makes me not want to stop at the end of this month. And I can't help but believe it's giving me pain free days that I might not have otherwise.

When I was in the office with Melanie, I shared with her the number of views that my last blog post about her has had. She was impressed, and said she thinks it's wonderful that I have so much support. I think so too. Because as I said in my post My Team, everyone who reads this blog, prays for me and supports me is part of my team. Everyone who loves me and wants to help in some way is part of my team. My favorite musical artist, Neal Morse, and his wife are on a working cruise right now, still praying for me every day. They're part of my team. My friend who interviewed me today is not only part of my team, but my inner circle. Like George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life, I'm the richest man in town.

In December of 2015, I wrote a post to what was then my CaringBridge journal titled The Richest Man In Town. I closed that post with the following paragraph:

My final proof that I'm the richest man in town is the fact that you're reading this right now. The fact that so many care about anything I have to say is a miracle. The fact that so many more care what happens to me is more than I can wrap my head around. You probably have a bigger bank account, but I'm the richest man in town.

I still feel that way today, but a hundred times more. I spent the morning spiritually challenged at one appointment, and the early afternoon medically encouraged at the other. For a Stage 4 cancer patient, that's a very good day. #waroncancer

1 comment:

  1. You are my kind of evangelist.

    You say, “My job was not to try to evangelize my friend during an interview, but to try to explain what I believe in a way that a non-believer can understand. Not an easy task. If you've ever tried it, you know what I mean. But I think it went very well.”

    The reason the task is not easy is that you are misconstrued as “bragging.” Nothing could be further from the truth. You are humbling yourself before God to another human being. Don’t worry about how well it went. You did what He Wanted you to do. (Ezekiel 2:1-3:11, only on an individual basis.)

    I’m happy to hear you have some pain free time these days. I know that helps you hear Him better and makes His Instructions easier to follow.

    You still have work to do.