Last Thursday Eileen and I traveled to Seattle to visit with a gastric (stomach) cancer specialist. We met with him on Friday afternoon and had a very nice visit.
Here’s the “hot skinny:” The doctor was very enthusiastic about the progress the chemo has had with reducing the size of the lesions on Eileen’s liver. The first time we had a CT scan they were half the size they were in the beginning. The next CT scan showed them to be half the size again. The assumption is that the tumor, which can’t be measured on a CT scan, is also shrinking. So that’s the good news.
The bad news is that Eileen’s neuropathy continues to grow with each chemo treatment. This means that, if nothing were to change, Eileen would lose all feeling in her feet and would no longer be able to walk. This would be bad.
Now more good news. Things don’t need to continue on as before. Eileen has been receiving three different chemo drugs each time. The doctor suggested that we discontinue the more dramatic of the drugs and only receive two of them. This would be called a maintenance regime. The maintenance means that the chemo would not necessarily be shrinking during this time, but would hopefully be kept at bay or maybe grow slowly. We would be able to keep this up until her neuropathy goes away, or until the cancer grows again.
So this is what we will do for now.
This past Monday, we went to Lewiston to begin the maintenance program, but Eileen’s platelets were too low. We’re going to try again next Monday. Please pray that her blood levels all come up to where they need to be.
About that title…On and off throughout this process, it has occurred to me that Eileen’s cancer is my fault. I’m a sinner and maybe God has given Eileen this cancer because of my sin. You know, the way he killed all those people when Achan took the accursed things in Joshua 7 and when all those people were killed because David counted the people in 2 Samuel 24.
One night, while I was thinking about this, I realized that to think this way is to actually deny the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sin, to take the punishment for our sin and to assuage God’s wrath by dying in our place. God is not punishing Eileen for my sin, he already punished Jesus for my sin. To punish either Eileen or me for my sin would be to deny what he’s already done to Jesus. This would make him an ogre not a loving and kind God. But he is kind. He did punish Jesus for my sin. This doesn’t make me any less a sinner, but it does mean that I need to stop thinking sinful thoughts about how he’s treating us and get on with worshiping and honoring him as the King of Glory.
So, I’m not denying the Gospel any more. Jesus is my sacrifice, he’s also risen from the dead and he is my Lord, and friend.