Comfort for those living with cancer

Archive for June, 2012

Here We Go Again, Another Transplant Evaluation

After receiving the denial from Baylor for a liver transplant Judy and I were confused. It seemed like everything was going well while we were in Dallas, but things don’t always go as we would like. I hadn’t even gotten over the shock of the denial when the Veterans Administration stepped in with another opportunity.

The VA does transplants in several locations. One of the VA’s locations for a liver transplant is in Houston, Texas. Judy and I met with Dr. Habib, a liver specialist in Temple, TX with the VA. He looked at Baylor’s reasoning behind my denial and didn’t agree with everything Baylor had determined. He explained the VA’s protocol for transplant evaluation and asked if we wanted to pursue this route.

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Before I tell you what we decided let me share how we feel at this point. Aside from God’s ability to heal, we have no options for dealing with this cancer in a complete way. More surgeries are not possible, RF Abliteration has been done once and may be available once or twice more, direct infusion of chemotherapy drugs is possible and directed radiation. One more future option is the chemotherapy drug Nexavar. All of these options have one draw back, they are only temporary measures.

Each treatment other than a transplant is a little like being on death row. Each time a new procedure is done only puts off the inevitable. How do we feel? We feel like we are on the edge of a cliff and the ground is crumbling under us.

Now that doesn’t sound very spiritually mature and it isn’t. Without Christ in our lives we would be panicked at this point, but…………………. we truly do have that peace that surpasses all understanding because God has NEVER taken His hand off of us!

  • That’s how we feel, but feelings have nothing to do with faith!

I wonder how people who do not have God in their lives go through these trials.

I told you I would tell you what Judy and I decided about the VA Transplant option. We have decided to leave it up to Dr, Habib. He will get the rest of Baylor’s test results, consult with the transplant surgeon in Houston and we will allow him to determine the next step. We are not trusting the doctor, we are trusting God and by faith we believe that He will lead us down His path.

Let me close today with a verse that gives me strength every day. I hope it strengthens you also.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Disappointment Can Be Discouraging

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Last week Judy and I spent the entire week in Dallas at the Baylor Transplant Hospital. I was evaluated for a Liver Transplant. The people were wonderful and the tests were extensive. Every test looked good for a potential transplant and they even found an unrelated condition, for which I am thankful. They found two small tumors in my neck. They are sure that they are not cancerous and can be removed. We came home feeling good about the future, then I got a phone call that changed everything.

This morning the transplant doctor called and said I had been denied a transplant. She gave a lot of reasons, but somehow I felt it boiled down to the fact that I would be a risk and I might jeopardize their 97% success record. Basically she took the transplant option off the table.

It’s odd how the emotional roller coaster continues. A transplant is the only option for a cure. All other options only delay the inevitable end. I am reminded of taking a piece of steal and bending it over and over until it weakens and finally breaks.

As a Christian my trust is in God, not doctors or medical options, but the emotional stress is still taking it’s toll on Judy and I. As I continue to pray, “Lord, help me be faithful in the meantime.”, I am keenly aware that millions of people are going through exactly what Judy and I are going through. Phones are ringing, doctor’s are entering exam rooms all over the world, bringing disappointment to cancer patients.

We pray for healing, good reports and new cures, but no matter how things go, there always seems to be some disappointment. So the question is, how do we deal with the disappointment?

I have found that praying the WORD always helps me put my faith into every situation. If I am facing discouragement, I need to replace it with hope. I hope you find the following Scriptures helpful as you fight off your discouragement.

Psalm 16:8-19

8 I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.

Psalm 42:5

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And
why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 119:114

114 You are my hiding place and my shield;
I hope in Your word.

AMEN!