Since my bout with bladder cancer last year, I’ve been returning every 6 months for cystoscopes to insure I stay clean and clear inside. Last year, my urologist told me there is about a 40% chance of a recurrence even after chemo treatments, but as high as 80% without it. I have a couple of friends who have come down in both categories.
Well, yesterday I discovered I am in that 40%. Going in for my bi-annual cystoscope, we expected a routine checkup. My last cystoscope was in March, exactly 1 year after the discovery and treatment for my cancer. I had a clean/clear report back then, and was expecting no less this time. Following the procedure, my doctor came in to inform me, “we found about 8 small tumors in there. I removed them, and I’m confident we got it all.” Then he assured me, “I don’t want you to be alarmed by this. It’s actually not uncommon for a recurrence. We’ll treat it like we did last time, and move forward. We’re going to take care of you.”
Of course, we’ve been stunned by this news. First, just 6 months ago I was clean and clear. The cancer is back in just 6 months?? And 8 small tumors this time?? What is going on inside of me? It’s somewhat bewildering, to be honest. And now we wait another week for the pathology report, like last year, to reveal whether it truly is all removed, again.
Yet the outpouring of love and prayers from friends, family, coworkers, students at DCA and others, has been most encouraging. Support in the form of meals, offers of help with different tasks, and just the prayer and Scripture people have offered, I’ve found very uplifting. Many are coming forward to not only encourage me, but my wife and girls as well. That means more to me than I can say. I may be physically dealing with this, but they are struggling with it too. Together, God will see us through, just like He did last year. As I’ve been telling folks, “God’s got us, and God is good.”
As a dear friend shared with me last night from Isaiah 43:2- “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed, nor will the flames burn you.”
A good word, indeed.